The Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform enables automated and secure branch connectivity to Azure Virtual WAN; optimally routing traffic and minimizing latency when connecting to Azure-hosted workloads.
Today's networking challenges
Enterprises are rapidly digitizing their operations and transitioning to a multi-cloud environment involving a hybrid combination of applications and data hosted in one or more public clouds. Cloud-first enterprises require secure end user access to applications and data from any location, at any time, via any device and over any network. They also need to ensure that their end users — employees, partners and customers — receive optimal application quality of experience.
Traditional router-centric WAN architectures do not provide the scale, flexibility or agility required to support this transition to the cloud. As enterprises with geographically distributed locations continue to migrate applications to the cloud, traditional WAN architectures using leased lines or MPLS are becoming less practical for traffic destined for the internet. Backhauling this traffic to data centers compounds the latency issue. Traditional WAN architectures typically require device-by-device manual provisioning for deployments and can’t keep pace with the dynamic nature of multi-cloud traffic flows. Enterprises need a new, simplified and automated approach to managing and transforming their WAN. To meet this need, cloud-first enterprises are increasingly replacing legacy WAN infrastructures and deploying business-driven SD-WAN architectures.
- Increased quality of experience, higher reliability and improved network performance through an integrated and automated solution
- Faster branch office onboarding through secure, automated connectivity to Azure Virtual WAN with instant application performance visibility
- Security and performance without compromise using high speed encrypted tunnels from branch locations to the Azure cloud while also enhancing branch-to-branch collaboration
Introducing Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN
The Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN (vWAN) is a new network service offering from Microsoft that simplifies branch connectivity across the global Microsoft network. This service provides optimized routing between branch IT resources and Azure hosted workloads using secure IPsec encrypted tunnels.
Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ automates connectivity to Azure Virtual WAN from branch locations using API integration. The integration offers enterprises the following advantages:
- > Integrated solution: Connect virtual networks and workloads to the Azure hub seamlessly.
- > Operational flexibility: Automate site-to-site configuration and connectivity between on-premises sites and the nearest Azure hub.
- > Intuitivetroubleshooting:Enableend-to-end flow visibility and analytics within Azure providing actionable insights for a better network experience.
Enabling cloud connections within minutes
As enterprises expand, reliability, efficiency, and time to value are critical. Most enterprise IT organizations still perform network deployments in a manual fashion — everything from network configurations, provisioning, ongoing administration, problem resolution and more. Manual operations often lead to errors, misconfiguration, and time-consuming troubleshooting experiences making it an expensive proposition. Silver Peak and Microsoft have partnered to deliver a strong joint solution that accelerates and automates cloud network deployments of any size.
By integrating the Microsoft Azure vWAN REST APIs, the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect platform enables customers to quickly build a cloud on-ramp and automate network deployments, removing the manual complexity of connecting branch offices to local Azure Points of Presence (PoPs). The API integration enables EdgeConnect to identify the locations of branches in the network and determine the closest vWAN hub (VPN Gateway) to connect to. EdgeConnect automatically establishes standards-based IPsec tunnels and, configuring both of the tunnel endpoints for each branch to a vWAN hub in the Azure cloud. It provides the status of the connections and redirects traffic to alternate tunnels or hubs in the event of a failure or if a better link is determined to be available.
The automated vWAN configuration reduces the time it takes to connect branch locations to Azure from hours per site to just minutes for tens, hundreds or thousands of sites. Without this automation, a network administrator would need to manually connect each branch office into the Azure hubs — a time-consuming and tedious process that can drastically increase operational complexity and support costs.
Delivering a better Cloud experience
Enterprises are increasingly migrating workloads to the cloud, all while the underlying cloud technologies continue to advance. One of the key challenges’ enterprises face is 'a' lack of resources or the expertise to manage sophisticated cloud deployments.
Connecting to the cloud and building cloud networks is not an easy task and comes with significant operational challenges. Silver Peak recognizes these challenges and, in turn, brings significant value to enterprise customers by streamlining the onboarding of new locations, and by providing real-time network scaling through automation. By reducing operational complexity, Silver Peak speeds up branch to Azure connectivity for large-scale network expansions while improving the performance and accessibility of enterprise applications within and across geographic regions.
Through the integration with Azure Virtual WAN, the Unity EdgeConnect platform delivers high application performance, scalability and reliability, enabling:
- > Simplified hybrid deployment of Azure across branch locations and extending the enterprise WAN to include the cloud
- > Faster onboarding to applications and workloads — both to and from Azure, from on-premises data center and branch locations
- > A better, more reliable end user experience for applications and workloads in Azure
- > Increased reliability using multiple links with automated failover and security
Silver Peak and Microsoft have partnered together to deliver a fully automated experience from the branch to the Azure WAN. This solution delivers a secure branch-to-Azure connectivity, with SD-WAN application aware intelligent traffic steering across a Microsoft-powered backbone.