Ciena Agility and Silver Peak: Changing the Rules in Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

For the past few years, Silver Peak has been at the forefront of software-defined WAN services for the enterprise and in the cloud.  Our philosophy has been to provide our enterprise customers choice: the flexibility and simplicity of virtual appliances or the same software pre-installed on a physical appliance. Regardless of their choice and where they are deployed — in the enterprise branch, the enterprise data center or the cloud, we’ve offered the same performance and feature set. We’ve innovated in our packaging– offering support for all the major hypervisors (VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen, and KVM) and all the major cloud providers (VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure). We’ve also innovated in our pricing models – offering traditional enterprise perpetual pricing, annual subscriptions, and cloud consumption based pricing with Amazon (AWS).

Ciena_logoNow, we’re excited to announce our relationship with Ciena, which builds on our experience in the enterprise and will allow Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and carriers to offer Silver Peak as a Virtualized Network Function (VNF) to their customers. Ciena’s new offering, Agility Matrix software, is so important to Ciena that they’ve created a new division around it, also called Agility. The Ciena Matrix solution enables MSPs to adopt an extremely flexible strategy for adding and expanding network services and appliance functionality with a consumption-based billing model.  Included in Ciena’s new Agility Matrix software is VNF Market, an open, online marketplace for a variety of third-party VNFs, and Director, a management and orchestration engine. Users can drag and drop network services like encryption, firewalls, and VPNs which can be delivered as managed services in a matter of minutes versus days or weeks.

Silver Peak is collaborating with Ciena to offer our virtualized WAN Optimization as VNF on the Ciena platform, along with several other inaugural vendors including BlackRidge Technology, Brocade, Certes Networks, and Spirent Communications.

We see NFV as highly disruptive for service providers and enterprise customers alike. The old model of deploying physical appliances has many disadvantages. For MSPs, it is costly to deploy (requires a truck roll), costly to manage, and extremely inflexible. For enterprise customers as well, the physical model locks customers in for years at a time with limited (or no) ability to upgrade or re-deploy these resources as requirements change.

With NFV, MSPs can offer network services like WAN Optimization, Firewalls, Load Balancing, and Encryption on-demand — providing dramatically increased flexibility and cost savings to both the MSPs and their enterprise customers. Ciena’s Agility Matrix platform and VNF Market packages that flexibility in a pre-tested, pre-configured infrastructure so that MSPs can quickly ramp to offer these services to their customers vs having to develop their own NFV platform from scratch.

Over the coming months, we’ll be collaborating with Ciena to test and certify Silver Peak on the Ciena Agility Matrix platform so that MSPs and enterprise customers alike can quickly and easily implement Silver Peak WAN Optimization throughout their WAN. For more information, see the Ciena Press Release.