IT pros need to weigh in on that ‘sassy’ security model

The secure-access service edge (SASE) model developed by Gartner ties into SD-WAN, edge computing and SD-Branch, so it warrants attention from networking teams.

access control / authentication / privileges / security / key
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Cloud services that provide both network and security intelligence are gaining popularity because they are easy to consume and they improve agility. Similarly, a model known as SD-Branch is providing network and security functionality at the WAN edge on a single platform.

Both of these trends have contributed to the development by Gartner of a network architecture known as the secure-access service edge or SASE, which “converges network (for example, software-defined WAN) and network security services (such as [secure web gateways], [cloud access security brokers] and firewall as a service).” SASE (pronounced “sassy”) would primarily be delivered as a cloud-based service, Gartner says.

This model is gaining awareness among enterprise IT leaders, and it has the potential to become a leading architecture at the edge during the 2020’s, but these leaders should be cautious about jumping immediately on the SASE bandwagon.

The status of SASE

Today, SASE is an intellectual discussion; it is not a market, and comprehensive solutions are not currently available. The breadth of technology required to deliver SASE means that suppliers have incomplete offerings, often with limited integration between elements such as LAN, WAN and security. Dozens of vendors are positioning themselves as SASE suppliers, but none is likely to emerge as a clear leader in the next two years.

How to deliver SASE remains in flux, with traditional network hardware, network software, services and cloud-based solutions all part of the equation. Most IT organizations will need the help of strong partners to implement SASE fully, and these potential partners have work to do.

Large suppliers have broad technology capabilities but are slow moving.  Innovative smaller suppliers have limited resources and are likely acquisition candidates. Managed service providers, communications service providers and channel partners will need to greatly enhance their converged edge solutions to meet this demand.

Why SASE?

Cloud and SaaS adoption by enterprises has changed network traffic patterns, requiring fundamental change in network and security architectures.

As Gartner notes, the role of the enterprise data center has changed dramatically. More user traffic goes to cloud services than to those data centers, and more workloads run in IaaS than the data centers. Cloud services contain more sensitive data than

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