Cato Networks

Cato Networks provides a converged security, networking, and mobility service; SD-WAN is one part of that offering.

How it Works

Customers connect their locations, cloud instances, and mobile users to the Cato Cloud, Cato’s SLA-backed network. Once on the Cato Cloud, traffic can be kept internal to the company or sent onto the Internet. Cato inspects internal- and Internet-traffic with advanced security services including next-generation firewalling / URL filtering and anti-malware.

The Cato Cloud at last review was global with 30 Point of Presences (PoPs) across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and South America. Customers use third-party Internet services. Locations can be connected with a physical appliance (the Cato Socket) or a virtual appliance (the vSocket). Mobile users connect into with Cato’s mobile client (the Cato Client).  Each Cato node builds a secure tunnel across the Internet connection to the closest PoP.

As an SLA-backed network, the Cato Cloud provides better performance than the general Internet. According to Cato, every PoP is fully redundant and connected to at least two tier 1 Internet backbones. Leased bandwidth in the form of transit services across these backbones eliminates the erraticness associated with Internet peering.

Cato’s SD-WAN 

Cato’s SD-WAN service provides networking improvements at the edge and core. At the edge, Cato Sockets can connect to Internet and MPLS services. The Socket monitor real-time traffic conditions on the lines and then using the application policies, determines the most appropriate link for a given traffic flow. Should their be a blackout or brownout on one connection, Cato will automatically fail-over and fail-back. See the below demonstration of Cato’s SD-WAN capabilities: 

Cato: A Networking Swiss Army Knife?

By collapsing all company endpoints into a secured, global network, the Cato Cloud is remarkably versatile. Think of this almost as a “swiss army knife” networking. The service can replace:

  • SD-WAN or hybrid WAN services where the Internet performs well enough.
  • Global private networking services where the Internet is too erratic to replace MPLS, as is often the case with international connection, particularly when running voice and other real-time applications.
  • Security-as-a-service for the core and branch offices, eliminating the need for backhauling traffic to a centralized, secured Internet access point.
  • Secure mobile access for remote users
  • Hybrid Cloud and Cloud-to-Cloud connections

Overall, Cato has one of the most intriguing offering in what’s a very crowded SD-WAN space. They were one of the first vendors to integrate advanced security into SD-WANs and the only service provider to package that with a mobility offering.

Additional Information

For additional information about Cato Networks, check out the following:

Cato’s site is here:

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