Adopt SASE to Take Your SD-WAN to the Next Level

Fortifying your security is essential—and SASE is a holistic approach to modern networking and security for multicloud organizations

Eric Olinger
Adopt SASE to Take Your SD-WAN to the Next Level

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) adoption is on the rise. In the third quarter of 2022, SASE saw 33% revenue growth—a pattern that’s expected to continue this year.[1] In fact, Gartner® describes SASE as a top trend impacting infrastructure and operations in 2023. Gartner forecasts that total worldwide end-user spending on SASE will reach $9.2 billion in 2023, a 39% increase from 2022.[2]

We shouldn’t be surprised about this uptick in SASE adoption. Security risks have increased, and organizations want to strengthen their security posture. After all, nobody wants to risk being in the spotlight due to a data breach. The evolution of IT toward more dispersed infrastructure, edge computing and distributed workforces widens the potential attack surface, making it even more important to fortify your IT security. If you’ve already implemented SD-WAN in your organization, adopting SASE is a logical next step to crafting a comprehensive security and networking strategy.

Why has SASE become so important?

Companies already know that bolstering their security is imperative. Cyberattacks have become more frequent, sophisticated and costly. The global average total cost of a data breach was $4.35 million in 2022—up 13% from 2020.[3] You now need to secure more users and devices across more locations, including outside the company firewall. Migration to hybrid cloud, multicloud and distributed architectures further increases demand for modern security solutions, since securing a cloud environment is fundamentally different from securing a centralized data center. Each cloud provider has different tools and procedures for security—and they don’t transfer between providers.

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SD-WAN is an innovative networking advancement, supporting requirements for cloud connectivity—making networks more affordable and resilient. It has provided real operational returns and the capability to commoditize connectivity mediums. But there’s still a need for traffic flows to be able to traverse private connectivity for performance and security reasons. With the imperative to improve security, it’s time to move forward and apply additional security to our networking solutions.

SASE, where SD-WAN meets cloud security

Many organizations have already implemented an SD-WAN strategy. SASE is its next evolution, integrating security into the enterprise WAN. SASE is, fundamentally, a strategy—a comprehensive approach to networking and security. And it’s a much better fit for securing hybrid multicloud environments using a zero-trust security framework.

Your SASE strategy should encompass networking and security to support remote workers, any facilities you operate today, and your existing and future cloud providers.

We won’t go into detail here, but see my previous blog post for more information on the technical components of a holistic SASE solution, which include:

  • SD-WAN, including private backbone connections
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection
  • Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB)
  • Secure web gateway (SWG)
  • Zero-trust network access (ZTNA)

Together, these components enable a transformative security model, allowing users access only to what is trustworthy.

Interconnecting and securing your infrastructure—starting with the digital core

As organizations adopt more cloud and SaaS solutions, they need the right core infrastructure to support them. The network is foundational—the underpinning to enable a hybrid multicloud reality. Thus, network modernization is a crucial step for establishing efficient traffic flows, low latency and agility in multicloud environments. In a SASE design, remote sites hone into regionalized digital edge locations, also known as “front doors,” with appropriate connectivity to support business requirements, and remote users can access secure private and public cloud resources at one or more of these edge locations.

As you connect cloud providers and deploy resources in cloud environments, giving access to users and customers, you need SASE controls in place. But how do you take the next step toward achieving successful SASE in your company?

Most likely, different stakeholders in your organization—C-suite leaders, networking teams, security teams and data center teams—have different, valuable perspectives on how to address your most critical networking and security priorities. To implement a holistic SASE solution, you need to bring all these teams together for a meeting of the minds—enabling them to collaboratively identify goals and business outcomes, explore potential solutions and deploy SASE as a united team with a shared purpose. SASE touches on many areas of the business, and no individual team should embark on it alone.

Enabling SASE with Equinix

While a lot has changed in the last decade, we’ll always need infrastructure that supports the business, and that infrastructure needs to be integrated into your overall security strategy. SASE is gaining traction, and it’s far more than just another acronym to assimilate in your IT strategy. It’s an opportunity to explore your networking and security and devise a more holistic approach to both.

Platform Equinix® is the ideal crossroads where private cloud meets public cloud. Equinix provides SASE on-ramps via our Network Edge services—including virtual firewalls and SD-WAN—as well as cloud interconnection via Equinix Fabric®. SASE deployment at Equinix offers numerous benefits:

  • Network as a Service for SASE backbones
  • Agility to build digital infrastructure in minutes
  • Optimal latency to cloud and SaaS providers
  • Lower connectivity costs
  • Fewer egress points to monitor
  • Lower egress fees from cloud providers
  • Fewer security instances to support multicloud deployments
  • Digital toolsets that can be orchestrated with automation

We also have the experience and insight to help your enterprise think through, plan for and ultimately achieve success with SASE. Equinix Global Solutions Architects offer a workshop specifically designed to guide teams through the path to network modernization. Our Cloud Optimization Workshop provides valuable insights into network modernization, SASE design, cloud and SaaS integration. And at the conclusion, you’ll have a report showing you how to get it done.

Learn more about the Cloud Optimization Workshop.


[1] Strong Enterprise Demand Drives SASE Growth 33 Percent in 3Q 2022, According to Dell’Oro Group: Enterprise Spend to Remain Vigorous in 2023 and Drive the Market to $8B, Dell’Oro Group, December 15, 2022.

[2] Gartner Identifies the Top Trends Impacting Infrastructure and Operations for 2023, Gartner Press Release, December 8, 2022.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

[3] Cost of a data breach 2022, IBM.

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