Gartner only coined the term SASE — secure access service edge — two years ago to describe a cloud-based service that combines SD-WAN networking with all the latest security features in a single, easy-to-manage and easy-to-deploy SaaS product.
Back then, SASE, which is pronounced “sassy,” was more of a philosophy, or direction to move in, rather than an actual product category. Few vendors offered a full SASE stack and, when they did, usually required customers to buy it in pieces, often a lot of pieces, with confusing names and overlapping functionality.
Getting to the SASE model was going to take years, experts said.
Then COVID-19 hit.
Companies couldn’t get into their data centers to install new VPN boxes and, even if they did, hardware shortages and shipping delays meant that VPNs weren’t a practical option.
“Lead times for products went through the roof,” said Mike Moore, practice development manager at Insight, a technology consulting firm based in Tempe, Arizona.