Innovation at the Edge

June 14, 2022

How SD-WANs Generate True Business Value in a Work from Anywhere SASE World

Digital transformation of our society has been greatly accelerated by the onset of COVID-19. Some of the most notable alterations have come to how businesses operate as they aim to sustain themselves and compete post-pandemic. Adapting to the scenario that organizations were forced into, they introduced a variety of digital alternatives to their typical operations, such as virtual workforces and supply chains to support remote working. Key to the success of these new methods was reliable connectivity integrated with ubiquitous communication and collaboration.

To provide this sustained service capable of dealing with the increased traffic caused by remote users, companies have begun increasingly opting for SASE architectures with Gartner expecting at least 40% of enterprises to adopt SASE-based strategies by 2024, a markup from less than 1% at year-end 2018. Offering a host of innovative user, data, and network security features, SASE capably produces secure access to an organization's employees, regardless of where devices or users are located. Four of the key security features provided are:

  • Secure Web Gateway (News - Alert) (SWG) allows corporations to monitor and filter web traffic while protecting users from any web-based security risks.
  • Replacing VPN access security, zero-trust network access (ZTNA) provides seamless application security through device and user authentication that use granular policies that allow for complete configurable control
  • Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) enhances the ability of organizations to enforce policies by providing network visibility.
  • Delivered as a cloud-based service, Firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) is a firewall solution incorporating next-generation capabilities to stop intrusions and threats across the network.

While SASE continuing its surge in popularity, a key parallel technology, SD-WAN remains a critical component of digital transformation that allows enterprises to leverage a variety of services to connect devices, applications, and users reliably. From ensuring Quality of Services (QoS) in communications, to constructing a cloud onramp, SD-WAN promises the reliable, secure connectivity being demanded by users requiring a consistent service.

“The SD-WAN market has grown dramatically for many good reasons,” said Indrajit “I.G.” Ghosh, founder and CEO of ConnX. “Working with partners including Juniper, AudioCodes (News - Alert), and more, we’ve been able to go way beyond traditional SD-WANs by supporting highly distributed, very large enterprises with intelligence at the edge which leads to fine-grained automation, control, and both security and service assurance in a single solution. Today, we are in a completely different realm and are harnessing data collected at the edge all the way to each device registered to the network and the related applications and services. Traditional SD-WANs don’t go nearly that far, and even the SASE approach doesn’t drive better business outcomes when abstracted from what really matters: are employees productive, are customers immediately served, are financial investments in technology delivering the right ROIs? We look at this topic from a business benefit point of view, which has been key to our massive growth during the pandemic when it was urgent to keep our customers operating and even thriving.”

By utilizing both SD-WAN and SASE in conjunction, their complementary capabilities can combine to create an exceedingly scalable and reliable remote connectivity solution that boasts an array of security elements, providing a conclusive package. Some of the ways using an SD-WAN foundation for a SASE network can prove advantageous include:

  • Enterprise-grade security delivered across any physical network link
  • Compatible with any wired or wireless internet connection, SD-WAN can react in real-time to network quality and congestion with dynamic path selection, and load-balancing traffic across uplinks.
  • Simplified and centralized management of endpoint configuration and the network, allowing for more comprehensive monitoring and traffic policies

“Monitoring, management, and reporting are table stakes today,” Ghosh explained. “Service assurance and network visibility are expected, and at very high levels. What is motivating our customers to move to their next network is the massive move to the cloud and the edge at the same time. It’s no longer just about communications, it is about computing and services that drive more competitiveness – more revenue – more profitability – so teams working from anywhere and everywhere can make a difference in the top and bottom lines, and this cannot happen without the adoption of advanced data generation, collection, analysis, and above all, Business Intelligence. We’ll be demonstrating a new solution we’ve moved from the lab into initial deployments next week in Ft. Lauderdale which will change the way the business units within large enterprises understand what is truly happening as employees engage with customers and each other – communication, collaborating and becoming more competitive in the new world.”

Covering this topic on June 21 is the CEO of ConnX, Indrajit Ghosh, at MSP Expo, part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW at ITEXPO on the panel ‘SD-WAN in a SASE World’. Here he will be explaining the critical importance of SD-WAN as it aligns with the increasingly SASE environment. He will be joined by Bernard Breton, CEO of Adaptiv Networks (News - Alert), and Paul Congdon, Tallac CTO.

Edited by Erik Linask

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