Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN Solution

As cloud-based application adoption continues to accelerate, geographically distributed enterprises increasingly view the wide area network (WAN) as critical to connecting users to applications.

As enterprise applications migrate from the corporate data center to the cloud, private line connections such as multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) have proven to be overly rigid and expensive. With greater reliance on the Internet, the opportunity to achieve “cloud speed” is better served by integrating broadband services into the WAN transport mix.

Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solutions enable 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 MPLS networks, Silver Peak improves customer responsiveness, increases application performance, and significantly reduces capital and operational expenses by up to 90%.

Unity EdgeConnect Solution

Three components comprise the Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution:

  • Unity EdgeConnect physical or virtual appliances (supporting any common hypervisor) deployed in branch offices to create a secure, virtual network overlay. This enables customers to move to a broadband WAN at their own pace, whether site-by-site, or via a hybrid WAN approach that leverages MPLS and broadband internet connectivity.
  • Unity Orchestrator, included with the EdgeConnect solution, provides unprecedented levels of visibility into both legacy and cloud applications and the unique ability to centrally assign policies based on business intent to secure and control all WAN traffic. Policy automation speeds and simplifies the deployment of multiple branch offices.
  • Unity Boost is an optional performance pack that service chains WAN optimization to the EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution. Boost allows companies to accelerate performance of latency-sensitive applications and minimize transmission of repetitive data across the WAN in a single, fully integrated SD-WAN solution.

EdgeConnect Key Features

Figure 1: EdgeConnect XS shown here. Also available as a virtual appliance.
Figure 1: EdgeConnect XS shown here. Also available as a virtual appliance.
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning: A plug-and-play deployment model 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) such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware’s vCloud Air.
  • Tunnel Bonding: Configured from two or more physical WAN transport services, bonded tunnels form a single logical overlay connection, aggregating the performance of all underlying links. If a link fails, the remaining transport links continue to carry all traffic avoiding application interruption.
  • Virtual WAN Overlays: The EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution is built upon an application-specific virtual WAN overlay model. Multiple overlays may be defined to abstract the underlying physical transport services from the virtual overlays, each supporting different QoS, transport, and failover characteristics. Applications are mapped to different overlays based upon business intent.
  • Dynamic Path Control (DPC): Real-time traffic steering is applied over any broadband or MPLS link based on companydefined policies based upon business intent. In the event of an outage or brownout, DPC automatically switches-over to a secondary connection.
  • WAN Hardening: Each WAN overlay is secured edge-to-edge via 256-bit AES encrypted tunnels.No unauthorized outside traffic can enter the branch. With the option to deploy EdgeConnet directly onto the Internet, WAN hardening secures branch offices without the appliance sprawl and operating costs of deploying and managing dedicated firewalls.
  • Path Conditioning: Provides private-line-like performance over the public Internet. Includes techniques to overcome the adverse effects of dropped and out-of-order packets that are common with broadband Internet and MPLS connections to improve application performance.
  • First-packet iQ Application Classification: EdgeConnect First-packet iQ application classification identifies applications on the first packet to deliver trusted SaaS and web traffic directly to the Internet while directing unknown or suspicious traffic to the data center firewall or IDS/IPS. Identifying applications on the first packet is especially important when branches are deployed behind Network Address Translation (NAT); the correct path must be selected based on the first packet to avoid session interruption.
  • Internet Breakout: Granular, intelligent traffic steering enabled by First-packet iQ eliminates the inefficiency of back hauling all HTTP/HTTPS traffic to the data center. Alternatively, trusted SaaS and web traffic may be sent directly from the branch to the Internet delivering the highest performance. Unknown or untrusted web traffic can be directed to more advanced corporate or web-based security services.
  • Stateful Firewall: An extension of WAN hardening, stateful firewall integrated with Edge Connect ensures no unauthorized outside traffic can enter the branch, but branch-initiated sessions are allowed enabling secure Internet Breakout.
  • Routing: EdgeConnect supports standard Layer 2 and Layer 3 open networking protocols such as VLAN (802.1Q), LAG (802.3ad), IPv4 and IPv6 forwarding, GRE, IPsec, VRRP, WCCP, PBR, BGP (version 4).
  • Figure 2: Orchestrator enables the automated distribution of business intent policies to multiple branch offices.
    Figure 2: Orchestrator enables the automated distribution of business intent policies to multiple branch offices.
  • Cloud Intelligence: Real-time updates on the best performing path to reach hundreds of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, ensuring users connect to those applications in the fastest, most intelligent way available.

Orchestrator Key Features

  • 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.
  • 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 allow 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: Documents the cost savings for moving to broadband connectivity.

Orchestrator Enables Faster SD-WAN Deployments

Unity Orchestrator, included with Unity EdgeConnect, enables zero-touch provisioning of EdgeConnect appliances in the branch. Orchestrator automates the assignment of business intent policies to ensure faster and easier connectivity across multiple branches, eliminating the configuration drift that can come from manually updating rules and access control lists (ACLs) on a site-by-site basis. Unity Orchestrator enables customers to:

  • Avoid WAN reconfigurations by delivering applications to users in customized virtual overlays.
  • Align application delivery to business goals through virtual WAN overlays based on business intent.
  • Figure 3: Orchestrator enables centralized and automated overlay management.
    Figure 3: Orchestrator enables centralized and automated overlay management.
  • Simplify branch deployments with EdgeConnect Profiles that describe the virtual and physical configuration of the location.

In addition to centralized and automated control of the entire SD-WAN topology (Figure 3), Unity Orchestrator provides specific detail into WAN performance, including:

  • Detailed reporting on application, location, and network statistics.
  • Continuous performance monitoring of throughput, loss, latency, jitter and packet ordering for all network paths.
  • Identification of all application traffic by name and location.
  • Alarms and alerts allow for faster resolution of service provider issues.
  • Bandwidth cost savings report for documenting the cost savings of moving to broadband.

Gain Control over the Cloud

Gain an accurate picture of how Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and are being used within your organization.

  • Name-based identification and reporting of all cloud applications.
  • Tracking of SaaS provider network traffic.
  • Cloud Intelligence provides Internet mapping of optimal egress to SaaS services.

Boost Application Performance as Needed

Unity Boost is an optional performance pack that includes:

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

Why Add Boost?

Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect appliances alone provide enhanced application performance for broadband or hybrid WAN deployments, utilizing the included Dynamic Path Control (DPC) for real-time traffic steering over multiple WAN links, and Path Conditioning for overcoming the adverse effects of dropped and out-of-order packets that are common with Internet connections.

However, sometimes additional performance is needed for specific applications or locations. As distance between locations increases over the WAN, application performance degrades.

This has less to do with the available bandwidth, and is more about the time it takes to send and receive data packets over distance, and the number of times data must be re-sent.

Boost Use Case Examples

  • Customers replicating to a disaster recovery (DR) site thousands-of-miles away might want to add Boost to ensure recovery point objectives (RPOs) are not compromised.
  • Enterprises with remote sites located in rural areas, or with sites that are exceptionally farther away from the company’s data center, might want to add Unity Boost to overcome the effects of high latency.

With Unity Boost, customers gain the flexibility to enable enhanced WAN optimization capabilities where and when it is needed in a fully integrated solution. Boost is licensed per-megabit-per-second, per-month, so customers do not have to pay for WAN optimization across the entire network.

Overcome Effects of Latency

The time it takes for information to go from sender to receiver and back is referred to as network latency. Since the speed of light is constant, WAN latency is directly proportional to the distance traveled between the two network endpoints. Silver Peak offers a variety of TCP acceleration techniques to mitigate WAN latency, including Window Scaling, Selective Acknowledgement, Round-Trip Measurement, and High-Speed TCP.

Figure 4: Boost enables customers to add application performance as needed.
Figure 4: Boost enables customers to add application performance as needed.

Windows and other applications that rely on the Common Internet File System (CIFS) often take longer to perform common file operations over distance, such as retrieving and sharing files. Unity Boost helps these applications not only by improving the underlying TCP transport, but also by accelerating CIFS through CIFS read-ahead, CIFS write-behind, and CIFS metadata optimizations.

Increase Throughput

As packets flow through EdgeConnect appliances, Boost inspects WAN traffic at the byte-level and stores content in local data stores. As new packets arrive, Silver Peak computes fingerprints of the data contained within the packets, and checks to see whether these fingerprints match data that is stored locally.

If the remote appliance contains the information, there is no need to resend it over the WAN. Instead, specific start-stop instructions are sent to deliver the data locally.

Unity EdgeConnect Hardware Platforms


EdgeConnect US

EdgeConnect XS

EdgeConnect S

EdgeConnect M

EdgeConnect L

EdgeConnect XL

Part Identifier







Typical Deployment

Small Branch/

Home Office

Small Branch

Large Branch

Head Office Small Hub

Data Center

Large Hub

Data Center

Large Hub

Typical WAN Bandwidth

1-100 Mbps

2-200 Mbps





1-5 Gbps

2-10 Gbps

Simultaneous Connections







Recommend Boost up to

25 Mbps

50 Mbps

200 Mbps

500 Mbps

1 Gbps

5 Gbps


/ FRUs




Power and SSD

Power and SSD

Power and SSD

Datapath Interfaces

3 x RJ45


4 x RJ45


6 x RJ45

1/10G Option

4 x RJ45

2 x1/10G


4 x RJ45

2 x 1/10G


4 x 1/10G


Unity EdgeConnect Technical Support


Support is included as part of the EdgeConnect Base subscription license

Web-based Support Portal

Unlimited access 24 / 7 / 365 includes software downloads, technical documentation, and online knowledge base

Software Updates

Major and minor features releases; maintenance releases

Technical Support

24 / 7 / 365 Phone / E-mail / Web

Response Time

2 Hours

Extended Warranty

EdgeConnect hardware purchase options include a 1, 3 or 5-year warranty. Advanced replacement hardware ships the same business day via Priority Overnight Shipment if submitted and verified by 12:00PM local time of the supporting depot.

Flexible Deployment Models

  • EdgeConnect Virtual (EC-V) – Download and install EdgeConnect from anywhere in the world. The software runs on all common hypervisors, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and KVM.
  • EdgeConnect Physical (EC) – For enterprises that are not virtualized in the branch, choose one-of-five EdgeConnect hardware appliance models for plug-and-play deployment.

Unity EdgeConnect Subscription Licensing

The EdgeConnect Mini license supports up to 50 megabits-per-second (Mbps) and is $99 per-site, per-month. The EdgeConnect Base license supports up to 200 Mbps and is $199 per-site, per-month. An additional Plus license is required for sites requiring more than 200 Mbps and is only available with the EdgeConnect Base license.

EdgeConnect includes Unity Orchestrator on-premise. An optional cloud-hosted Orchestrator license provides a highly reliable alternative deployment model supporting all Orchestrator features without the complexity of managing on-premise virtual compute and storage resources. Unity Boost is an optional performance pack that may be ordered and deployed flexibly to sites that require application acceleration. Boost is $5 per-Mbps, per-month.

Appliance, Application Visibility & Control, Broadband, Business Overlays, Cloud Intelligence, Dynamic Path Control, EdgeConnect, Hybrid WAN, Internet Breakout, Latency, NX - Physical, Path Conditioning, Real-Time Monitoring, Replication Accelleration, Reporting, SAAS, SD-WAN, Security, Single Screen Admin, Stateful Firewall, Tunnel Bonding, Unity Architecture, Virtual WAN Overlays, VRX - Virtual, VX - Virtual, Zero Touch Provisioning