New Research From EMA Delves Into the Availability and Buying Options in the Emerging SASE Market

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EMA research report provides in-depth insights into nine vendors that provide an integrated set of networking and security services necessary to meet the requirements of a digitally transformed enterprise

"Availability and Buying Options in the Emerging SASE Market" Research Report

"Availability and Buying Options in the Emerging SASE Market" Research Report

We sought to establish a baseline of what capabilities, architectural approaches, and buying and support options are available now in the emerging SASE opportunities from vendors that appear to have somewhat of a head start.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA™), a leading IT and data management research and consulting firm, today announced the release of a new research report titled “Availability and Buying Options in the Emerging SASE Market” authored by Paula Musich, research director of security and risk management at EMA.

The opportunity described by Gartner analysts as secure access service edge, or SASE, is at this point not so much a market as an aspirational description of where the now-separate networking and security markets need to come together to better serve the needs of the digitally transformed enterprise. Although Gartner only published its SASE paper in the second half of 2019, awareness of the phrase and its basic constructs among IT professionals is already surprisingly high. Based on two separate research projects conducted late in 2020, EMA found that at least 75% and 78% of respondents in the studies are familiar with the term.

The enterprise architectures of the past, based on separate networking and security infrastructures, no longer fit the needs of most enterprises. They were designed to backhaul traffic from remote branch offices and mobile VPN clients to a central location where network traffic is monitored for performance issues, malicious activity, and malware before sending the traffic to its destination, which was often in the same data center. However, the once-centralized applications that end users seek to access no longer universally reside in those concentrated data centers as enterprises more fully embrace cloud services of all kinds.

With SASE, rather than making the enterprise data center the center of the policy universe, identity becomes that center. Access or privilege levels are determined and policies are applied based on the identity of the user, device, and application. Using that identity information, along with additional context, a range of different networking and security services is applied to each session.

The sudden rush to support work from home initiatives in early 2020 opened the floodgates for vendors of all stripes to pursue SASE opportunities. By EMA’s count, at least 16 vendors are actively marketing SASE services, and that number will grow quickly as the hype cycle heats up. Not only have SD-WAN vendors rushed into the emerging market, so too have traditional networking vendors, network security vendors—both traditional and those born in the cloud—and content delivery networking vendors.

“We sought to establish a baseline of what capabilities, architectural approaches, and buying and support options are available now in the emerging SASE opportunities from vendors that appear to have somewhat of a head start,” said Musich. “Clearly, what’s there now is version 1.0 of SASE. We think the market will shake out over a longer period of time than is typical for most new technology market segments, given the organizational and cultural implications of integrating networking and security—especially for large enterprises.”

For this research report, EMA chose to focus on nine vendors that appear to be furthest along in fleshing out an integrated set of networking and security services necessary to meet the requirements of a digitally transformed enterprise. The research outlines in detail the security functionality, SASE architectures, support models, and go-to-market motions supported by each vendor. These vendors are:

  • Cato Networks
  • Cisco Systems
  • Cloudflare
  • Fortinet
  • HPE/Aruba/Silver Peak
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Versa Networks
  • VMware
  • Zscaler

Clearly, the SASE capabilities, pricing models, packaging, and integration efforts of these vendors are in early stages of development and are likely to evolve over time as they build up operational experience. While it is still quite early in the buyers’ journeys, however, most organizations are attempting to chart a new path to get to their ultimate destination: seamless convergence of networking and security in a mobile and cloud-dominated world.

A detailed analysis of the research findings is available in the report “Availability and Buying Options in the Emerging SASE Market.

About EMA
Founded in 1996, EMA is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help their clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals, and IT vendors at https://www.enterprisemanagement.com.

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Raleigh Gould
@ema_research
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