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SASE Study: Enterprises Looking to Bring Security, Networking Together

"The ability to have the main office, branch and remote users utilize a security gateway to access resources through a single portal has been a game-changer for customers," an MSP executive said.

James Anderson

March 22, 2022

4 Min Read
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The secure access service edge (SASE) market grew 37% in 2021, driven by a desire for enterprise customers to consolidate advanced wide area networking and security features.

That number comes from Dell’Oro Group, which concluded that spending on SASE topped $4 billion last year. The $4 billion divided neatly in half between “SASE networking” and “SASE security.” SASE brings together advanced security and enterprise networking features onto a consolidated, cloud-based platform.

Mauricio Sanchez, Dell’Oro’s research director of network security, SASE and SD-WAN, pointed to COVID-19 as a key growth driver. Vendors, partners and some customers had already been talking about SASE before the pandemic. However, the shift to hybrid work fundamentally made SASE a business-critical feature for enterprise customers.

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Dell’Oro’s Mauricio Sanchez

“The pandemic made remote work and cloud-based applications necessary, and by doing so, accelerated the obsolescence of the classic hub-and-spoke networking model,” Sanchez said. “Rather than thinking of networking and security as separate problems to solve, they are now being thought of as a continuum and driving together cloud-friendly networking and security technologies into SASE.”

Partner Perspectives

Jay Morris, chief aggregation officer for Florida-based advisory firm MOReCOMM, said he is also seeing this convergence taking place.

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MOReCOMM’s Jay Morris

“I support the growth of integrating network and SASE and believe that growth estimate may even be conservative,” Morris told Channel Futures. “That said, just like other forms of aggregation and consolidation, you have to match the need with the capability, the conditions, and even the timing.”

Richard King is chief strategy officer for Keystone Solutions. The Georgia-based MSP offers SASE services through VMware.

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Keystone Solutions’ Richard King

“… we have been part of, and witnessed, the last piece necessary for a true ‘cloud-first’ topology that provides an enterprise-level of expertise to the SMB market,” King said to Channel Futures. “As an MSP, we are providing the SASE services on top of existing SD-WAN technology. The ability to have the main office, branch and remote users utilize a security gateway to access resources through a single portal has been a game-changer for customers. When you then include the ability to provide remote access within the same framework, it becomes a no-brainer. We only see this technology/security enhancement getting better and more refined in the year to come.”

Additional SASE Findings

Renewed firewall revenue growth helped spur SASE growth in 2021, according to Dell’Oro. Firewall revenues grew 13% to hit a record of $10 billion.

According to Dell’Oro, the SASE market includes 30 vendors, out of which 10 hold 80% of market share.

Dell’Oro also identified a SASE market subset called “unified SASE,” which includes SASE offerings on an integrated platform. According to Dell’Oro, unified SASE grew almost 50% in 2021.

SD-WAN, which comprises part of SASE, grew 35% last year according to a recent Dell’Oro study.

New SASE Partnerships

GTT Communications launched its new Secure Connect offering, which the company says utilizes a SASE framework. The company announced its partnership with Palo Alto Networks last fall. The new service integrates with GTT’s managed SD-WAN offering.

Just a week prior, Windstream Enterprise launched a SASE service based on Cato Networks’ platform.

GTT cited an Omdia study that found only 15% of enterprises globally have fully developed a cybersecurity plan. (Informa is the parent company of both Omdia and Channel Futures.)

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Omdia’s Cindy Whelan

“Omdia finds securing networks a consistent area of enterprise concern and investment. enterprise network transformation needs to address the complexity of securing internet VPNs, cloud applications and a remote workforce,” said Cindy Whelan, practice leader, enterprise network services at Omdia.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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