SDWAN, SASE and SSE for Decision Makers

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SDWAN, SASE and SSE for Decision Makers

Introduction

 

Most businesses struggle to identify the optimal technology with regards to TCO, and ROI. With over 17 years of experience working with huge conglomerates in Sri Lanka, I believe that this article will assist you in selecting the proper technology and maximizing its benefits.

 

Choosing the right technology for your network can be a complex decision. This article will introduce you to SD-WAN, SASE, and SSE, three acronyms you might encounter during your search of information.

 

Selecting the optimal solution can significantly improve user experience, reduce costs, and enhance network security. Studies have shown that implementing the right network technology can lead to cost savings of up to 20% and performance improvements of up to 30%.

 

Therefore, this post is for individuals who are at a loss for the right answer after extensive discussions with all suppliers and completion of all demos and proof of concepts.

 

Understanding the Options

 

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network):

 

Let’s consider a business looking to enhance its network infrastructure where the majority of workloads were concentrated in data centers, and customers needed a performance-enhancing solution that included QoS, LB, VPN, and application compression.

 

SD-WAN might be appealing due to its efficient use of multiple network connections optimizing network performance by intelligently managing connections across multiple providers (MPLS, broadband, etc.) and improves flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

 

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge):

 

As business applications moved to SaaS models and the public cloud became more user-friendly, businesses lowered their on-premises resources even further. This was perfectly linked with employees working more from home or at a client location.

 

SASE Combines networking and security functionalities into a cloud-delivered service. It provides secure access to cloud applications, protects against online threats, and simplifies network management.

 

A SASE platform can be divided in two.

 

  1. The SSE slice aims to unify security services such as SWG, ZTNA, CASB, FwaaS.
  2. The WAN edge slice focuses on networking services such as SDN, WAN optimization, quality of service (QoS), and other methods of optimizing cloud app routing.

Choosing the Right Solution

 

Choosing between SD-WAN and SASE can be overwhelming, especially with the additional consideration of SSE. Here’s a simplified approach to guide your decision:

According on my previous experience designing and implementing a SDWAN/SASE solution, I recommend that you follow the simple steps outlined below to select the best solution for your organization.

If your workloads are entirely on-premises and you prioritize user experience, cost savings, and efficient internet usage at branch offices, SD-WAN is the ideal choice.

 

If your workloads are in a hybrid model (on-premises and cloud) and securing remote access and cloud services is critical, SASE offers a comprehensive solution. Given that most organizations are transitioning to cloud-based models, SASE is becoming increasingly relevant.

 

Selecting the Right SASE Solution

 

Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating SASE solutions. Because most organizations are in this phase of development, I’ll provide a few guidelines for selecting the right SASE solution

 

  • Ease of implementation: Look for solutions that are easy to deploy and manage, with features like application-based URL filtering, user-based security rules, and integration with Active Directory.
  • Cloud provider options: Choose a solution that integrates with your preferred cloud platform (AWS, GCP, Azure).
  • Scalability: Ensure the solution can adapt to your organization’s growing needs.
  • Security features: Evaluate functionalities like Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to ensure comprehensive protection for your cloud environment.
  • User experience: Consider factors like roaming capabilities and the number of “hops” users encounter when accessing resources, which can impact performance.
  • Licensing management: Choose a solution with a user-friendly licensing system.

Conclusion

The decision between SD-WAN, SASE and SSE ultimately depends on your organization’s specific needs and future goals. Carefully evaluate factors like initial investment, deployment costs, ongoing maintenance, scalability, security features, and long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI).

 

Consulting with IT specialists throughout this process is highly recommended to ensure selection of the right technology that offers the optimal balance of cost and value for your organization.

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