You Don’t Need to Decide Between SASE vs. SD-WAN
If you’re looking for the most agile, secure, and cost-effective way to modernize your business networks, it’s only natural to evaluate technologies. You may be comparing “Secure Access Service Edge” and “Software-Defined Wide Area Network,” or SASE vs. SD-WAN.
Nevertheless, in this short post, you will discover these two technologies have more in common than they do differences. Experts affirm that “Ultimately, the goal of SASE is to deliver the best end-user quality of experience for cloud-hosted applications without compromising security. After working with many enterprises that have designed and deployed their SASE architectures, we’ve learned that basic SD-WAN functionality falls short. An SD-WAN with advanced networking capabilities is required to fully enable SASE.”
However, to understand why there is still a comparison between SASE vs. SD-WAN, it is worth a quick recap. First, there was WAN which evolved into SD-WAN. Though SD-WAN offered solutions to many of the problems of managing traffic for distributed locations (ever-present with traditional WAN connectivity), it reached a point where some organizations felt it was obsolete.
A new architecture or concept called SASE emerged from this process, which seems particularly well suited to supporting remote workers. Consequently, organizations discovered the SASE vs. SD-WAN comparison resulted in that they are very synergic, and companies don’t have to struggle before deciding if they have the best SD-WAN available.
Both SD-WAN and SASE connect geographically dispersed endpoints to each other and to the organization’s network resources. Due to the growing needs of remote workers and their increasingly scattered locations, this functionality became popular.
But yet, SASE is creating a lot of buzz in the industry. Why are so many people asking which is the best solution between SASE vs. SD-WAN? Can one really replace the other? Let’s take a look at the basic definitions in the next couple of sections so you have more context.
What Is SASE?
Gartner was the first to refer to SASE as such: “SASE combines network security functions (such as SWG, CASB, FWaaS and ZTNA), with WAN capabilities (i.e., SD-WAN) to support the dynamic secure access needs of organizations. These capabilities are delivered primarily aaS and based upon the identity of the entity, real-time context and security/compliance policies.
“So essentially, SASE is a new package of technologies including SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, ZTNA and FWaaS as core abilities, with the ability to identify sensitive data or malware and the ability to decrypt content at line speed, with continuous monitoring of sessions for risk and trust levels.”
The SASE architecture makes it easy to merge an organization’s network and security capabilities into a cloud service that distributes traffic faster than traditional networks and operates closer to endpoints. SASE simplifies network and security management through the integration of network and security services needed (firewall as a service, secure web gateway, etc.).
As opposed to SD-WAN, a SASE architecture focuses more on the endpoints and end-user devices that connect your organization’s branch offices with your data center. Instead of forwarding traffic to the data center, as in SD-WAN, SASE traffic inspection occurs at multiple global points of presence.
What Is SD-WAN?
According to recent research, the market for SD-WAN could reach a staggering $8.4 billion value by the year 2025. As companies of all sizes experience difficulties with traditional WANs, this advanced technology is becoming the preferred choice.
How does SD-WAN work? It is a software-based, virtual WAN architecture that allows companies to link users to applications via the Internet. LTE, broadband Internet, and MPLS are all options.
In SD-WAN, the wide-area network traffic is controlled through a centralized server in a fast, reliable and secure fashion. The results are higher performance and improved overall user experience. SD-WAN solutions can allow your business to improve productivity and reduce IT costs.
In general, traditional WANs often prove inadequate for modern enterprises, especially as they try to break into the cloud-based applications industry and to break into the digital world. Due to its many benefits, SD-WAN for businesses continues to grow in popularity.
SASE vs. SD-WAN: How Are They Similar?
Although there are some differences in their definitions, when comparing SASE vs. SD-WAN, certain similarities and compatibility are more evident. Let’s review some of them next:
- In particular, both SASE and SD-WAN cover a wide geographical area and share that they are virtualized technologies.
- Both SASE and SD-WAN serve the same purpose: to connect geographically separated branch offices or end-users to an organization’s network resources in a scalable and manageable manner.
- A number of experts claim that SASE is an evolution of SD-WAN because it combines SD-WAN’s capabilities with improvements to network security, such as cloud access security corridors and zero-trust network access.
- On one platform, SASE combines the advantages of SD-WAN and third-party security services.
These arguments help reinforce the thesis on which this post begins: An SD-WAN with advanced networking capabilities is the essential component to fully enable SASE.
Can SASE Replace SD-WAN?
We now live in a cloud and digital-first world, many of the traditional enterprise data center functions are located outside the enterprise data center than within it, in the form of cloud IaaS provider clouds, SaaS applications, and cloud storage. This reliance on cloud-based resources will only increase as IoT devices and edge computing become more commonplace. Still, legacy WAN security architectures will remain focused on enterprise data centers located on-premises.
Users connecting from remote locations typically use VPNs and require firewalls on each device or at each site. Traditional security models authenticate with centralized security that grants access and can also direct traffic through the centralized location. However, these outdated security architectures are inefficient and prone to delays.
Using SD-WAN-enabled SASE, end-users and devices are able to self-authenticate and have access to all resources they’re authorized to access while being shielded from external threats. In addition, they will have direct access to resources once they have successfully authenticated, eliminating latency issues.
Get SASE with Powerful SD-WAN
If you are still trying to compare SASE vs. SD-WAN, or if you have not made up your mind on which one is best for your business, we are here to assist you in making the right decision. BCM One’s experts will help you find the ideal SD-WAN solution for your organization to enable SASE. We have partnered with a variety of SD-WAN providers of each type to help you find a solution that meets your requirements.
SD-WAN solutions that implement SASE require highly qualified security analysts and a provider with a strong record of security. A scalable network plays an increasingly important role as organizations move toward a digital world. You can partner with BCM One, an experienced firm for the most professional SD-WAN services.
In addition to assessing your current infrastructure, we can build a service tailored to your needs. We can provide you with expert assistance and implement a wide range of technological solutions. Using BCM One, your communications networks will be streamlined and optimized to benefit from a simplified and integrated operation. Contact us today.