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The perfect match: Why SD-WAN is the foundation of SASE



In today's ever-evolving business landscape, robust network security is paramount. However, outdated, inflexible network management and security solutions fall short of meeting the necessary level of protection, especially in the face of emerging technologies like the cloud. With that, it’s time to consider upgrading to the powerful combination of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

SD-WAN and SASE are cutting-edge technologies that offer advanced approaches to managing WAN connectivity and providing a game-changing security framework. SD-WAN unleashes the network’s full potential by dynamically routing traffic over the most efficient connections available. Meanwhile, SASE is a relatively new concept that is gaining much attention because it offers innovative solutions for today's security challenges. It adds multiple layers of security measures, but for it to work, it needs a cloud-based network that SD-WAN provides. 

Say goodbye to complexity and management headaches with this holistic security solution. Discover why SD-WAN and SASE perfectly fit a secure, high-performance network. 

Understanding SASE 

With the rise of cloud-based solutions and remote work, companies have faced multiple challenges ensuring secure access to their data and applications. Migrating to the cloud, managing and reskilling remote employees, automating customer support—these and other tasks made traditional hub-and-spoke WAN architecture insufficient. They have created a need for a more secure and flexible network infrastructure that can adapt to evolving security threats. 

This is where SASE comes in. 

Gartner first described SASE in the 2019 report The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud. As a modular framework, SASE combines 4 network security functions with network technologies (like SD-WAN) into a unified cloud-based service. SASE integrates these security components, which can be gradually added to your network: 

  • Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) help you achieve your security objectives while enabling secure access to cloud-based applications and services.
  • Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) help provide visibility and control over cloud applications and data, critical elements of SASE. Using a CASB, you can ensure your cloud environments are secure and compliant while enabling secure access to cloud resources from anywhere and on any device.
  • Zero-trust Network Access (ZTNAs) ensures access control is based on identity and context rather than location or network perimeter. This helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks and guarantees that only authorized users and devices can access company resources.
  • Firewalls (FWaaS) help to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, blocking any traffic that does not meet specified security criteria. 

This approach enables secure access to cloud-based applications from any device, location or network and enforces security policies based on user identity, device posture and application requirements. 

SASE ensures your employees can securely access the applications they need using any device, from anywhere, without risking enterprise safety.

SASE represents the next-generation network infrastructure, combining security functionalities with WAN technologies to address the challenges brought on by the digital transformation era. Its adoption is poised to grow in the coming years as enterprises seek to secure their networks and improve productivity. 

Understanding SD-WAN 

SD-WAN is a revolutionary approach to managing wide-area networks that enhances network performance, agility and scalability. Unlike traditional WANs, SD-WAN utilizes software-based control and virtualization to enable centralized management, visibility, and automation of network traffic. 

Key benefits include: 

  • Distributing traffic across the network: By leveraging multiple access options such as FTTP, Cable, Mobile Data (LTE), SD-WAN can distribute traffic across the network, reducing congestion and ensuring mission-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and priority.
  • Real-time traffic monitoring and redirection: SD-WAN provides real-time traffic monitoring and application-aware routing with special tools like Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization by VMware SD-WAN. These tools allow companies to optimize network performance based on the current needs of applications. Also, SD-WAN dynamically directs traffic over optimal paths to enhance network efficiency. 


Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization by VMware SD-WAN 

  • Handling multiple types of traffic (voice, video and data): SD-WAN is designed to efficiently handle diverse types of traffic while prioritizing them based on specific business requirements. SD-WAN achieves this through its intelligent traffic management capabilities.  

Gone are the days of high operational costs and complex deployments. SD-WAN ensures consistent performance of critical business applications, leading to a better user experience and increased productivity for your employees. With SD-WAN's capability, organizations can achieve comprehensive and continuous connectivity across multiple clouds, branches, data centers and remote locations. 

Read more about the potential of SD-WAN in our blog post SD-WAN Benefits: Top 7 Advantages for Multi-Location Companies. 

SD-WAN as the foundation of SASE 

In recent years, SD-WAN has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility and cost-effectiveness in connecting remote locations and cloud-based resources. At the same time, SASE completely changes the network security landscape due to its cloud-based approach. 

SASE is becoming a new benchmark in the network security world. But to adopt SASE, one has to implement SD-WAN first. It is a starting point in building a state-of-the-art network security system.

So why is SD-WAN the perfect foundation for SASE? Key reasons include:  

1. Employees connected from anywhere

For SASE to work, workers need to be connected, but in today’s reality, they can be almost anywhere. Highly scalable and adaptable, SD-WAN easily connects remote workers to cloud-based resources. It allows you to extend your network to them and cloud-based applications without relying on traditional, more rigid networking technologies. 

2. High performance and traffic prioritization

SASE demands more than just connectivity. To ensure its performance, the applications are required to run flawlessly, be always available and secure. SD-WAN ensures the network is highly resilient and performs optimally, even during peak traffic. Its traffic prioritization based on business requirements and security policies enhances overall network performance while improving security.  

The dynamic nature of the software-defined overlay, in combination with the built-in security and resilient connectivity, makes SD-WAN a natural fit to fill in the complex connectivity and routing requirements of modern applications. You can gradually add security functions over time, providing a more gradual and cost-effective approach to network security. You can deploy additional security features, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, prevention systems, etc. 

Your business needs a robust network and IT security foundation 

Don't let outdated network solutions hold your business back. Now more than ever it's critical to have an infrastructure that can adapt to changing needs.

We can help with that. GoCo utilizes SD-WAN and SASE to help you achieve improved network performance, enhanced security and increased efficiency. Learn more about GoCo’s technologies that maximize network security in your company. 

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