Silver Peak, the global SD-WAN leader that was recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, now has an even greater ability to help enterprises successfully transform their wide area network (WAN) and security architectures, and advance their digital transformation. This includes the ability for enterprises and their employees to connect to business applications from anywhere in a safe and secure manner.
This is according to Silver Peak founder David Hughes, who writes in a blog entry that, “With so many exciting advancements in WAN edge technologies, including the acceleration of IoT adoption, advancements in automation and AI along with new transport technologies emerging, we’re continuing to accelerate the transformation of the network edge.”
Hughes names a number of predictions for the coming year that he believes will enable enterprises to fully realise the transformational promise of the cloud, while propelling them toward the Silver Peak vision for a self-driving WAN.
Enterprises will navigate a new path to the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE): The term SASE (pronounced ‘sassy’) describes the need for the combination of both WAN and security transformation at the edge, to enable enterprises to realise all the benefits of moving applications and workloads to the cloud.
Says Hughes, “As the noise surrounding SASE subsides, the strategic imperative in 2021 will be to successfully navigate a path from legacy data centre-centric, perimeter security architectures toward a cloud-centric SASE architecture. This will require an intelligent SD-WAN edge that unifies embedded security capabilities at the edge with automated orchestration and steering for leading cloud-delivered security services.”
Marcel Fouché, Networking and Storage General Manager at Networks Unlimited Africa, the distributor for Silver Peak in sub-Saharan Africa, notes that the shift to a dramatically increased working-from-home situation has been a major driver for SASE. “Traditional network and security architectures backhaul cloud-destined traffic to the data centre, which adds latency – the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer – and this in turn impairs cloud application performance. SASE enables cloud-destined traffic to be sent directly to the cloud, using the internet together with cloud-delivered security services.”
Enterprises tackle IoT security challenges: Hughes notes that digital transformation is driving a proliferation of IoT devices, which, in turn, is creating new security challenges. “A zero-trust framework that limits device connectivity to just what is required will become essential to contain threats and prevent lateral movement following a breach…. The new WAN edge will have to implement granular segmentation based on device identification…”
The new Edge will evolve to bring together the principles of SD-WAN, SD-Branch and SASE: SD-Branch unifies SD-LAN, SD-WAN and branch security together under one orchestration framework. Hughes explains: “The edge is the pivot point for WAN and security transformation and is at the centre of three architectural shifts. First, SD-WAN provides cloud-first connectivity and steering in accordance with business policy or intent. Second, SASE provides a better and more direct way to connect users to business applications. Finally, SD-Branch will become increasingly important to simplify the branch as IoT adoption accelerates.”
Edge strategies will be re-evaluated: Hughes notes that the global pandemic has forever changed the way we work and conduct business, and many of the changes to networking happened extremely quickly due to the need to keep employees working remotely during 2020. He believes that in 2021, enterprises will step back and review what they have learned in the past year in order to evolve their remote work strategies, applying a longer-term perspective of the workplace. This will include providing more a consistent experience as users work from home, other remote locations, or the office.
LEO joins 5G in the race to become the preferred wireless WAN technology: Hughes states that early trials of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband service are taking place, and he says, “…we expect that later in 2021 a new race will emerge between 5G and LEO broadband, with the later promising blanket coverage to all parts of the globe. This will be a boon for businesses that require connectivity in remote locations, adding LEO broadband to the list of SD-WAN connectivity options.”
Advances in automation and AI propel enterprises toward a self-driving WAN: Advances in areas like threat analysis and automated diagnostics are making the network more secure and resilient to disruptions in underlying network conditions and an ever-expanding threat landscape.
Concludes Fouché, “These predictions outline some of the ways in which we expect the SD-WAN edge to adapt and evolve to the 2021 landscape. As we watch the IT world move towards cloud- and mobile-environments, and consequently navigating their way through new security issues, it is useful to remember that SD-WAN technology is able to lower costs, reduce complexity and make branch communications more secure. SD-WAN is well-placed to give business leaders the agility and efficiencies they are looking for, especially during these current uncertain times.”
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