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Buyer's Guide
Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions
July 2022
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IT Manager / Project Coordinator at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Integrates well with everything, technical support is very helpful, and it is all managed from a single pane of glass
Pros and Cons
  • "It's a cloud-based solution that integrates well with everything."
  • "I would like to see better integration with identity providers."

What is our primary use case?

It's a network device that is used for WAN optimization and security.

What is most valuable?

It's a cloud-based solution that integrates well with everything. They are the classic SaaS solution.

We don't need to have a static IP from our provider, which saves us money.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better integration with identity providers. Right now, they have Azure and they have Okta. 

For directory synchronization they use LDAP, and it would be better if they moved away from this. My understanding is that they are already working on removing LDAP completely and using web-based authentication for the VPN users and other users. This is not something that is critical for me. I just set up the main services in Azure and use that. This is okay because we don't have a lot of remote users, perhaps 10 or 20 at the maximum, with VPN access. This may change in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are in the testing phase of this solution. I have been testing Cato Networks for one month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

During the testing period, there were no outages. Everything was smooth and worked well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is absolutely scalable, which was the reason we decided to go with Cato Networks.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. Even during our testing phase, they were able to set up at least three hours to walk me through and answer my questions.

They were knowledgeable and I would rate them a five out of five.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

It's easy to set up and we just connect to their network.

As we are still in the testing phase, we have not implemented it yet. There will be some implementation, but it's pretty basic. There is no complex setup like you would have with Versa for example. For the most part, it's plug and play.

What about the implementation team?

There were some questions that I had to ask them, but for the most part, I set it up myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you compare with VeloCloud, the price is the same or even cheaper. Also, they include all of the security features, unlike VeloCloud.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had evaluated others such as VeloCloud and vScaler. 

The advantage of Cato Networks is that they have integrated steps, such as SD-WAN plus Network Security, plus VCNA altogether, in one management pane of glass. It's one place to manage everything. 

With VeloCloud it's SD-WAN, and there is no security. You would still have to get a dedicated endpoint like a firewall if you want added protection then it would be harder to manage it centrally.

vScaler can be integrated, but then it drives the price up significantly. Also, it's not an ideal solution.

One of the advantages of Cato is that they provide a static IP from their cloud and assign it to us. This is a service that comes with an additional cost, but it's cheap compared to if I get it from my service provider. 

Now that the trial period is almost over, I have decided that I am going to go with Cato Networks.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is looking into Cato is to consider their environment. If they have a scenario where it is 80% cloud-based and 20% internal traffic, then Cato is a good choice. If on the other hand, they have internal applications with a data center then other solutions may make more sense. For us, since we are fully cloud-based, it is a better choice.

In summary, it is easy to implement and easy to manage. That said, there are always ways to improve.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IT Manager at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Easy to deploy, easy to manage, and helpful for network stability and reliability
Pros and Cons
  • "The WAN aggregation feature is the most valuable."
  • "Its functionality is a bit limited in some areas as compared to a Cisco solution. It is not as granular. It doesn't have the manageability, feature set, and capabilities of a larger or an enterprise-level solution. It just needs a more robust feature set and granularity."

What is our primary use case?

It is a primary router for the network. It is a cloud solution with on-prem routers. Basically, we got a router here, and we utilize our network connections to get to Cato Network's cloud. We route our traffic through their cloud for security and everything else.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps with network stability and reliability.

What is most valuable?

The WAN aggregation feature is the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

Its functionality is a bit limited in some areas as compared to a Cisco solution. It is not as granular. It doesn't have the manageability, feature set, and capabilities of a larger or an enterprise-level solution. It just needs a more robust feature set and granularity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since June, that is, about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is pretty good so far. I had a couple of minor issues here and there, but not too bad.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is hard to say because we don't have a lot of demands or requirements for that. We're not a large shop, so we're not looking to expand so much that we would have to replace them, upgrade them, or push the boundaries of the current system. It is expected to last us for a while at this capacity and configuration. We have 200 users, and it is just a typical office warehouse environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

They are good and responsive. They solved all the issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Palo Alto.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty basic. It is easy to manage.

You require one experienced IT person for its deployment and maintenance. It wasn't complicated for me, but I've been around. Somebody new to IT or a desktop support guy won't be able to deploy it. Somebody who is a network person and has a good network or IT experience can deploy and manage it with little or no assistance in a company of our size.

What about the implementation team?

We had support from Cato Networks. They helped us with the deployment, and they were good.

What was our ROI?

It is going to give a return on investment. We have AT&T, Comcast, and a couple of others, but AT&T stability was hit or miss, and it would go down. The ability for this system to handle outages on one circuit out of four meant that we didn't have any downtime because of one of our circuits going down or having a performance issue. It kept our network up, whereas our previous solution, even at the cost of it, had to fail over, and even when it failed over, there were manual things you had to do for the other issues, which caused the downtime.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You pay yearly based on the speed of your network. If you increase the speed of your network, you increase the cost for your throughput. It is by bandwidth for the most part and then licenses for VPN. There is some per-seat licensing for VPN access, but the majority of it is minimal. It is like $30 a year per client. The rest is based on how much bandwidth you'll use. You pay for that upfront for the year, and if you have to increase it, you increase it, and then they let you send more data through. There are no additional costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other SD-WAN solutions, such as Fellow Cloud, Palo Alto, and Cisco. There were a couple more in there. Price, capability, and ease of deployment and management made us go for Cato Networks.

What other advice do I have?

It is worth looking at for a small to medium size environment, but it has got to fit your situation. We don't use it for what it was really made to do. It just has one feature that affects us, so we use it for that. In all honesty, it is not something that we are really using to its full potential.

I would rate Cato Networks an eight out of ten. It is fairly new, so there are some things that it should do, and they're working on it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jordan Peters - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner/Managing Director at Infinity IT B.V.
MSP
Top 20
Stable SASE platform suitable for large organizations with distributed teams
Pros and Cons
  • "Cato offers all the functionality found in other solution. The life cycle management is always very stable."
  • "Web application firewalling (WAF) is a feature we would like to have in this solution and does not exist yet."

What is our primary use case?

We are a reseller of this solution and propose it to our clients. We combine it with vertical sockets in our office. We deploy the whole stack including capability, data leak prevention and CASB.

This solution is good for large organizations that have many people working around the world with many branches who want to combine policies and networks. Cato have a global presence that is increasing around the world. 

There are less than two milliseconds of latency to the nearest pop. Cato have a back end connection to the grid that is very stable offers good performance. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has allowed us to have more points of presence around the world. The bandwidth has also improved across different areas. This solution has offered us data leak prevention, CASB and a better dashboard. 

Using this solution, we are able to drill down into security problems in a few clicks. We also use it for the IPsec connection with our clients that allows us to make the right policies that restricts access to certain users.

What is most valuable?

Cato offers all the functionality found in other solutions. The life cycle management is always very stable.

What needs improvement?

Web application firewalling (WAF) is a feature we would like to have in this solution. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. Cato have contracts with backend infrastructure. During COVID, there has been an exponential growth of VPN connections and related bandwidth. We have 25 people using this solution in our organisation and we support seven clients in the healthcare and offshore sectors. There are up to 5,000 people in each organization. 

How are customer service and support?

The customer service and support for this solution is really good although we have noticed that, due to their growth as a business, support is not as consistent. Sometimes you get a more junior person to assist and then it takes a little bit longer to get the right answer. I would rate their support a four and a half out of five. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have previously used Cisco VPN and Fortinet VPN.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and implementation is straightforward and can be done in a few hours.

What was our ROI?

When you compare Cato to normal firewalling and all the costs and effort to maintain changes, the return on investment can be seen in one year. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of this solution depends on what you need. It is based on bandwidth. You can opt for between 10 megabits to 10 gigabits per month, as well as select virtual sockets or physical sockets. A virtual socket is X1500 and can be extended to 500 megabits. Using these, you can have different levels of security. 

What other advice do I have?

We have six environments and we integrate them with the directory services of Microsoft Azure. Authentication of credentials is done automatically, including for new employees. Maintenance is also done automatically. 

This solution is very easy to implement and is very intuitive. When we do demos with our clients, they say, "Wow, is it that easy?" Cato offer a full package that can cover online, offline and whatever the customer needs.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: customers but also resellers and implementers
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Buyer's Guide
Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions
July 2022
Get our free report covering Zscaler, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, and other competitors of Cato Networks. Updated: July 2022.
620,068 professionals have used our research since 2012.