Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is Silver Peak?

For the past 15 years, Silver Peak Systems, Inc. has focused exclusively on enabling its customers to build better wide area networks (WANs), specializing in connecting users securely and directly to business applications – wherever they reside. Silver Peak delivers the true transformational promise of the cloud with its unique business-first networking model. Powered by the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform, customers are liberated from the compromises of router-centric and basic SD-WAN approaches to transform their networks from a constraint into a business accelerant. The EdgeConnect platform unifies SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization and application visibility and control in a single, centrally managed, system. EdgeConnect continuously learns and adapts to meet the requirements of the business, delivering the highest quality of experience to both enterprise application users and IT organizations.

What is Unity EdgeConnect?

The Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ self-driving wide area network platform liberates enterprises from conventional WAN approaches to transform the network into a business accelerant. EdgeConnect replaces routers, unifying SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization and application visibility and control in a single platform. EdgeConnect continuously learns and adapts to meet the requirements of the business, delivering the highest quality of experience to enterprise users and IT organizations. Thousands of globally distributed enterprises have deployed Silver Peak WAN solutions across 100 countries.

What are the features of Unity EdgeConnect?

The key features of the Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform include:

  • • Zero-touch Provisioning — with a zero-touch, plug-and-play deployment model, Unity EdgeConnect can 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) such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud.
  • • Dynamic Path Control (DPC) — This feature provides 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 less than one second, ensuring uninterrupted service to end-users.
  • • WAN Hardening — a new feature that allows customers to deploy Silver Peak EdgeConnect appliances direct onto the internet. Data is secured edge-to-edge via 256-bit AES encrypted tunnels. A unified zone-based firewall prevents unauthorized outside traffic from entering the branch. Together, these capabilities secure branch offices without the appliance sprawl and operating costs of deploying and managing dedicated firewalls.
  • • Path Conditioning — a key feature differentiator for Silver Peak, 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 — provides application definitions and addresses for more than 10,000 SaaS applications and 300 million web domains. Automated daily updates to EdgeConnect SD-WAN appliances ensure users connect to their applications in the fastest, most intelligent way available.

The key features of Unity Orchestrator, which is included with Unity EdgeConnect, include:

  • • Single Screen Administration — enabling 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 applications 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 WAN Optimization performance pack, accelerates applications over distance by applying the following techniques:

  • • 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 eliminate 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.

Is Silver Peak a WAN Optimization company or an SD-WAN company?

Silver Peak was founded in 2004 on the principle of building the best WAN acceleration technologies in the business. Fast forward 15 years and 50+ WAN patents, Silver Peak has gained unrivaled expertise through this singular focus on modern WAN innovation. Often innovating well ahead of the market, Silver Peak remains at the forefront of WAN innovation, delivering a centrally orchestrated unified SD-WAN edge platform. The Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform replaces conventional routers, unifying SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization and application visibility and control in a single platform. EdgeConnect continuously learns and adapts to meet the requirements of the business, delivering the highest quality of experience to enterprise users and IT organizations. Silver Peak is uniquely qualified to help our customers successfully execute the kind of WAN transformation that yields a multiplier effect on cloud investments to advance digital transformation and fuel competitive edge.

What is the benefit of working with Silver Peak? How does Silver Peak make my WAN better?

Silver Peak delivers the true transformational promise of the cloud with its unique business-first networking model. Powered by a self-driving wide area network™ (SD-WAN) platform, companies are liberated from the compromises of router-centric and basic SD-WAN approaches to transform their networks into a business accelerant

With more than 1,500 enterprise production deployments around the world, the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform drives unprecedented levels of business success for our customers, uniquely fueled by four key differentiators:

  • • Business-Driven — Business intent drives your applications, not your network, and network resources are priority-driven to match the business criticality of every application
  • • Highest Quality of Experience — for users with always consistent, always reliable application performance, IT reclaims weekends with high availability and resiliency
  • • Continuous Adaptation — using artificial intelligence and self-learning, we go beyond automation and templates to power a self- driving wide area network that gets smarter every day
  • • Unified Platform — Unity EdgeConnect is designed from the ground up as one system, unifying SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization and application visibility and control

What’s the difference between an SD-WAN and a Hybrid WAN?

These terms are similar and are often used interchangeably. A Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is virtual WAN that enables customers to leverage broadband Internet connectivity for their WAN, either stand-alone or to augment MPLS. Three key characteristics required of an SD-WAN are:

  • 1. Overlay architecture — the ability to create secure tunnels independent of the underlying network
  • 2. Real-time path selection — the ability to move data over multiple paths without disruption as dictated by business intent policies
  • 3. Zero-touch provisioning — simple, automated deployment at each branch that requires limited-to-no network expertise

Hybrid WAN refers to a WAN that leverages both MPLS and broadband for branch connectivity. It’s often the first step companies will take when moving toward a full broadband, or SD-WAN. It has a subset of the characteristics of an SD-WAN only it includes MPLS and broadband.

How long will it take to deploy Unity EdgeConnect?

This depends on several factors, but the time to deploy EdgeConnect at a remote location can be measured in minutes, not hours. Installing a Silver Peak appliance does not require special training or technical knowledge. In fact, our zero-touch provisioning simply requires the appliances to be powered on and connected to the network. Once powered on and have been authenticated, the appliances reach out to Unity Orchestrator to get their configurations and policies to complete the deployment.

How does Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect save customers money?

There are four ways customers can realize savings with Unity EdgeConnect.

  • 1. Bandwidth savings that are achieved by using inexpensive broadband connectivity instead of costly MPLS services. This reduces the monthly recurring costs for bandwidth.
  • 2. OPEX savings are achieved through Unity Orchestrator, which allows a single WAN administrator to centrally deploy connectivity at the branch and configure and enforce business intent policies for hundreds or thousands of sites. It also eliminates the costs associated with requiring networking engineers to deploy each branch.
  • 3. CAPEX savings achieved as customers move to a “thin branch” architecture that eliminates the need for dedicated branch routers and firewalls. This enables companies choose the best model for their budget and objectives.
  • 4. CAPEX savings are also achieved from the Silver Peak subscription pricing model, avoiding expensive connectivity and equipment costs up-front.

Can I really use internet links as part of my WAN?

Yes, you can. In addition to enabling customers to leverage multiple forms of connectivity via our dynamic path control feature, EdgeConnect also uses path conditioning techniques to help make internet connections perform like private lines. The additional encryption and WAN hardening features also addresses security concerns associated with using the public internet for your WAN.