Secure access service edge (SASE) is currently a popular approach to network security, but many are still uncertain about the most effective way to implement it, particularly given the limitations of SD-WAN.
SASE marries network functionality with security to bring policy-driven inspections and protections to every facet of an enterprise IT environment. At the heart of this architectural paradigm shift, is the network. The evolution of software-defined networking has been instrumental in making SASE a reality.
Historically, SD-WAN has been used to connect branch offices and required teams of highly skilled internal staff to deploy and manage. As cloud infrastructure has risen, so has the need for more flexibility in network solutions.
With average deployments of just a handful of branches and limited support for public clouds, SD-WAN is, at best, a head start to the cloud-native network-as-a-service offering required for modern SASE solutions. The eventual solution to SASE networking challenges will look a lot more flexible than current SD-WAN solutions.
The Evolution of SD-WAN
Trustgrid Connect represents the evolution of SD-WAN technology. Based on a platform which integrates multipe capabilities, it is a next-gen SD-WAN but also integrates with end-user remote access functions and edge computing capabilities.
What does that mean? Trustgrid Connect is not simply a point solution… it is an extensible SD-WAN that can do far more than simply brach-to-branch WAN connectivity. It handles all of the core use cases of traditional SD-WAN (runs over standard internet connections, quality of service, traffic optimization, etc) but extends all of those capabilities to handle additional use cases.
- Vendor-to-Customer Connections – SASE architectures are tasked with securing ALL environments and must be flexible enough to address every possible IT scenario. Traditional SD-WANs typically depend on the control of both sides of the network. But what if you need ‘always on’ connectivity between an application you control and a customer or vendor’s environment? Due to the variability of environments and policies around 3rd party access, these connections become extremely difficult to configure and manage with typical SD-WANs. Trustgrid Connect is optimized for these situations, with mTLS tunnels, plug-and-play deployments and intuitive subnet management capabilities.
- Cloud-Native Networking – One of the central tenets of SASE is that it delivers its network security services from the cloud. Networking from the cloud is very different than connecting a branch office. Routing of traffic through multi-tenant environments, managing traffic hopping through a network of PoPs, and ensuring availability across multiple cloud regions not only exceeds the thresholds of many SD-WAN provider’s technologies but would require Bruce Lee-like technical abilities to manage. Trustgrid natively handles and automates many of these functions to create a network of connectivity across any environment that can be managed with minimal staff.
- Remote User Access – The end-user is the weakest link in any security approach. SASE architectures aim to close this gap by securing the end-user with Zero Trust Network Access. While SD-WANs have replaced VPN technologies for site to site connectivity, these same systems cannot be used to enable remote user access. This means that VPN equipment is often still employed to tunnel remote user traffic into the corporate data center to access to the enterprise applications that users need as they work from home. Trustgrid’s Zero Trust connectivity platform seamlessly handles both site to site connectivity (Trustgrid Connect) and remote user access (Trustgrid Remote Access) on the same technology stack. This simplifies every element of a network administrator’s job by giving single pane of glass management, visibility and support to all networking functions.
- Running Distributed Applications on the Network – Traditionally, security was run on bulky appliances installed at centralized data centers. Network traffic was back-hauled to inspection points before being ushered to a final destination. SASE architectures invert this model and push security to the edge. This requires running and managing security closer to the user. The Trustgrid platform is uniquely positioned for such an architecture due to its integration of networking capabilities with the ability to run containerized applications on its network nodes. This merging of capabilities means that application components can be deployed across any location but centrally orchestrated. This approach enables the full vision of SASE to come to life.
When combined with automated management, cloud support tools and compliance features, comparing Trustgrid Connect to a typical SD-WAN isn’t very fair to SD-WAN providers.