Silver Peak SD-WAN Solution Now Includes 'Thin Branch' Deployment Option, SaaS Optimization

Silver Peak is making SD-WAN at the branch easier to configure and manage for enterprises with a new "thin branch" approach to its network architecture.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based WAN specialist Silver Peak has upgraded its flagship SD-WAN Unity EdgeConnect physical and virtual appliances in three ways, based on the feedback the vendor has received from partners, Damon Ennis, senior vice president of products for Silver Peak, told CRN.

"[Partners and end customers] want dead-simple, economical, and fully automated," Ennis said. "It's about getting better access to applications with a more agile solution."

[Related: Silver Peak Teams With China Telecom, Westcon-Comstor To Provide Global, Managed SD-WAN Services]

Each SD-WAN appliance can now be configured and managed in a highly-available, active-active cluster, which can be managed through the Unity Ochestrator platform. The update provides hardware redundancy to maximize application availability and minimize downtime across "thin branch" deployments, according to Ennis.

Through an optional license, customers can subscribe to Unity Orchestrator as-a-service, the "brains" behind Silver Peak SD-WAN that allows for single-touch SD-WAN management, Ennis said. This deployment alternative puts Ochestrator in the Silver Peak cloud for customers that don't want to host the platform in their own data center.

"Not only is having Orchestrator as-a-service in our cloud more convenient for customers, but by definition, it is more highly available than it might be sitting in someone's data center," Ennis said.

The SD-WAN solution will also now include Cloud Intelligence built-in, its SaaS optimization technology that partners have previously had to sell as a separate license.

Datalink, a Silver Peak partner, has been selling Silver Peak's SD-WAN solutions to its clients. The latest updates that will give the solution guaranteed uptime is huge for partners and end customers, said Barry Gurman, regional sales director, of the northern California region for solution provider Datalink Corporation, an Insight Company.

The updates could reduce the number of connections or appliances needed at the branch for end customers, saving businesses money and simplifying management of the solution, Gurman said.

"These features really add more value to what SD-WAN is doing for [clients] and what it can do for them," he said.

Gurman said that he's impressed with Silver Peak's pivot toward SD-WAN, a move that some legacy WAN optimization vendors are struggling with today. 

"Whether it’s the high availability, orchestration, or SaaS optimization, it shows Silver Peak is looking at the market, innovating, and coming out with new features that is going to make the overall usage simpler," he said.

Including the SaaS optimization technology into the SD-WAN solution solves a particular pain point for the channel that partners were bringing to Silver Peak's attention, Sliver Peak's Ennis said.

"The channel wasn't sure when they should sell this additional license, so including this license into the solution really simplifies everyone's life," he said.

The ability to include SaaS optimization as part of the SD-WAN solution demonstrates that Silver Peak understands that customers would rather buy a "single-source" solution, rather than a slew of standalone products, he added.   

Silver Peak announced that it has surpassed 500 production customer deployments worldwide for its EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution, which it sells exclusively through the channel. Silver Peak launched its SD-WAN global partner program in 2015.

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