For a while, it’s bothered me how SD-WAN seems to do a lot of things so right and, yet, get so many things wrong. On the positive side, SD-WAN lets us use the right network for the right problem. Need more capacity? SD-WAN lets you use broadband. Need redundant pathing? SD-WAN lets you use 4G last mile. Still, want MPLS? SD-WAN can accommodate that as well.
But when it comes to the other needs of the modern business, mobility comes to mind, SD-WAN is strangely quiet. There’s no accommodation for mobile users. Security is out of scope for SD-WAN. The cloud is sort of supported with some engineering. And what about IoT devices coming down the pipe?
It’s quite clear to me at least that SD-WAN is only part of the answer to the larger problem of enterprise connectivity. The other part is to find a way to gracefully incorporate these other components into a single, holistic architecture.
Now a report from Gartner is giving as good articulation as any about this architecture of the future. The secure access service edge (SASE; pronounced “SASSY”) describes in detail how networking and security will converge in the cloud. You can read more about what is SASE and my views on SASE the approach over here.
Already companies are rallying around the SASE banner. Cato Networks today announced that it was selected as a “Sample Vendor” by Gartner in the Hype Cycle. Cato isn’t alone. Jay Chaudhry, Chairman and CEO of zScaler, talked about SASE in the company’s recent earnings call. Barracuda introduced Release 8 of its CloudGen Firewall. More will follow.