SD-WAN vs. SASE - Making a decision

SD-WAN vs. SASE - Making a decision

30 September 2020 | Sponsored Q&A

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Founder Vignesa Moorthy. SD-WAN is not complete. Upgrade your company and network with SASE.

ViewQwest is a regional telco and ICT solutions company with operations in Singapore (HQ), Malaysia, and the Philippines. Specializing in Global Connectivity, Managed Network and Managed Security Solutions, they are a trusted partner of global Fortune 500 companies and top enterprises in Southeast Asia.

Established in 2001, ViewQwest serves a wide range of industries and have helped many businesses build and transform their network and security infrastructure, securely move to the cloud, and achieve their digital agenda.

ViewQwest also provides Premium Residential & SMB broadband & cybersecurity services, and has been awarded Singapore’s fastest Fixed Internet Service Provider (ISP) for 3 consecutive years in 2018, 2019, and 2020 by Speedtest.net.

Q. Sitting at the cross-section of SD-WAN and security, Gartner has recently introduced a newly defined networking model called Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). What does this new model mean for the enterprise sector?

Traditionally speaking, network and security domains in companies are separate entities. It is still the case for many companies even though we are firmly in the digital age.

By upgrading to a SASE solution and moving on from past methods, enterprises receive a holistic solution for Network and Security, which results in a host of benefits ranging from:

  1. Savings, operations efficiency, a secure architecture, as well as consistent security policies throughout the network
  2. Cloud-delivered security that is both scalable and elastic, meaning employees do not need to be tied to their desk, and permissions can be added to and removed from the system as and when
  3. Streamlined operations as the network and security department will be able to rationalise headcount and promote single accountability
  4. Business agility when it comes to rolling out new services, supporting site expansions, and moving company assets to the cloud

Q. With this in mind how can enterprises select the right SD-WAN or SASE solution for them?

With the emergence of SASE, it is no longer enough to just have SD-WAN because it lacks a complete security stack, which means it is incomplete. In order to progress swiftly and securely as a company, IT heads should plan for the company’s network with security in mind.

To decide on the right solution for your company, the IT team should first and foremost be clear on the company’s present requirements, and have a vision for the future. Questions to ask include:

  1. Locations – Is the company expanding domestically or internationally, or both?
  2. Bandwidth – The amount of bandwidth needed for the company, taking into consideration the locations and operations
  3. Security considerations – Security measures should be classified under company necessities, and considerations are unique to each company. Measures will be woven in whilst designing the company’s network solution
  4. Overall budget involved

Once the base questions have been answered, the selection of the service provider should be relatively easy. The service provider should be both connectivity and technology agnostic, meaning they will only design a solution that’s best for the client such as supporting multiple types of connectivity, i.e. broadband, DIA, MPLS, LTE and eventually 5G, and select the technology and solutions most appropriate for the company’s requirements and budget, without pushing for their own agendas.

Lastly, while companies are designing the solution with their provider, they should at the same time keep in view that next-generation SD-WAN is coming. The upgrade is slated to provide Layer-7 visibility and employs application-based metrics versus traditional network-based to optimise performance.

Q. How do the need of enterprise customers differ from that of wholesale customers? Conversely how are they similar?

Enterprise customers are more business-focused, which means they are concerned about the business outcomes. Generally, they place less focus on the components of a solution to help achieve their desired results and more focus on the capabilities of that solution and, of course, the business results themselves.

Wholesale customers on the other hand could be sourcing for components as part of a bigger solution that they are presenting to the end-customer. They could also be smaller, local operators looking to offer SD-WAN or SASE solutions but do not possess the expertise nor resources to do it outside of their service areas or domains. Therefore, they will look to providers such as ViewQwest to help them deploy the solutions regionally and globally, or even locally for a full end-to-end managed solution.

The similarity lies in that both sets of customers are moving in the direction of using commodity broadband, LTE and 5G as the more pervasive connectivity option, as opposed to data networks of the past.

Q. What makes ViewQwest unique and how does its products and services differ from other in the space?

Our differentiation lies in our core philosophy of “owning the customer relationship and not the technology”. Serving the customer and deepening our relationship with them is paramount. The technology and services that they enable are just the means by which we deliver what the customer needs. Thus, we do not favour any specific technology, vendor, or proprietary platform if it is not aligned with what the customer requires.

We embody this philosophy to the fullest as a Managed Services Provider. Our customers can leave their IT, network, & security management in our safe hands and focus on growing and expanding their core business. They can trust that we will deliver on the 3 key success variables for their SASE solution.

  • World-leading Technology Portfolio – ViewQwest can design and implement tailor-fit solutions from a well-curated set of leading solutions based on their business needs, without the burden of proprietary or legacy technologies

  • Last-Mile Simplification and Management – With our available network assets and global wholesale relationships, we aggregate the sourcing and management of multi-carrier, multi-network last-mile legs of an enterprise SD-WAN

  • Managed Services Excellence– With our Managed Services, we have helped enterprises transition from their MPLS networks to SD-WAN solutions with detailed planning, design and implementation, to network monitoring and optimization, and pro-active resolution of issues

We have successfully executed the above for our customers, on over 1,500 sites across 4 continents.

Q. Now firmly in the second half 2020, what are the strategic priorities for ViewQwest for the rest of 2020 heading into 2021?

One of our core beliefs is that network and security should be one – that high-performance connectivity and security should converge into one architecture and practice. This is why the tenets of the SASE model resonated with us even before it was coined by Gartner in August last year.

We have ramped up our efforts in this space and instilling secure by design approach in our core network services and across the segments we serve. ViewQwest’s promise of having the fastest and most secure network for companies to connect their sites, branches and users to each other will extend beyond enterprises. We will leverage on our expertise to bring enterprise-grade network security to small business owners as well as residential users because it is our responsibility as a communications service provider to deliver not a dumb pipe, but secure and high-performance connectivity for the customers who have put their trust in us.