Aryaka Networks, which for years has offered cloud-based managed services around WAN connectivity and network security, is now stepping into an emerging secure access service edge (SASE) that is growing rapidly as the IT world becomes increasingly distributed and workforces shift to a hybrid model.
The company this week unveiled its initial SASE platform as part of a larger expansion of its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) portfolio that is designed to grow the enterprise segments Aryaka can address and offer greater flexibility for organizations.
The vendor also is simplifying its pricing model and offering expanded support for application-based routing through its AppAssure program. It will support more than 3,500 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, according to the company.
Aryaka’s new Prime EZ is an SASE managed service designed for small and midsize enterprises, delivering networking and basic security capabilities atop the vendor’s Layer 3 private core. The move comes as the SASE market continues to grow. SASE essentially combines networking security features like secure web gateway (SWG), firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), and cloud access security broker (CASB) with WAN capabilities, particularly SD-WAN.
It’s a term tagged by Gartner two years ago. In a blog post earlier this year, Andrew Lerner, research vice president for networking at Gartner, predicted that by 2024, 30 percent of enterprise will adopt cloud-delivered SWG, CASB, zero-trust network access, and FWaaS from the same vendor, up from 5 percent last year. By the following year, at least 60 percent will have strategies and timelines for SASE adoption for user, branch and edge access. That was at 10 percent in 2020.
“The issue SASE aims to address is that perimeter-based approaches to securing anywhere, anytime access has resulted in a patchwork of vendors, policies, and consoles creating complexity for security administrators and users,” Lerner wrote. “SASE is a pragmatic and compelling model that can be partially or fully implemented today.”
Aryaka already offers security capabilities through partnerships with such vendors as Check Point and Palo Alto Networks, according to Shashi Kiran, the company’s chief marketing officer. For example, Aryaka virtualizes the firewall capabilities of both and hosts them on its service edge nodes, which Kiran told Enterprise Networking Planet will continue. The company also productized Check Point’s Harmony cloud firewall and integrated it into its global points of presence (POPs).
Aryaka is taking a pragmatic approach as it enters a SASE space that includes such competitors as VMware, Palo Alto, Fortinet, and Cisco Systems.
“We’re initially focused on small to medium enterprises just so we as a company can harden the security and gain that credibility,” Kirwan said. “We’ve always been best-in-class in networking. Now with security. we’re now competing with some of the bigger ones and, in some cases, taking business from them as well.”
Leveraging the Secucloud Acquisition
Prime EZ is based on technology Aryaka inherited when it bought German SASE platform provider Secucloud in late April and brought it into the fold as a wholly owned subsidiary.
“The combined technologies will allow us to offer truly converged network and network security as-a-service offerings,” Aryaka co-founder and CTO Ashwath Nagaraj said at the time. “It complements our existing portfolio and significantly enhances Aryaka’s ability to compete and win larger deals while delivering the industry’s most flexible managed SASE solution experience.”
Aryaka in the future will roll out Prime Pro, a version of its SASE offering aimed at mid-sized to large enterprises that will include more security features, such as CASB.
Prime EZ will sit atop Aryaka’s new global L3 private core, which is interconnected with the company’s almost 40 POPs. The new core, called Flexcore, enables organizations to map their sites to the private core of choice depending on such considerations as cost, performance, or how critical the applications are.
The vendor has traditionally offered an L2 private core that played well with organizations that needed a premium network for global deployments and where application performance was key. However, it offered more performance—and cost—than some smaller enterprises needed,” Kiran said.
“Either the classes of applications did not warrant that degree of performance or the sites themselves would be non-strategic, like a warehouse vs. an office data center,” he added. “We weren’t necessarily addressing the lower tier of that market.”
Also read: Transitioning to a SASE Architecture
Expanding the Customer Base
The L3 FlexCore offering opens up a segment of the market to Aryaka. Both private cores are based on the same architecture and both connect to the company’s POPs.
“That gives us the ability to address the needs of certain sites that require performance and other sites that are really more value-centric or optimized for cost,” he said. “We are able to do that with the same architecture and essentially deliver that as a managed service. … Either our customers can have all of their sites be part of the Layer 3 and engage with us at the lower cost point or they could mix and match certain sites and have some be designated as high-performance, mission-critical sites and others be non-mission critical. That gives them a tremendous amount of flexibility.”
With FlexCore in place, Aryaka also is expanding its SD-WAN offerings. The company’s existing flagship SD-WAN is now called SmartConnect Pro, which runs over the L2 private core. What’s new is SmartConnect EZ, an SD-WAN service for smaller enterprises that leverages the L3 private core, enabling users to save as much as a half to a third in costs depending on location and the price of connectivity.
“It gives a great entry point for certain segments of customers that we were previously not addressing,” he said. “We’re going to be focusing more on small to medium enterprises to begin with and right size our offering for them, particularly when this converged SASE solution is required. As we advance the capabilities on the security front, they’re all going to be software that is coming into our POPs. … If a customer wants to subscribe to a new capability that’s coming in, they should be able to switch over. Change management and things like that become vastly easier.”
SmartConnect EZ and SmartConnect Pro will be generally available later in the first quarter 2022. Prime EZ will be available for beta deployments in January and early ordering by April.
All of this comes with a simplified pricing model that Kiran likened to T-shirt sizing in the mode of small, medium, and large. In addition, Aryaka also will continue with its a-la-carte pricing where needed.