Gartner: Where Do I Start With SASE Evaluations: SD-WAN, SSE, Single-Vendor SASE, or Managed SASE?

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If you’re starting your SASE evaluation journey, Gartner is here to assist. In a new helpful guide, they delineate how organizations can build their SASE strategy and shortlist vendors. In this blog post, we bring a short recap of their analysis. You can read the entire document here.

Quick Reminder: What is SASE?

Gartner defined SASE as the convergence of networking and network security into a single, global, cloud-native solution.

How to Start Evaluating SASE

Here are Gartner’s recommendations:

Step 1: Build a Long Term SASE Strategy

Your strategy should aim to consolidate point solutions and identify a single SASE vendor (combining networking and security) or two partnering vendors (one for networking, one for security). Solutions can be self-service or out-sourced as a managed service.

Step 2: Shortlist Vendors

Identify the use cases driving your transition to SASE. This will ensure you shortlist the right type of providers. Otherwise, you might find yourself with unused features and/or missing functionalities.

Drivers may include:

  • Modernizing the WAN edge – Including branch network modernization, implementing a cloud first strategy, network simplification, and more. In this case, it is recommended to start with SD-WAN and add SSE when the organization is ready.
  • Improving security – Including advanced security controls for employees, services and data protection. In this case, it is recommended to start with SSE and augment with SD-WAN when the organization is ready.
  • Reducing the operational overhead of managing network and security, including unified management and easy procurements. In this case, it is recommended to start with managed SASE or single-vendor SASE.
Gartner® Report: Where Do I Start With SASE Evaluations: SD-WAN, SSE, Single-Vendor SASE, or Managed SASE? | Download the Report

Step 3: Understand the 4 Markets

There are four potential markets with vendors that can help implement SASE.

  • SD-WAN – When the organization prioritizes replacing or upgrading network features. Security features can be added natively or via a partnership.
  • Single-vendor SASE – When the organization has a unified networking and security vision for transitioning to SASE, and prioritizes integration, procurement simplicity and unified management.
  • SSE – When the organization prioritizes best-of-breed security features. SSE can be integrated with an existing SD-WAN provider.
  • Managed SASE – When the organization has a strategic approach to outsourcing. The setup and configuration of SASE are outsourced to their MSP, MSSP, or ISP. 

Step 4: Verify Vendor Claims

  • Ensure vendors can support SASE and do not have gaps in their offering.
  • Prioritize automation and orchestration. This will ensure long-term cyber resilience.
  • For Managed SASE, only choose a provider with single-vendor or dual-vendor SASE solutions.
  • Understand the SASE capabilities to make sure it fits your requirements.
  • If you are investing in solutions that are subsets of SASE functionality, like stand-alone ZTNA, SWG, or CASB, Gartner recommends limiting the investments and keeping them tactical, shorter-term and at lower costs.

Read the entire guide here.

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