Image: Cloudflare

Cloudflare Monday introduced Magic WAN with Magic Firewall as well as new strategic partnerships with network hardware and data center providers as part of Cloudflare One, its cloud-based network-as-a-service offering released in October 2020.

Magic WAN (wide area networking) connects any source of data traffic—data centers, offices, devices, cloud apps, etc.—to Cloudflare’s global content delivery network (CDN). Using a centralized dashboard, Magic Firewall enables customers to centrally manage those connections by setting network-wide policies and configuring public and private routing. Both Magic WAN and Firewall are software-as-a-service offerings.

Magic WAN is available in limited beta, and Magic Firewall is generally available for all Magic Transit customers. It is also included out-of-the-box with Magic WAN.

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“Companies burn significant resources provisioning and maintaining legacy connectivity technologies like MPLS [multiprotocol label switching],” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, in a statement. “With Magic WAN, we’re leveraging Cloudflare’s global network to offer reliable, faster, much more cost-effective connectivity with security built in. And by partnering with the leading SD-WAN vendors, we can ensure Magic WAN can be a drop-in replacement for legacy connectivity solutions.”

Image: Cloudflare

Because so many organizations already have SD-WAN appliances, Cloudflare has partnered with network on-ramp providers VMware and Aruba and data center providers Arista Networks, Digital Realty, and CoreSite to help businesses move their networks to the cloud using existing hardware.

“Increased cloud adoption along with the recent pivot to remote workers has increased the volume of internet, SaaS, and IaaS traffic straining traditional network architectures such as MPLS,” said Ghassan Abdo, IDC Research vice president for WW Telecom, Virtualization and CDN, in a statement. “WAN architectures that offer a global scale, integrated enterprise network security functions, and direct, secure connectivity to remote users are key to organizations looking to increase their operational agility and lower total costs of ownership.”