SD-WAN Roundup: Silver Peak Enhances Security, Edges Cisco in Rankings


Silver Peak has bolstered its security apparatus this summer.

The Santa Clara, California-based vendor made two security-related announcements last month as it looks to differentiate itself in a crowded SD-WAN market.

Silver Peak added Forcepoint, McAfee and Symantec as technology partners; they join five security providers already in its stable. The company says the partnerships meet rising demand for cloud-based security.

Silver Peak's Damon Ennis

Silver Peak’s Damon Ennis

Silver Peak also announced that its Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN offering now has end-to-end segmentation and service chaining. Damon Ennis, senior vice president of products, tells Channel Partners that a lack of segmentation was one of the flaws that allowed the 2013 Target data breach. The threat actor entered through the company’s HVAC network to access its credit-card network.

“In order to address that, you really need complete end-to-end segmentation, so that within the retail office HVAC, ERP and point-of-sale are all segmented and separated from each other. That segmentation carries wide-area networks into the data center,” Ennis said.

The company’s SD-WAN fabric contains segmentation capabilities and resides in appliances at customer locations. The fabric has a zone-based firewall that performs backhaul, but Ennis says certain applications need to be sent to an extra firewall for unified threat management. Traffic that needs an “additional level of inspection” goes to one Silver Peak’s security partners.

He said there was been increasing feedback from Silver Peak’s 800-plus enterprise customers that led to the enhancement.

“They came to us and they said, ‘We don’t need you to be a next-gen firewall, but we do need this basic segmentation of four or five critical networks. I need that to happen in my store, all the way across the wide area network,'” Ennis said.

According to Ennis, end-to-end segmentation is becoming an important subject of discussion in the SD-WAN industry. But he says the big differentiation is Silver Peak’s Unity Orchestrator, which prevents partners and customers from having to manually configure appliances site by site.

The orchestrator applies network decisions to all of its sites instantly and helps bypass human error.

“Obviously the automation results in considerable cost savings to the customer because it’s easier to use, but it’s also by definition more robust and more secure because it’s a computer driving the configuration, not a human going in box by box, hoping they get the same thing 500 times,” Ennis said.

Nearing the Mainstream

Ennis says there’s not only a growing customer demand for SD-WAN, but also a growing willingness to invest in it entirely.

“The one thing that I’ve been pleasantly surprised about is how quickly customers are going all-in and doing 500 sites,” he said.

Another pleasing trend to Ennis is how customers are becoming more willing to replace their legacy WAN routers. Silver Peak has marketed itself as an alternative to Cisco’s “router-based” networking, as noted in one of our previous columns.

And the campaign seems to be sticking.

“Obviously Cisco’s got a hold on the networking market in general and has done a great job with making sure you need a DCIE to run your network, but people are getting tired of that, and people are looking for a much more simplified, automated approach,” Ennis said. “And that in the end is what the true benefit of SD-WAN is.”

He says Silver Peak is successfully shaping the SD-WAN conversation. Router replacement and automation have over taken discussions about the relationship between MPLS and internet, according to Ennis.

“We see that the market is quickly becoming …

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One comment

  1. Avatar Rene October 2, 2018 @ 11:12 am

    The SD-WAN market is rapidly growing. I agree with this statement: Many customers prefer do-it-yourself SD-WAN, but there is also an increase in a number of clients that are asking for their carriers to provide a managed service.

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