Technologies2 min read

Putting the “Service Edge” in SASE

Photo for Sanjay UppalSanjay Uppal

The secure access service edge (SASE) space is white hot. Dell’Oro Group estimates the SASE market size will grow by 5X over the next five years.(1) Several converging factors are driving this growth:

  • Applications are moving to the cloud and edge.
  • Employees are accessing these apps from anywhere as they adopt multi-modal workstyles.
  • Data processed, analyzed, and stored at the edge is proliferating at a rapid rate.

To adapt to these changes, organizations must adopt both a cloud-centric and an edge-native model, support a hybrid workforce, and deliver a superior user experience—all while protecting against emerging security threats. SASE is emerging as the preferred architectural approach for networking and security across this distributed environment.

Advancing VMware SASE

We introduced VMware SASE at VMworld 2020. Since then, we’ve been building a platform that converges industry-leading cloud networking and cloud security services. At the same time, VMware and our partners have stood up more than 150 SASE points of presence (PoP), which are strategically distributed around the world and serve as an on-ramp to SaaS and other cloud services.

VMware SASE combines industry-leading SD-WAN capabilities with cloud-delivered security functions, including cloud web security, cloud access security broker, zero trust network access, and AIOps, among others. These capabilities are delivered as-a-service from a global network of PoPs. VMware Cloud Web Security launched today. We are proud of the progress we’ve made. And we are just getting started.

No One Puts Service Edge in the Corner!

When it comes to SASE, some vendors focus on secure access. You hear a lot less from other SASE vendors related to service edge. It’s a critical part of our SASE platform strategy and where the true potential of SASE lies. While most competitive solutions are leading customers down a dead-end road, VMware is putting them on a superhighway to the future.

VMware SASE is uniquely positioned between the service provider underlay and the application overlay. The platform can draw on 5G services that improve latency or performance, while simultaneously delivering these capabilities to applications running in the cloud or workloads moving to the edge. This is critical when we are talking about apps that are edge-native (only deployed at edge sites).

Take drone fleets as an example. Many logistics companies use drones in massive warehouses to help with inventory and restocking. There’s no room for error when it comes to flight paths as drones zip above employees working on the floor. Low latency and network reliability are non-negotiable. That’s where a SASE platform can leverage a 5G underlay service, such as a multi-access edge computing service, to deliver and improve the performance of a drone management application that is delivered as an overlay service.

If you think about it from this angle, what we are really creating is an extensible service edge platform in the cloud. Businesses can consume services on-demand in a subscription-based model.

The pandemic proved we never really know when we’ll have to make a quick pivot in the name of business continuity. An extensible service edge platform would help customers deploy the services they need on the turn of a dime.

Limitless Possibilities

Up until this point, we’ve focused on delivering exceptional cloud networking and cloud security services via our SASE platform. But we never limit our imagination based on what’s already been delivered. With an eye on the horizon, we see limitless possibilities as to the variety of services that can be delivered over our SASE platform, ultimately unlocking new potential for our customers and partners.

1. Dell'Oro Group. “Advanced Research Report on Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).” Mauricio Sanchez. October 2020.