We caught up with Shashi Kiran, Chief Product Officer at Aryaka Networks, to talk about SASE, the effects of COVID-19, the benefits for an enterprise that is looking at a unified security and network solution and where the SD-WAN and SASE models are going in the coming years…
What is SASE from an enterprise’s standpoint?
Most enterprises don’t necessarily resonate with the buzzword yet, but can identify with the target architecture that a SASE solution wants to bring about, as a foundational element of their WAN infrastructure for the next decade. Simplistically, it is the coming together of the wide-area network in its various avatars, and security, being delivered as-a-service. It is not an easy target architecture and certainly not one that any single vendor can claim they have in a mature manner, regardless of the posturing. However, I see this evolving over the next 3-5 years in a meaningful manner.
Why do you think we are increasingly seeing a convergence between network and security solutions?
Today we see several point network solutions in the industry. It is the same with security, which is even more fragmented with different companies focused on some components of the security stack. Convergence therefore means at first bringing a greater degree of simplicity in the network components, as well as the security components, and to really achieve multiplicity, bring these two elements together. The driving force behind this is to achieve an architecture that is simple and more agile. As-a-service delivery approaches advocate consumption models and are predicated to help manage change better in today’s dynamic environments. If vendors own the complexity of convergence, they can deliver a more seamless experience and this makes it easier for customers to really put the focus where it needs to be – on their business!
Has the current WFH situation increased the speed of this convergence?
Work from home has always been an option for several companies and workers. However, the current situation with Covid-19 has meant that the entire operational model as well as business models have been disrupted. Whether it increases the speed of convergence or not, time will tell. It has put the spotlight on simpler solutions that work on manageability and managed as-a-service models, as well as flexible approaches that enable better change management. Cloud-first and as-a-service solutions are certainly preferred in such cases. The current WFH situation will drive a re-think of the optimal mix of sites to workers and may overhaul the workplace as we know it today.
What are the biggest benefits for an enterprise that is looking at a unified security and network solution?
Enterprises should never be in the business of stitching together disparate solutions from vendors, managing fragmented SLAs or expending a lot of resources on do-it-yourself deployments. If the cost structure works out, demanding that every aspect of their network and security be delivered as-a-service with unified service level agreements (SLAs) will ensure that vendors and providers take ownership of abstracting the complexity, versus thrusting it on enterprise CIOs. At the same time, true unification is a bit utopian today, despite all the headlines that may scream otherwise. Both network and security are complex in their own ways, and to truly integrate them and drive convergence, a “best-of-breed” is going to be a work in progress for several years. Enterprises should be well aware of how their own business needs are evolving and map a target architecture and service model based on that rather than follow a hype pathway.
Where does Aryaka see the SD-WAN and SASE models going in the coming years?
Aryaka has a best-of-breed managed SD-WAN solution that is built on cloud-first principles and is truly delivered as-a-service. The focus is on end-to-end experience and unified global SLAs with our global private network that is architected as a multi-cloud services fabric, our service edges with the ANAPs and of course the end-to-end managed service delivery. All this has WAN optimisation baked in from our service edges and through our global points-of-presence (POPs). We are augmenting this with best-of-breed security and really giving choice to customers. We recognise that most enterprises don’t have a clean-slate design and therefore make an effort to accommodate complexity in its various forms and deliver an integrated architecture that’s fully managed for network and security. We will continue to evolve this and strengthen our SD-WAN as well as SASE offerings in the coming years to be one of the best in the industry.