“Say hello to SASE!” That’s how Gartner introduced the network industry to a new term, SASE or Secure Access Service Edge, in August 2019, creating a turning point for the industry. Many wondered whether it was just SD-WAN repackaged. You can say, if SD-WAN is the first step towards WAN evolution, SASE is a huge leap forward. But, before you proceed to explore how, let's understand what each of these two terms stands for.

By 2024, at least 40% of business enterprises to have explicit strategies to adopt SASE.
~ Gartner

What is SD-WAN?

Software-defined Wide Area Network or SD-WAN is a secure, flexible and cost-effective networking solution that frees enterprises from the complex task of managing multi-branch-site connectivity across a wider geographical scale.

SD-WAN architecture

Though not a relatively new technology, SD-WAN has been pivotal in revolutionizing enterprise networks and virtualized services by connecting and extending business networks over wide geographical distances. SD-WAN enables enterprises to be in absolute control of their network infrastructure and manage it with ease using a robust virtual WAN architecture. Moreover, with SD-WAN, network administrators get the opportunity to closely monitor WAN connectivity as well as manage traffic.

Key characteristics of SD-WAN:

  • Link encryption via DTLS
  • Zero-touch automated configuration of remote devices
  • Ease of adding virtual network services (VNFs)
  • Network micro-segmentation through firewalls and virtual networks

In case you want to read more on SD-WAN, take a look at this blog SD-WAN, the ultimate solution to revamping all your networking needs by Cloud4C's network experts.

What is Secure Access Service Edge?

According to Zscaler, “Secure access service edge (SASE) is a framework for network architecture that brings cloud native security technologies—Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) in particular—together with wide area network (WAN) capabilities to securely connect users, systems, and endpoints to applications and services anywhere. To support today's agile operations, these are delivered as a service from the cloud and can be managed centrally.”

To make it simple, SASE is an architecture that combines multiple security capabilities, including SD-WAN, to provide greater security to modern, remote networks and branch offices. And unlike legacy security approaches, SASE does not depend too much on data center security as it understands the evolution of modern devices as end-points. As a result, the network allows users to access applications and data more securely than ever before, resulting in a secure distributed workforce, network traffic and data.

Key characteristics of SASE:

  • Cloud-native architecture
  • Global network backbone
  • Simplified management
  • Combined network and security
  • Distributed inspection and policy enforcement
  • Identity-driven

What happens when you integrate your Managed SD-WAN solutions and SASE?

The last couple of years has witnessed a significant rise in SD-WAN adoption. However, despite offering cost benefits and agility, SD-WAN solutions alone cannot bring complete network transformation. Enterprises often faced dissatisfaction after switching to SD-WAN due to the complexity of modern networks that often require letting remote users access cloud services through public internet bandwidth. Moreover, SD-WAN solutions hardly offer adequate services and support for mobile devices and users, putting enterprises in a tough spot.

To bridge this gap, SD-WAN providers and security services providers are increasingly leaning towards the idea of integrating SD-WAN with SASE architecture. This integration of SD-WAN with SASE opens multiple network security opportunities for businesses across industries. SASE bolsters the freedom of remote work and WFH with its complete suite of data, user and network security features. If you ask any SD-WAN vendor, they will not term SASE as a new-age replacement for SD-WAN but as an evolutionary, much-needed improvement.

When integrated, SASE brings multiple security features to the SD-WAN solutions that we have briefly touched upon earlier:

  • Next-generation firewall as a service (NGFwaaS) via NFV and virtual firewall appliances
  • Secure web gateway (SWG) which can monitor and filter web traffic
  • Cloud access security brokers (CASB) that extend Secure Web Gateway by bringing visibility into application-level network and ensuring policy enforcement
  • Zero-trust network access (ZTNA) that fortifies access security by prioritizing user and device credentials

SASE is no longer a security option but a necessity as it allows your business to scale securely, supports remote work agenda by maintaining enterprise-level security, provides superior cyberthreat management, and empowers you to meet your IoT adoption goals by providing unprecedented security and connectivity.

At Cloud4C, we simplify modern network management by integrating our Managed SD-WAN Services with SASE. We take a Zero Trust approach safeguarding modern businesses from malicious cyber threats by converging SD-WAN with industry’s best Security Access Service Edge solution. With Cloud4C, businesses can now spin up new branches with total security anywhere in the world, offer enhanced customer experience, and unlock unmatched growth opportunities.

Visit Cloud4C Managed SD-WAN services for more information.


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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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