There are many acronyms in the world of IT, and SASE – the Secure Access Service Edge – is one of the latest that is gaining traction. It comes from a Gartner report published a year ago, and has been gathering strength ever since.
The report is entitled ‘The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud’, and in it, the global research and advisory firm introduces the term to describe the need for the combination of wide-area network (WAN) transformation together with security transformation at the edge, to enable enterprises to realise all the benefits of moving applications and workloads to the cloud.
This is according to a recent Silver Peak blog written by Derek Granath, Silver Peak VP of product marketing, who explains that SASE (pronounced ‘sassy’) involves a certain amount of network transformation. He says, “From a network architecture perspective, the SASE model advocates a greatly simplified WAN edge, placing only the network functions required at the edge, ideally within a single platform that unifies… SD-WAN, routing, stateful zone-based firewall, advanced segmentation, WAN optimisation and application visibility and control.”
Marcel Fouché, Networking and Storage General Manager at Networks Unlimited Africa, the distributor for Silver Peak in Sub-Saharan Africa, notes that in order to fully enable SASE, basic SD-WAN functionality falls short, and an advanced SD-WAN is required.
He adds, “The shift to a dramatically increased working-from-home situation has of course been a major driver for SASE. Traditional network and security architectures backhaul cloud-destined traffic to the data centre, which adds latency – the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer – and this, in turn, impairs cloud application performance.
“The question was therefore asked: why not have security come to the traffic, rather than have traffic going to security? Asking this question acknowledges that having traffic going to security creates a situation that drives inefficiency, adds cost, and forces traffic into a bottleneck.”
“Why not send cloud-destined traffic directly to the cloud and why not do so using the internet together with cloud-delivered security services?” Granath asks “That’s what SASE addresses both in terms of transforming networking architecture and security architecture. …When applications are hosted everywhere, and users access them from anywhere and from any device (only exacerbated by the huge increase in remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the traditional security model must adapt.”
Concludes Fouché, “SASE is arguably not really new, but rather a new description for a methodology that organisations have been adopting as the IT world moves towards cloud- and mobile-environments as they steer their way through new security issues. Silver Peak offers an open WAN edge platform that provides enterprises with the freedom of choice to easily evaluate and integrate with any cloud-delivered security service, avoiding vendor lock-in.”
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