SD-WAN vs. SASE: How They Work Together

When it comes to connectivity for your business, nothing is more important than ensuring that you always have fast and reliable internet access. But simply having high-speed internet isn't enough – you also need security and performance features to keep your data safe and ensure that your applications run smoothly. This is where SD-WAN and SASE come in. 

SD-WAN provides the foundation of connectivity with its robust technology for establishing fast and secure connections. At the same time, SASE adds enterprise-grade security and application performance features that can't be matched by other services. Together, these tools form a powerful combination that can help improve any business's efficiency and performance. 

What is SD-WAN? 

SD-WAN represents a paradigm shift in networking technologies designed to overcome the limitations of traditional WANs. Traditional WANs can be difficult and time-consuming to manage due to their reliance on complex hardware and complex configuration protocols. In contrast, SD-WAN is software-driven, making its administration simpler and more flexible. This allows businesses to easily adapt their network configurations as their needs evolve, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings. 

At its core, SD-WAN leverages advanced software algorithms and intelligent traffic routing strategies to deliver superior performance at dramatically lower costs than traditional WANs. Using these cutting-edge technologies, SD-WAN allows businesses to easily monitor real-time network activity from anywhere in the world and effortlessly optimize network infrastructure based on changing weather conditions or traffic volume spikes. Overall, SD-WAN has become an essential tool for managing modern networks, enabling businesses from all industries to thrive in the digital age. 


What is SASE? 

SASE, or secure access service edge, is a cloud-based security architecture consolidating multiple security functions including firewall as a service (FWaaS), web security, identity and access management (IAM), and data loss prevention (DLP) into a single, integrated platform. 

This comprehensive approach to security helps businesses protect their data from a wide range of threats. In addition, SASE provides granular visibility into network activity, allowing businesses to quickly identify and respond to potential security threats. 


How SD-WAN and SASE Work Together 

Although both SD-WAN and SASE play important roles in modern networking, when used together they can create a truly transformative experience for companies of all sizes. SD-WAN provides fast and reliable connectivity needed to support cloud-based applications and services. At the same time, SASE adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that data is protected from both internal and external threats. Furthermore, by consolidating multiple security functions into a single platform, SASE reduces the complexity of managing network security, making it easier for businesses to keep their data safe. 


Benefits of Using SD-WAN and SASE Together 

There are many benefits to using SD-WAN and SASE together, including: 

  • Increased agility and flexibility: SD-WAN and SASE are software-based solutions that can be quickly and easily deployed without complex hardware or configuration. This allows businesses to rapidly adapt their network infrastructure as their needs change, increasing agility and flexibility. 
  • Improved performance: SD-WAN uses advanced algorithms to optimize network traffic, while SASE provides granular visibility into network activity. This combination of features helps businesses identify and resolve potential performance issues quickly and easily, improving overall performance. 
  • Reduced costs: SD-WAN can help reduce the cost of WAN by up to 90%, while SASE can help reduce the cost of security infrastructure by up to 50%.  
  • Simplified administration: SASE consolidates multiple security functions into a single, integrated platform, dramatically simplifying network security administration. This reduced complexity can help save businesses time and money by reducing the need for specialized staff or training. 


The Challenges of Integrating SD-WAN and SASE 

Despite the many benefits of using SD-WAN and SASE together, there are a few challenges that need to be considered when integrating these two solutions: 

  • Implementation and management complexity: One of the biggest challenges of using SD-WAN and SASE together is the increased complexity of implementation and management. Both solutions need to be deployed and configured correctly to work properly, which can add significant complexity to your network infrastructure.  
  • Increased costs: While SD-WAN and SASE can both help reduce the overall cost of your WAN and security infrastructure, the initial cost of implementing these solutions can be significant. In addition, the increased complexity of implementing and managing these solutions can also lead to increased costs. 
  • Lack of standardization: There is currently no standard way to integrate SD-WAN and SASE, meaning each supplier has its own proprietary solution. This lack of standardization can make it difficult for businesses to compare different suppliers and find the best solution for their needs. 
  • Increased security risks: While SASE can help improve the security of your network, it also introduces new risks that need to be managed. For example, if your SASE solution is not properly configured, attackers could bypass your security policies and gain access to your data. In addition, SASE also requires businesses to have a clear understanding of their network traffic to properly configure security policies. If your business does not have this expertise, you could be putting your data at risk. 


The Bottom Line 

SD-WAN and SASE are both powerful solutions that can help businesses improve the performance and security of their networks. However, these solutions need to be carefully planned and implemented in order to avoid increasing complexity and costs. In addition, the lack of standardization among suppliers can make it difficult to compare different solutions and find the best one for your needs. With that said, if your business is looking for a way to improve the performance and security of your network, SD-WAN and SASE could be the right solution for you. 

If you're looking for a comprehensive way to improve the performance and security of your network, TBI can help. Contact us today to learn more about our SD-WAN and SASE solutions.