One, Two, Five — no, Three! — SD-WAN Demos for #NFD11

On January 21st, the entourage of delegates for Networking Field Day 11 descended on Silver Peak headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. Eleven delegates, representing a cross section of the networking tech community, were in attendance to learn about Silver Peak’s SD-WAN offerings.

Showing Off Silver Peak’s SD-WAN Capabilities

David Hughes, Founder and CEO, led off by introducing the company and discussed how Silver Peak’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution securely connects enterprise users to their applications via a cost-effective and efficient WAN. David is a hands-on CEO and this resonated with the delegates. They were impressed with David’s ability to engage in technical discussions, clearly demonstrating Silver Peak’s aptitude and understanding of the quickly evolving SD-WAN space.

Silver Peak CEO & Founder David Hughes addresses the NFD 11 delegates on Jan 21, 2016.

Silver Peak CEO & Founder David Hughes addresses the NFD 11 delegates on Jan 21, 2016.

Next up, Damon Ennis, SVP of Products, took the stage to walk through the fundamentals of the Unity EdgeConnect solution. Damon covered the key components of the hardware and software appliances, in addition to licensing options, and key features like zero touch provisioning (ZTP), packet-based Dynamic Path Control (DPC), business intent overlays, and Silver Peak’s unique ability to make Internet links reliable using path conditioning.

Damon Ennis, SVP Products, explains EdgeConnect in detail to the NFD 11 delegates.

Damon Ennis, SVP Products, explains EdgeConnect in detail to the NFD 11 delegates.

Finally Rolf Muralt, Silver Peak’s Director of SD-WAN Products, demonstrated not one, not two, but five – eh! – three live demos to the delegates. (Apologies to non-Monty Python fans!)

Highlighting Unity EdgeConnect’s Features & Benefits

First, Rolf highlighted EdgeConnect’s ability to provide customers the means to centrally assign business policy to secure and control traffic across the entire enterprise WAN. Using Silver Peak’s central management console, Unity Orchestrator, Rolf showed off single-screen administration to quickly implement network-wide business intent policy, eliminating complex and error-prone policy changes out to a branch office. (Network engineers just got their weekends back!)

In the second demo, Rolf highlighted Silver Peak’s broadband QoS functions. Broadband QoS makes previously unreliable links reliable. Rolf showed how a high-quality, real-time video stream seamlessly endured an MPLS link failure by automatically switching over (in less than a second!) to a broadband Internet link that was shown to have high loss. Silver Peak’s Broadband QoS employs path conditioning, dynamic path control (DPC), real-time network measurement, bi-directional traffic shaping to deliver unequaled reliability across even the most impaired of network connections.

Rolf Muralt, Director of SD-WAN Products, walks the NFD 11 delegates through a series of live Unity EdgeConnect demos.

Rolf Muralt, Director of SD-WAN Products, walks the NFD 11 delegates through a series of live Unity EdgeConnect demos.

The final demo showed how EdgeConnect can integrate with 3rd party solutions, in this case ZScaler, to steer trusted traffic to the data center, thus enabling direct-to-net access to Internet applications. With such a solution, enterprises can deploy Silver Peak and Zscaler to efficiently secure and scan all traffic to identify and block potential security threats.

In the end, it’s important to realize that there’s no magic dust behind the scenes. In a recent blog post on his site, movingpackets.net, delegate John Herbert acknowledges that he was skeptical coming into the Silver Peak presentation. He wonders if Silver Peak is “yet another SD-WAN solution” in an increasingly crowded space. In the end, however, John concludes that David Hughes and the Silver Peak team has “a good understanding not only of the technologies themselves, but also in the application of those technologies”. Finally, John advises “the product looks like it’s one to keep on your short list for SD WAN”. Thanks for the positive comments, John!
Thanks to all the delegates for their participation, questions and candid feedback. We had a great time!
Catch all of the Silver Peak presentations at Network Field Day 11 here: http://www.silver-peak.com/nfd11

(Many thanks to Alex Amaya for his contributions to this blog post!)

About the author
Chris Rogers
Chris is currently the Director of Cloud Solutions at Silver Peak. He has been in the data networking industry for close to 20 years in various customer-facing technical roles. Before taking on his current role, Chris served as the Director of the North American SE Team at Silver Peak. Prior to joining Silver Peak in 2008, Chris was a Solutions Architect at F5 Networks. He has also held sales engineering roles at Fiberlink, UUNet and CompuServe Network Services. Chris is married with two teenagers and currently resides in Massachusetts. He can be found on Twitter as @silverpeakchris.