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3 minutes

Reset network management and security withSASE

For some time at Ergo we’ve been looking at the network propositions available to Irish businesses and found them wanting. We see organisations migrating to the cloud while trying to manage the connectivity with rigid networks and security solutions that are ill-equipped for the type of business transformation they are undertaking.

Traditional WANs (Wide Area Networks) were designed and built for physical locations with network perimeters, usually a head office with some secondary branch sites. A gradual move to mobile working, enabled by smartphones and connected laptops, began to challenge the idea that work could be contained inside office walls, and the notion of the network perimeter was further eroded by cloud services and remote working.

Adding layers of ad hoc solutions to bolster an already expensive MPLS network was always going to be a sticking plaster. Point-to-point connectivity and VPNs were never going to be agile or secure enough to make organisations competitive in the modern world, but it was the pandemic that really exposed the limitations.

Accelerated moves to the cloud and the rise of hybrid working has made the business case for resetting network architecture even stronger. As Gartner put it in a Market Trends report, “Digital transformation and adoption of mobile, cloud and edge deployment models fundamentally change network traffic patterns, rendering existing network and security models obsolete.”

More agile ways of connecting

Another problem with legacy infrastructure is that it requires legacy skills to manage and maintain it. Finding technical support for ageing networks and sourcing replacement parts is only going to get harder over time, and it doesn’t align with where the industry is going. There’s also a culture with some vendors of building up training competencies that lock organisations into one way of doing things. Not good in an era when organisations need to be flexible to stay competitive.

Analysts like Gartner and IDC have tracked the growth over the last decade of almost everything “as-a-service”, something that Ergo is now extending into the network domain through our partnership with Cato. It was in 2019 that Gartner introduced the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) category of network architecture, which brings two distinct technologies together – the WAN edge (SD-WAN) and network security.

Cato is a market leader in the segment with its own global network of over 75+ PoPs (Points of Presence) and a SASE platform that allows Ergo to offer our customers a converged proposition that combines the network management capabilities of SD-WAN with features and functionality for enabling zero trust security.

Cloud-native networking

Being a cloud native solution makes it easier to connect users to the cloud, edge or data centre from any place on any device. Run from a dedicated portal and managed by the Ergo network team, it makes light work of adapting to new business needs. You can quickly connect to a public cloud for migrating workloads, open an office in a new market with connectivity in place from day one, or ramp up your data protection to meet a new regulatory requirement.

There are many shades of SASE but consolidating all the features and functionality on one platform, managed through a single pane of glass, brings unprecedented speed and efficiency to network operations. The prospect of doubling or trebling site numbers, for example, is possible without having to invest in a lot more resources to run it. User-to-cloud access is enabled with no additional solutions needed and it will reduce latency at a lower cost than an MPLS network.

The security pillar has everything in one place for cloud-native delivery: Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) with Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS). Best of all, the SASE solution from Ergo and Cato will give you the opportunity to constantly optimise your connections from a performance perspective while keeping costs transparent and predictable – a big benefit in inflationary times.

 

Watch our webinar to find out how Ergo and our network partner, Cato, who pioneered the convergence of networking and security into the cloud, address these challenges.

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