Who is Silver Peak?
Silver Peak is a software company that gives enterprises and service providers the flexibility to securely connect users to applications via the most cost-effective source of connectivity available. With Silver Peak’s Unity EdgeConnect broadband WAN solutions customers can augment or replace MPLS networks with secure Internet connectivity, (often referred to as an SD-WAN) while dramatically reducing WAN costs and complexity. Customers benefit from unprecedented levels of visibility, control and security over all traffic traversing the WAN, while improving application and network performance. With Silver Peak, sites can be rapidly and non-disruptively extended, moved, or changed as business demands evolve.
What is Unity EdgeConnect?
As part of our strategy to deliver high-performing broadband and hybrid Wide Area Networks (WANs), Silver Peak introduced its new Unity EdgeConnect solution that enables enterprises to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of building a WAN by leveraging broadband to connect users to applications. By empowering customers to use broadband connections to augment or replace their current multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks, Silver Peak improves customer responsiveness, increases application performance, and significantly reduces capital and operational expenses.
What are the features of Unity EdgeConnect?
The key features of Unity EdgeConnect 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) with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft Azure and VMware’s vCloud Air.
- 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. 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 – 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 – 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.
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 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.
Is Silver Peak a WAN Optimization company or an SD-WAN company?
Silver Peak is a leading “WAN” solutions provider. Our more than 10 years of WAN heritage and expertise, more than 2,000 enterprise customers, and recognition by Gartner as a Leader have us ideally positioned to address new WAN requirements. With the launch of Unity EdgeConnect, Silver Peak now has two separate product lines that address different and unique customer challenges:
- The Unity EdgeConnect product line is for customers looking to leverage the Internet to securely and cost-effectively connect their users to applications.
- Our WAN optimization products (NX and VX) are designed for improving application performance over distance.
We believe Silver Peak’s unique combination of new innovations in SD-WAN combined with expertise in WAN optimization technology distinguishes Silver Peak from the competition.
What is the benefit of working with Silver Peak? How does Silver Peak make my WAN better?
Silver Peak is the only company capable of creating the most complete, agile broadband WAN that also delivers industry-leading performance improvements to any form of connectivity. Silver Peak customers benefit from increased:
- Flexibility – the ability to rapidly and non-disruptively augment or replace their MPLS networks with any form of broadband connectivity.
- Visibility & Control –unprecedented levels of visibility into both legacy and cloud applications, and 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.
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:
- Overlay architecture – the ability to create secure tunnels independent of the underlying network
- Real-time path selection – the ability to move data over multiple paths without disruption as dictated by business intent policies
- 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.
What is the pricing for Unity EdgeConnect?
List pricing for Unity EdgeConnect, which includes Unity Orchestrator, begins at $199 per site, per month. Unity Boost is an optional performance pack that can be ordered on demand and is priced flexibly at $5 per Mbps, per month.
How long will it take to deploy Unity EdgeConnect?
This depends on several factors, but the time to deploy Unity at a single 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, 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 three ways customers can realize savings with Unity EdgeConnect.
- Bandwidth savings that are achieved by using inexpensive broadband connectivity instead of costly MPLS services. This reduces the monthly recurring costs for bandwidth.
- OPEX savings are achieved through Unity Orchestrator, which allows a single WAN administrator to centrally deploy connectivity at the branch and enforce business intent policies for hundreds of sites. It also eliminates the costs associated with requiring networking engineers deploy each branch.
- CAPEX savings achieved as customers move to a “thin branch” architecture that eliminates the need for dedicated branch routers and firewalls. This lets companies choose the best model for their budget and objectives. CAPEX savings are also achieved from Silver Peak’s subscription pricing model, avoiding expensive connectivity and equipment costs up-front.
If I am already a Silver Peak customer, do I need to replace what I already own to take advantage of Unity?
No. If you are already a Silver Peak customer, you may already have the basic components to take advantage of basic Unity features. The new Unity EdgeConnect appliances can also be added to and managed with existing VX and NX deployments.
Can I really use Internet links as part of my WAN?
Yes, you can with Silver Peak’s Unity EdgeConnect. In addition to enabling customers to leverage multiple forms of connectivity via our dynamic path control feature, Unity EdgeConnect also uses path conditioning techniques to help make Internet connections perform like private-lines. The additional encryption and WAN hardening features also addresses an security concerns associated with using the public Internet for your WAN.