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Microsoft Tests Azure Virtual WAN, Firewall Security Services

Microsoft has introduced Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall services to help organizations manage network security across their end users, data and applications.

Together, Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall allow organizations to stay connected to global branch offices and enforce network security polices in cloud environments, according to a prepared statement.

Organizations can use Azure Virtual WAN to connect branch offices around the globe, Microsoft said. An Azure Virtual WAN consists of multiple virtual hubs, and an organization can create virtual hubs in different Azure regions.

Azure Virtual WAN routes traffic from branch offices to Microsoft’s global network and moves this traffic into a virtual hub, the company stated. It then enables an organization’s branch offices to use nearby virtual hubs to connect to Azure with SDWAN and VPN devices.

Microsoft has released Azure Virtual WAN Preview, which can be used in conjunction with solutions from Citrix and Riverbed. The company also plans to add Azure Virtual WAN solutions from Barracuda Networks, Check Point Software Technologies and other technology providers.

A Closer Look at Azure Firewall

Azure Firewall offers firewall capabilities for Virtual Network resources, according to Microsoft. It enables organizations to use application- and network-level filtering rules to create and enforce connectivity policies across Azure subscriptions and virtual networks.

Key features of Azure Firewall include:

  • Central Logging and Analytics: Provides access to monitoring and reporting capabilities via Azure Monitor.
  • Firewall-as-a-Service: Adds firewall capabilities to a virtual network to control and log access to apps and resources.
  • High Availability: Automatically scales usage during peak load or as a business grows.

In addition, Azure Firewall can be used in conjunction with the following Azure security services:

  • Application Gateway WAF: Offers inbound protection for web applications, outbound network-level protection for ports and protocols and application-level protection for outbound HTTP/S.
  • Azure DDoS Protection: Eliminates traffic at the Azure network edge.
  • Network Security Group (NSG): Delivers network- and application-level protection across virtual networks.
  • Network Virtual Appliances: Enables organizations to use both third-party network virtual appliances and Azure firewalls.
  • Service Endpoints: Provides service endpoint security and central logging for all traffic.

Azure Firewall Preview is now available, and the service is fully integrated with the Azure platform, portal user interface (UI) and services.

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