pixeltrap - Fotolia

News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Silver Peak SD-WAN Unity EdgeConnect growing up

The latest options for the Silver Peak SD-WAN include five 9s reliability and cloud-based orchestration -- features enterprises are expected to welcome.

Silver Peak has introduced features to its SD-WAN product, Unity EdgeConnect, that address some of the needs of enterprises waiting for more mature software for distributing network traffic across a WAN.

Unity EdgeConnect enhancements unveiled this week included five 9s reliability and a cloud-based version of Silver Peak's traffic orchestration application. Also, the vendor dropped its extra charge for optimizing traffic flows to online business software connected to the Silver Peak SD-WAN.

The SD-WAN market is small but on the rise. Revenue from the technology reached $78 million in the second quarter, an increase of 33% year over year, according to the latest numbers from IHS Markit, based in London.

To take the market beyond early adopters, SD-WAN vendors are improving reliability and simplifying functionality, said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. "This is an evolutionary process in the SD-WAN market, and as vendors engage with a broader set of customers, they'll all have to work to adapt their offerings accordingly."

IDC's SD-WAN forecast -- which includes both infrastructure and managed services revenues and not just sales from the technology itself -- projects the segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 69% through 2021.

Silver Peak SD-WAN backup

In adapting its product, Silver Peak introduced a higher availability option that amounts to deploying two EdgeConnect appliances and then connecting them, so they operate as a single SD-WAN. The expense of adding an SD-WAN appliance is offset by more efficient traffic routing and protection against hardware, software or transport failures, according to the company.

Silver Peak uses the virtual router redundancy protocol to move local area network (LAN) traffic to a designated master SD-WAN while the second serves as a backup. At the same time, the appliances move traffic in tandem through a 1 or 10 GbE link that connects them.

For example, an enterprise could connect the master SD-WAN to an MPLS link that handles the most latency-sensitive traffic, such as voice or video calls. Less sensitive traffic, such as from a guest Wi-Fi, could be redirected to the second SD-WAN, which would send it over a cheaper broadband connection. The spare SD-WAN could also be tied to a 4G LTE connection as a backup when other links fail.

Cloud-based administration for Silver Peak SD-WAN

Other new features include an easier way for companies to use Silver Peak's EdgeConnect Orchestrator. Rather than deploy the SD-WAN configuration and management software in-house, enterprises now have the option of subscribing to a cloud-based version.

Finally, Silver Peak dropped the $5,000 it charged annually to companies that used EdgeConnect to send traffic from branch offices to a software-as-a-service application, such as Box, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce or Workday. In that scenario, EdgeConnect would calculate the closest service provider data center to ensure maximum performance.

Silver Peak has more than 500 SD-WAN customers, according to the vendor, but is not among the top nine providers listed in the latest quarterly IHS report. VeloCloud led the pack with $18 million in revenue from appliances, plus control and management software, followed by Viptela, $7.7 million; Talari, $3.8 million; Citrix and TELoIP, tied at $2.7 million; and Cisco, $2.6 million. Rounding out the list were FatPipe, CloudGenix and Riverbed, respectively. In August, Cisco acquired Viptela for $610 million.

SD-WAN provider Versa Networks, meantime, said it will integrate its Cloud IP Platform into CA Technologies' Network Operations and Analytics network management software. The combination will let companies use a single console to monitor performance across their entire SD-WAN and network infrastructures, the companies said.

Next Steps

Locking down SD-WAN security

Merging WAN optimization and SD-WAN

Preparing for an SD-WAN deployment

Dig Deeper on WAN optimization and performance