Microsoft has just announced the public preview of Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall.  Microsoft is looking to leverage the current trend of SDWAN and its performance improving path selection capabilities to give customers optimised access to Azure; whilst at the same time offering solutions to simplify branch connectivity and security thus reducing complexity and management overhead.

Increasingly customers are looking for solutions that are easy to deploy, use, and manage whilst still offering high availability, reliability and scale automatically and seamlessly.

Azure Virtual WAN

The Azure Virtual WAN offering aims to provide scalable, automated and optimised branch connectivity utilising Microsofts global footprint.  Microsoft is partnering with the growing number of SDWAN and VPN partners to provide seamless connectivity from your SDWAN connected branch locations to Azure providing automation for connectivity and configuration management.  The intention is for the Azure virtual WAN through utilising Microsoft’s global network footprint to provide a improved network experience.  This improvement is achieved through your branch office traffic being routed via the nearest geographically of Microsoft’s  approximately 130 PoP’s.  Once the traffic is on the Microsoft Network they have introduced the concept of virtual hubs which is where your traffic terminates and a virtual WAN would be configured to use multipe virtual hubs across different regions closest to your branches.

(diagram copyright Microsoft 2018)

The launch partners for Azure Virtual WAN are Citrix and Riverbed with this number to increase overtime to cover many of the prominent SDWAN vendors.

The public preview will allow the creation of Virtual WAN and virtual hubs.  Also the configuation of the Virtual WAN is automated along with VNet configuration and finally it includes Troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities.

Azure Firewall

The Azure Firewall service offers a highly available, auto scaling stateful firewall for your virtual network resources.  Through the Azure platform UI customers are able to create and enforce security policies using network and application level rules, these rules can be applied across different subscriptions or VNets.

(diagram copyright Microsoft 2018)

The Azure firewall is intended to complement existing Azure security features allowing users to enhance their overall security posture.

The Azure firewall public preview has the following capabilities: outbound FQDN filtering, Network traffic filtering, outbound SNAT, Monitor logging.

To sign up to the Public Preview contact your Microsoft account team.