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How to overcome supply chain challenges that are affecting firewall deliveries

“Supply chains rely on people and equipment, and if either is in short supply, delays and cost result.” – Business Insider


Supply chain disruptions began more than a year ago due to the COVID19 pandemic creating significant disruptions in manufacturing and supply chains. Combined with an exponential increase in demand for business and consumer technology as many adopted and embraced accelerated digital transformation and work from home practices, we continue to see a huge strain on availability and delivery times as an industry.  


Disruptions in the supply chain continues to be a major concern with no foreseeable timeline that would allow it to return to pre-pandemic capacities. Factory shutdowns, lockdowns, labor shortages, increased demand and raw material constraints have affected all. As a result, we continue to see delivery & availability times hitting record highs - International Monetary Fund (IMF).


An area that has seen a significant impact of these supply chain challenges is in the next-generation firewall space, as the computing parts and chipsets are used across many different platforms.  Supply constraints have been reducing the availability of physical firewall products in the market. This is where our partners who are a trusted advisor to their customers, can change the conversation around availability, to a conversation around alternatives and project requirements. Many of the technology vendors have detailed documentation around virtual options which may be a potential fit for a customer’s environment, that allows partners to help implement their projects without as much concern around the associated hardware availability.


So, what is Firewall Virtualization (FWaaS)?

Whether it's a managed virtual network firewall service, FWaaS, or a virtual firewall deployed on a private network, it is a software defined firewall (like server and storage virtualization) it takes advantage of existing HW resources within a server environment and deploys the SW emulating all the functions of a traditional Firewall. This can help eliminate the complexity, cost, and risk of new hardware deployment and over time can streamline the network architecture. Some of the key benefits of Firewall virtualization as listed below:

     Source: Physical or Virtual Firewall: What fits best for your environment?


In addition to the above points, these virtual network firewalls can provide bidirectional controls (both inbound and outbound) for securing networks. They can be used for a wide range of deployments ranging from on-premises to hybrid clouds (on-premises and clouds) and from public to private clouds. Virtual firewalls can work in many scenarios such as perimeter, small to medium business (SMB), data centers, cloud, and distributed offices. Additional benefits include add-on features offered by different vendors such as intrusion detection and prevention, advanced malware detection, application awareness and control, logging, and reporting can be utilized with minimum effect  on performance.


What is the market forecast about FWaaS?

In Gartner’s recent report for Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls , they expect a strong increase in firewall virtualization, predicting that Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) will account for 30% of new distributed branch office firewall implementations by 2025, up from less than 5% in 2020. Another study by Reportlinker estimates that the global Firewall as a  Service (FWaaS) market, including managed virtual network firewalls, will reach $3.4B by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 22.1% between 2020-2027 while Canada is forecasted to grow at the CAGR of 18.4%.


To conclude, the rise of supply chain issues is causing distress across the industry, but we are here to help! There are many opportunities where virtualized security appliances can either complement physical appliances or offer a cost-effective way to support the security needs of specific customers.  For any solutions you are currently awaiting ETA’s or trying to confirm HW availability on, contact us now to see how we can work together towards addressing your firewall needs. This can help manage client budgets, project timelines  and your EOY financials.