Making SASE work for any enterprise requires support from a trusted ecosystem – one that can build and optimize the architecture to provide the ultimate in converged network and security services, all from a single cloud-native platform.
SASE is a cloud-based service made up of network security functions, such as Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) with SD-WAN. Achieving convergence across these components is essential to get the full benefits of SASE. On the surface, deployment may seem straightforward. But it isn't as easy as it may seem. A primary consideration is ensuring all the network and security tools can be effectively and securely integrated, enable information sharing, and be managed through a single interface as is required by the SASE framework definition. In addition, failure to correctly consolidate and optimize management tools can lead to disjointed capabilities and a sprawl that is difficult to manage and adds risk to overall operations and the ability to improve speed to resolution. Finally, the enormous choice of security, SD-WAN, cloud and visibility components on the market can make it difficult for enterprises to choose the right tools for their requirements and easily inter-operate them simultaneously, leading to unnecessary staffing requirements and higher operating costs.
Orange Business has embarked on a unique partnership with Cisco and Equinix for these reasons. This relationship leverages the integration and orchestration skills of Orange with Cisco's SASE technology and takes advantage of Equinix's digital infrastructure and cloud ecosystem. The latter significantly creates opportunities for the enterprise to access their strategic CSPs, minimizing response time and accelerating platform integration, which can be operated and managed by a single pane of glass.
Equinix Network Edge Services enable enterprises to deploy Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) closer to their networks' edges using its extensive global footprint of data centers. This allows them to connect IT resources distributed across multiple clouds and data centers, for example. In addition, Equinix Fabric, a global software-defined connectivity automation platform, further simplifies the process by providing fast, secure connections to cloud and network service providers, allowing quick links to Equinix customers, partners and vendors through a single port. This enables enterprises to connect to new markets without expensive infrastructures, for example, and easily adjust bandwidth or create connections as demand changes.
The move is part of a trend predicted by analysts. For example, Gartner forecasts that by 2025, 65% of enterprises will have consolidated SASE components into one or two explicitly partnered vendors, up from 15% in 2021.  Working with a smaller number of highly skilled vendors reduces complexity, the number of consoles and the security policies required, for example.
Re-thinking how to provide network and security services to a distributed workforce
Network and security services were previously delivered through separate physical appliances and services. This perimeter approach to security, however, is no longer practical. Instead, SASE puts these capabilities in the cloud and delivers them wherever needed. To achieve this effectively, the partnership is critical in deploying a reliable end-to-end, interoperable solution that reduces overall complexity. In addition, having a foundational understanding of technology is essential to choosing who an enterprise elects to partner with – a superficial knowledge of terminology doesn't translate into being able to design, implement and manage OEM solutions.
Cisco organizes its SASE technologies into five categories: SD-WAN, cloud security, zero-trust network access (ZTNA), remote access and visibility. Orange provides the orchestration layer, integrating all the components into a comprehensive SASE solution. This is offered in several consumption models, including fully or co-managed via a single point of contact and contract.
Cisco SD-WAN is a foundational component of any SASE architecture. Cisco SD-WAN combines best-in-class SD-WAN with the cutting-edge Cisco Umbrella cloud security portfolio that provides the first line of defense against threats on the Internet, wherever users are located. The full-stack, multi-layer security consists of four major security categories: micro-segmentation, enterprise firewall, secure web gateway and DNS-layer security.
Bringing together their “A” games
"We have been working with Orange Business for over 30 years to enhance connectivity and infrastructures. This partnership will further provide customers with a customized SASE solution to help them achieve business goals with the next generation of services, while protecting them against unpredictable threats," explains Mike Palmer, Manager, Business Development, Cisco SDWAN SDCI.
"This exciting partnership will enable Orange Business to leverage our interconnection platform to bring SASE services to more customers faster and more cost effectively, opening up markets to existing and new enterprises," says John-Slater Foley, Senior Manager, Global Technology Alliance Cisco at Equinix.
"The partnership between Orange Business, Cisco, and Equinix is focused on leveraging the power of three to provide our trusted customers’ solutions with greater certainty, predictability, confidence and flexibility. Being a part of this unique collaboration and the positive impact it will have on our collective customers is something we are very excited to bring to market," explains Marc Schlesinger, Head of Strategic Partnerships – Americas at Orange Business.
For further details, please read our blog: Partnership ecosystems and SASE.
Marc Schlesinger is a seasoned Sales and Professional Services leader with more than 30 years of enterprise industry experience across multiple verticals. He is currently responsible for the Orange Business strategic partner ecosystem in the Americas, building present and future GTM strategies, sales enablement and solution creation to drive revenue and profitability. When Marc is not working, he enjoys spending time with his two Bernese Mountain dogs Enzo and Hershey.