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

Cisco had a strong quarter-over-quarter improvement but is fourth in the latest revenue rankings.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

July 13, 2018

6 Min Read

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 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 …

… educated on what a full SD-WAN solution is, as opposed to just sending some traffic down one link and some traffic down the other,” he said.

Many customers prefer do-it-yourself SD-WAN, but Ennis says there is an increasing number of clients that are asking for their carriers to provide a managed service. At the same time, more partners view SD-WAN as an on-ramp to becoming managed service providers (MSPs).

He says Silver Peak sees service providers as a rapidly growing base of partners,

“We think longer term, the service-provider opportunity is really going to drive the lion’s share of the addressable market,” Ennis said.

The vendor announced two weeks ago that venture capital company TCV awarded it a $90 million strategic investment. Silver Peak said the new funding will “expedite execution of its go-to-market expansion plans.”

Tim McAdam, general partner at TCV, said Silver Peak stood out compared to its counterparts.

“After researching all the players in the multibillion-dollar SD-WAN market and speaking with enterprise CIOs, it is clear that Silver Peak has the most complete solution, clear market differentiation and traction, and a unique vision for the future of the new WAN edge. We look forward to working with the team to rapidly grow the business.”

The Latest Rankings

Silver Peak edged out Cisco for the second consecutive quarter in IHS Markit‘s SD-WAN report.

The firm declared last year that VMware and Cisco were in a “two-horse race” after their respective acquisitions of VeloCloud Networks and Viptela, but two vendors have leapfrogged Cisco. Cisco did report a higher quarter-over-quarter growth at a 25 percent clip.

Aryaka, which shared the chart below, declared that it is the largest pure-play vendor in the industry and within 1 percent of overtaking VMware’s revenue.


(Source: IHS Markit)











Gary Sevounts, Aryaka’s chief marketing officer, said that his company has a “unique ability to enhance cloud/SaaS and on-premises application performance for globally distributed businesses.”

“With a continued focus on application delivery, performance and availability, our solution serves as an anchor point for initiatives such as cloud/SaaS migration, multicloud deployment, rollout of mission-critical business applications, UCaaS adoption and enterprise productivity enhancement,” Sevounts said.

We last spoke to Sevounts and Aryaka in the spring, when the carrier compared its security strategy to one of its competitors.

Quick Hits

  • Ray Le Maistre of Light Reading has an interesting scoop on Alkira, a new San Jose-based startup. The company has been tight-lipped about its purpose, but the majority of its C-level executives came from Viptela (and Cisco by acquisition). Check out the story.

  • Aruba launched a software-defined branch solution at HPE Discover last month. Lynn Haber has the story.

  • GTT Communications announced that a large Danish cleaning solutions company picked it for SD-WAN. Read the full announcement.

  • SD-WAN provider FatPipe Networks teamed up with NFV provider Telco Systems to launch open uCPE solution. Read their announcement about their partnership.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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