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What is the use case for Silver Peak SD WAN?

Written by Robert Sturt

Robert Sturt is Managing Director of Netify, an SD-WAN, SASE security & connectivity market network where you can login free to compare and shortlist vendors.

What is the use case for Silver Peak SD WAN? The management interface is incredibly comprehensive, coupled with powerful features that support a use case for medium to large Enterprise network requirements. Silver Peak is known for WAN optimisation which is both comprehensive in respect of features and highly configurable. We recommend Silver Peak as a vendor which suits the need of larger organisations with requirements which lean toward the more complex side of WAN capability.

Silver Peak (Aruba) is an enterprise-grade SD WAN vendor which provides reliable, high-performance connectivity for distributed enterprise networks. In this article, we will discuss some of the vendors capability and use cases.

What regions are covered by Silver Peak?

Silver Peak operations and staff are firmly based in North America with a smaller contingent of employees operating across Asia and EMEA. Although Silver Peak has a broad range of customers, including mid-market, the strategy does appear to point toward the acquisition of larger global Enterprise organisations.

What are the use case strengths of Silver Peak?
  • Comprehensive and capable features.
  • WAN acceleration capability which is well respected and feature-rich.
  • Future strategy to increase their analytics and reporting capability.
  • Support for large complex networks.
What are the use case weaknesses of Silver Peak?
  • No SASE security built-in, Silver Peak relies on partnerships with Zscaler and Checkpoint to deliver SASE - integration with these partners is well-thought-out. (Don't forget, this could be a strength depending on your perspective)
  • As with most vendors, Silver Peak only sell via the channel, which means selecting one of their partners will also need to factor into your research.
  • Not an ideal fit for medium businesses with smaller IT teams and a need to self-manage due to management interface complexity.
Can you buy from Silver Peak directly?

Yes, but this hardly ever happens. Like most SD WAN vendors, Silver Peak has built and continues to build its business via authorised channel partners. We discussed the Silver Peak management interface earlier - and the extensive feature-set - which is the enabler to the configuration of complex networks. In many ways, making the most of Silver Peak requires extensive knowledge across your IT team to fully deliver full capability. While most SD WAN vendors do operate via the channel, there are a number of vendors that are better suited to DIY or simpler needs.


“Like most SD WAN vendors, Silver Peak has built and continues to build its business via authorised channel partners.”

Consideration must be made to which partners are a good fit to deliver your solution.



In summary, there is a need to evaluate Silver Peak as a vendor and the partners that surround their solution. Which partner you select is often driven by the account managers relationship with their base.

Silver Peak SD WAN has an extensive set of features that make it a good choice for medium to large enterprise networks. These include:

  • Automation of applications and policies
  • Transport independence
  • Quality of Experience
  • Business intent orchestration
  • Out of the box identification of applications
  • Application visbility and control, i.e. QoS and bandwidth
  • Path conditioning which discovers the best path vs performance metrics and FEC (Forward Error Correction)
What is the use case for the Silver Peak SD WAN Edge platform?

The Silver Peak SD WAN Edge is designed to support all connection types from Internet (clearly recommended for SD WAN) to MPLS and private circuits. Reading through the marketing provided by Silver Peak, their product majors on the use of low-cost Broadband to replace expensive MPLS circuits. Silver Peak state that low-cost Broadband can be used to support voice, video and mission-critical applications. And thus, you can spend next to nothing on your connectivity leaving you to use your budget on Silver Peak.

Netify takes the view that careful analysis must be made into the support and bandwidth offered by low-cost circuits. As an example, while leased lines (Internet or MPLS) circuits are undoubtedly higher in respect of cost, the level of support and expertise provided by their respective NOCs is generally much better. If downtime occurs, the Enterprise will work with the service providers support team to fix the circuit problem based on an agreed SLA (Service Level Agreement) using well-defined support processes.

In short, while Silver Peak is capable of delivering performance increases over Broadband, we would recommend caution depending on needs. It is unlikely that the average low-cost Broadband connection will deliver any form of SLA when compared to Ethernet leased lines.

Silver Peak include features such a tunnel bonding, FEC (Forward Error Correction) and DPS (Dynamic Path Selection). The afore features allow their customer base to leverage low cost connectivity.

The above features such as FEC (Forward Error Correction) are worth mentioning as the technology is used to recover from errors. Alongside product features, Silver Peak recommends the use of dual circuits to duplicate voice traffic. If the data becomes corrupt on one link, the other link will present the uncorrupted data so that the conversation continues as normal. Voice does not respond well to packet loss, jitter and delay so duplication of traffic across dual circuits will reduce the risks of these issues occurring.

What is the use case for the Silver Peak orchestrator?

SD WAN orchestration for Silver Peak allows your IT team to understand their network, application usage and statistics. With the right data points, the Silver Peak SD WAN orchestrator is positioned to deliver policy changes based on knowledge of your network. Over time, the data can be used to define new policies across branch-office and remote user setup. As your IT team views data points, it may become apparent that certain applications are not business-related which allows all future deployments to contain a policy to restrict access. Remote users are a good example of the capability to deliver out of the box business intent. Silver Peak has built extensive knowledge across safe/unsafe applications and threats, allowing the typical Enterprise business to quickly deploy the SD WAN configuration.


“With the right data points, the Silver Peak SD WAN orchestrator is positioned to deliver policy changes based on knowledge of your network.”

With comprehensive statistics, Silver Peak customers are positioned to make enhancements to improve performance.



What is the use case for Silver Peak WAN acceleration?

Silver Peak offer one of the most robust and readily available Gigabit WAN acceleration product on the market. Deployment options include physical hardware appliances or virtualised instances with a downloadable trial. One of the major benefits of Silver Peak is its integration within AWS and Azure IaaS.

WAN acceleration software can be directly deployed with no requirements to install plugins. Overall, their NX (physical) and VX (virtual) optimisation works across any application to improve performance.

What is the use case for Silver Peak network security?

With most SD WAN vendors adding full SASE security capability, Silver Peak leverages their partnership with Zscaler and Checkpoint. The Silver Peak solution offers out-of-the-box security capability via their Unity EdgeConnect product, but their management interface essentially controls and deploys Zscaler and Checkpoint capability. We've written about the benefits of vendors with complete control of their technology stack which clearly isn't the case here but Silver Peak are fully integrating with the partner. The viewpoint of partnerships is polarising for the most part. Some IT teams state the need for an end-to-end fully owned vendor solution that includes SD WAN and SASE, but others prefer the best of breed security capability from highly experienced and capable vendors such as Zscaler or Checkpoint.

What products to Silver Peak offer?
  • Unity Edgeconnect
  • Unity Orchestrator
  • Unity Boost WAN Optimisation

Author

Robert Sturt insider@netify.co.uk Last Updated: 29.04.2021
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