The High Cost of Unrealistic SASE Testing

5 mins read

Having identified the complexities faced when working with multi-vendor SASE solutions in my previous blog The Promise and Perils of SASEwe now explore the risks associated with ineffective testing and what considerations should be taken into account when testing SASE performance.

According to EMA, over 50% of organizations struggle with SASE issues like slow performance and security gaps due to limited validation. Cloning production environments or basic traffic simulation misses real-world complexities. Common problems faced include:

  • Security breaches from misconfigured whitelists, leaving cloud exposure 
  • Poor mobility experience as real-world impairments are not modelled
  • 35% application failure rates from network-security policy conflicts 
  • 60% bandwidth wastage due to suboptimal routing missing live traffic insights 
  • 55% longer resolution time without monitoring and ability to recreate failures 

This results in unhappy users, lost productivity, and reputation damage. IDC pegs failed SASE projects cost at $300,000 in mid-size enterprises factoring delays and instability.

The Imperative for Real-World SASE Testing

SASE promises simplified operations and security. But without testing under realistic conditions, performance and security gaps emerge post-implementation. Let’s understand why replicating real-world complexity is crucial for SASE success.

Moving Beyond Basic SASE Testing Methods

Cloning production environments leaves blind spots as interactions between components can’t be effectively duplicated. Simulating some traffic validates capacity but ignores real-world conditions like:

  • Various application flows
  • Granular QoS needs and SLAs per application
  • User access patterns across locations
  • Realistic impairments – latency, congestion, bottlenecks
  • Continuously evolving security threats

These table-stakes methods cannot handle the complexity of global SASE environments.

Importance of Realistic SASE Testing

Effective SASE testing requires replicating live complexity:

  • Extract real-world application traffic, infrastructure metrics, and SLAs
  • Model millions of flows with impairments across global topology
  • Validate performance, security by generating exploits and bottlenecks
  • Map actual user profiles including locations, mobility, and access patterns
  • Use network emulation to recreate conditions across pre-deployment, rollout, and post-launch

This level of real-world recreation is only possible with sophisticated emulation capabilities.

Selecting SASE Testing Tools

As SASE adoption accelerates, leading validation platforms provide:

  • Cloud-scale architecture to emulate global enterprise environments
  • Ability to understand complex dependencies
  • Network emulation to replicate real-world conditions as they continuously evolve
  • Network modelling to uncover hidden weaknesses
  • True continuous integration with in-house test suites for testing from design to production

With real-world SASE testing, organizations can accelerate deployments and maximize benefits while minimizing instability risks.