SASE Series, Part 1: SD-WAN’s New “SASE” Friend


SASE, pronounced “sassy”, is an acronym for secure access service edge. This acronym represents a new concept. Broken down in its simplest form, SASE is a combination of existing technology approaches integrated with each other for improved digital infrastructure.

SASE is a relatively new concept promoted by Gartner, defined by the company as “an architectural transformation of enterprise networking and security that enables IT to provide a holistic, agile and adaptable service to the digital business.”

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This definition opens the door for a number of different aspects of SASE to get involved with SD-WAN. The marriage of enterprise networking and improved security infrastructure for said network are increasing in popularity in today’s age of technology.

To a Managed Service Provider like Hughes, the potential of SD-WAN paired with SASE is exciting. By combining these technologies, SASE offers the ability to provide additional benefits to an SD-WAN solution. There are a few different ways in which SASE and SD-WAN work better together. The primary way is by ensuring that security is rolled into the network and enabled for any type of endpoint. This secures each device instead of just securing the network itself.

Another way is by facilitating the network through a “cloud-native” environment. Having the cloud as a host adds flexibility and security to your network simultaneously. A secure SD-WAN network successfully deploys the latest firewall technologies, offering greater control of prioritizing apps, guest wi-fi services, and more.

SASE essentially provides the same capabilities as a heightened WAN service, with additional network security measures and cloud access. The edge-based digital infrastructure companies need to support the current SaaS and cloud applications is in need of a more agile and service-oriented application chaining. SASE better services this, and can also reduce the threat to your network from remote employees or personnel that work from home.

Managed Security Service Providers have extensive experience delivering security to the edge in a distributed world as well as multi-thousand site SD-WAN implementations and are familiar with the challenges of meshing both together. Orchestrating and delivering a SASE fabric is a resource-intensive and complex exercise as it will likely require agents to be deployed & managed at legacy or thick endpoints. This is again a capability set that MSPs and MSSPs have implemented for years. 

While SASE is still a brand new concept, evolving more each day, Hughes is in a great position to begin thinking about and planning for SASE pairing with Managed SD-WAN in the future. As this SASE fabric begins to take shape, and policy enforcement tightens access, the complexity of management will be a challenge. MSPs have experience scaling such offerings and will therefore be best positioned to take this on. As a Managed Service Provider, Hughes is uniquely positioned to deliver on SASE based on our deep understanding of the underlay circuits and their performance behavior. This, coupled with our knowledge of the SD-WAN overlay needed to provide application assurance, all tied together by our commitment to delivering an end-to-end security envelope that protects the entire network to include end-point protection, UTM services, SIEM and application monitoring—is the core of what Hughes delivers.

Additionally, each SASE location requires an SD-WAN connection in order to bring traffic into the SASE cloud. Your Managed SD-WAN powers this connection for your enterprise, and makes sure you don’t have to turn to different vendors to find a solution.

SASE paired with SD-WAN is all about having everything needed for your network in one place. Say goodbye to having multiple providers for each feature your network requires. Using the cloud offers a more secure way to manage your network, whether your employees are accessing it from the office or remote locations. MSPs with aggregation and strong provider relationships will do the best job at bringing the connectivity where and when it’s required to connect users to applications from all locations.

Hughes has always focused on delivering a stable and high-performing digital infrastructure that functions as a service for the business, which is the crux of what SASE aspires to deliver.


About the Author


Jeff Bradbury works across markets to help distributed organizations identify trends that are driving digital transformation and adopt technologies critical to connecting their customers, employees, and locations.