I’ve just returned from attending the 17th annual MPLS+SDN+NFV World Congress 2017 in Paris, a very energetic and engaging service provider conference. The event has evolved from its early days as a leading MPLS technical conferences to a multi-technology and telecom solutions-focused conference spanning all aspects of virtualization, including SDN and NFV. I had the good fortune of participating 14 years ago and was excited to return with Silver Peak for this year’s event, where SD-WAN was a central theme across the conference agenda, plenary sessions, and exhibit hall.
At this year’s spring conference, SD-WAN emerged as one of the hottest topics for service provider attendees. There was a strong buzz around the conference venues and in the exhibition area showcasing SD-WAN technologies, the market opportunity, and the various vendor demos and use cases. In fact, SDxCentral’s Roy Chua noted in his keynote and the chart below that SD-WAN and vCPE are the most searched topics on their website and among the most popular networking technologies for both enterprises and service providers alike.
We met and spoke with many service providers currently evaluating SD-WAN solutions and preparing to deploy new managed SD-WAN services in 2017 and 2018. Some are going to augment their current MPLS service offerings with broadband or LTE, or in some cases revamp their existing hybrid WAN services to include managed SD-WAN service options. Many of these service providers are also examining how SD-WAN solutions will enable SaaS and IaaS applications to perform with SLAs and over any transport, including broadband.
Silver Peak participated as a major SD-WAN solution vendor sponsor and featured live hands-on Unity EdgeConnectSP SD-WAN solution demonstrations in our booth. We highlighted the importance of SD-WAN in an application-centric environment with specific performance metrics and SLA policies that can be applied to individual applications or groups of applications. Using live video and voice traffic and a combination of MPLS and broadband services, the demonstrations highlighted how service providers can offer high-performance managed SD-WAN services with SLAs even when one or more of the transport connections experiences packet loss or higher latency, also referred to as a brownout condition.
Silver Peak partner Telco Systems also offered an interactive demonstration of EdgeConnect running as an SD-WAN VNF on their vCPE appliances. Using the Unity Orchestrator, the demonstration highlighted the flexibility of the virtual EdgeConnect appliance operating as a VNF on industry standard x86 hardware, validating its integration flexibility with third party management platforms.
We engaged in many hallway conversations throughout the conference, including discussions with service providers about the emerging SD-WAN use cases we’re seeing across our 350+ customer deployments, and what they should look for when evaluating vendor solutions. Our booth highlighted four of the most important use cases that service providers are evaluating with the Silver Peak EdgeConnectSP SD-WAN solution.
After reflecting on this event, Silver Peak’s emphasis on enabling service providers to develop high-performance, tiered services with SLAs that incorporate performance, security, visibility, and extensibility capabilities resonated with attendees. We answered a lot of questions about the SD-WAN use cases and received many compliments about the live demonstration. The attendees certainly have a lot of vendor choices to consider, and as the market demand for managed SD-WAN services increases, we welcome you to visit our website to learn more about what EdgeConnect can do to help you develop your high-performance managed SD-WAN or Hybrid WAN service.