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SD-WAN

Bolstered by security demand, SASE market to surpass $13B by 2026 – report

The secure access service edge (SASE) market is expected to triple by 2026, exceeding $13 billion, according to an updated forecast by Dell'Oro Group.

Gartner has a bit more of a bullish view on SASE revenue, predicting the market to reach $14.7 billion as early as 2025.

"Gartner predicts that global spending on SASE will grow at a 36% CAGR between 2020 and 2025, far outpacing global spending on information security and risk management," reported VentureBeat last month.

According to Gartner, top SASE vendors include Cato Networks, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks, VMware and Zscaler.

These disparate predictions could be a result of the nascent nature of the SASE market, a convergence of networking and security services coined by Gartner in 2019. To address the varying definitions for SASE and resulting confusion on the part of enterprise customers, industry forum MEF plans to release SASE (MEF W117) standards this year. MEF started developing its SASE framework in 2020 to clarify service attributes and definitions. (See MEF adds application, security updates to SD-WAN standard and MEF's Stan Hubbard on accelerating automation with APIs.)

Dell'Oro's Mauricio Sanchez said in a statement that the SASE market is forecast to "thrive independent of the ongoing macro-economic uncertainty." SASE success will continue as enterprises invest in distributed applications and hybrid work that requires "a different approach to connectivity and security."

The report divides the total SASE market into two technology components: Security Service Edge (SSE) and SD-WAN with SSE. Security features such as Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) fall under the umbrella of SSE, according to Dell'Oro.

In addition, Dell'Oro predicts that the security component to SASE "will increasingly be the driver and lead SASE's SSE to exhibit over twice the growth of SASE's SD-WAN," said Sanchez.

Omdia's research also shows security is a major driver for SASE adoption, according to Fernando Montenegro, senior principal analyst with Omdia.

"Our own research indicates that end-user organizations value secure web browsing use cases (SWG, CASB, browsing isolation) particularly as they go further into their deployments of SASE projects," said Montenegro in an email to Light Reading.

Security is critical for organizations in what Omdia dubs the age of "digital dominance" and by how the "demands on security teams – both in terms of time and expertise – make the delivery of security functionality via a services model particularly attractive," he said.

SASE services also provide "good performance characteristics" when compared to enterprises utilizing their own VPN headends, and especially when hybrid work continues to be popular, added Montenegro.

Dell'Oro expects that under the umbrella of SSE, Secure Web Gateway and Cloud Access Security Broker will continue as the most significant revenue components over the five-year forecast horizon. However, Zero Trust Network Access and Firewall-as-a-Service are expected to grow at a faster rate.

Unified SASE, which Dell'Oro qualifies as the portion of the market that delivers SASE as an integrated platform, is expected to exceed disaggregated SASE by almost a factor of six over the next five years. The disaggregated type is defined as a multi-vendor or multi-product implementation with less integration than unified type.

Dell'Oro also predicts that enterprise access router revenue could decline at over 5% CAGR by 2026.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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