Unity Architecture: Building an SD-WAN Fabric

The Premier Solution for Broadband and Hybrid WANs

Silver Peak Unity is the premier software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) architecture for today’s enterprise. Unity is a virtual WAN overlay that enables customers to deploy hybrid or all-broadband WANs using multiple types of connectivity, including MPLS, cable, DSL, LTE, etc. This virtual WAN architecture takes SD-WANs to a new level.

Unity SD-WAN Components

Unity EdgeConnect

Virtual and physical appliances that enable customers to leverage both MPLS and broadband Internet connectivity. Key features include:

  • Zero-Touch Provisioninga plug-and-play deployment model that enables Unity EdgeConnect to be deployed at a branch office in seconds, automatically connecting with other Silver Peak instances in the data center, other branches, or in cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft Azure and VMware’s vCloud Air.
  • Dynamic Path Control (DPC) - real-time traffic steering over any broadband or MPLS link based on company-defined business intent policies. In the event of an outage or brownout, DPC automatically fails-over to the secondary connection in about one second.
  • WAN Hardening - data is secured edge-to-edge via 256-bit AES encrypted tunnels.  No unauthorized outside traffic is allowed to enter the branch. WAN hardening secures branch offices without the appliance sprawl and operating costs of deploying and managing dedicated firewalls.
  • Path Conditioning - overcomes the adverse effects of dropped and out-of-order packets that are common with broadband Internet and MPLS connections.  Path Conditioning provides private-line-like performance over the public Internet.
  • Cloud Intelligence - delivers real-time updates on the best performing path to reach hundreds of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications ensuring users connect to their applications in the fastest, most intelligent way available.

Unity Orchestrator

Visibility into both legacy and cloud applications, and the ability to centrally assign business intent policies. Key features include:

  • Single Screen Administration - enables quick and easy implementation of network-wide business intent policies, which eliminates complex and error-prone policy changes at every branch.
  • Granular Real-Time Monitoring and Historical Reporting - provides specific details into application, location, and network statistics, including continuous performance monitoring of loss, latency, and packet ordering for all network paths. All HTTP and native application traffic are identified by name and location, and alarms and alerts allow for faster resolution of service provider issues.
  • Bandwidth Cost Savings Reports - document the cost savings for moving to broadband connectivity.

Unity Boost

An optional performance pack that accelerates applications as needed, such as for replication. Key features include: 

  • Latency Mitigation - TCP and other protocol acceleration techniques minimize the effects of latency on application performance and significantly improve application response time across the WAN.
  • Data Reduction - WAN compression and deduplication is applied to all traffic, eliminating repetitive transmission of duplicate data. Silver Peak software inspects WAN traffic at the byte level and stores content in local data stores. Advanced finger-printing techniques recognize repetitive patterns for local delivery. Data Reduction can be applied to all IP-based protocols, including TCP and UDP.

Transition at Your Own Pace

  • When you need to upgrade MPLS capacity, leverage the Internet instead
  • Start with non-critical cloud applications
  • Extend access beyond the data center into the cloud (IaaS and SaaS)
  • Expand the use of Internet as your comfort level grows

Benefits

  • Flexibility - Customers can rapidly and non-disruptively augment or replace their MPLS networks with any form of broadband connectivity.
  • Visibility & Control - Customers benefit from unprecedented levels of visibility into both legacy and cloud applications and gain the unique ability to centrally assign business intent policies to secure and control all WAN traffic.
  • Performance - End-user satisfaction is significantly improved due to consistent and significantly enhanced application performance.
  • Savings - Silver Peak can dramatically lower connectivity, equipment and network administration costs by up to 90% by enabling customers to leverage lower-cost Internet bandwidth.

Resources

  • This SD-WAN solution brief highlights the business value of moving to a broadband-based WAN. SD-WANs provide increased flexibility, visibility and control, performance, and dramatic cost savings compared to legacy MPLS networking.
  • The wide area network (WAN) is about connecting users to applications, but as applications move to the cloud, WAN requirements have changed, and MPLS is no longer sufficient to meet the new WAN requirements. Silver Peak CEO David Hughes highlights how Silver Peak's SD-WAN solution enables customer to build a broadband WAN that provides increased flexibility, visibility and control, performance, and cost savings.
  • How quick can you deploy an SD-WAN? With Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect, you can connect a branch to broadband, MPLS or a combination of the two in minutes.
  • In this demonstration, we show a hybrid WAN environment with MPLS and Internet connectivity.