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What is SD-WAN? An intro to giving your enterprise the (WAN) Edge



With Aruba Network’s recent acquisition of Silver Peak, an SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) leader, the VLCM team is excited to share what a great advantage this brings to enterprises looking to accelerate their edge-to-cloud transformation.


“WAN transformation is a key component of HPE’s Intelligent Edge and edge-to-cloud vision and growth strategy,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO of HPE. “Armed with a comprehensive SD-WAN portfolio with the addition of Silver Peak, we will accelerate the delivery of a true distributed cloud model and cloud experience for all apps and data wherever they live.”


That being said, what exactly IS SD-WAN and how does it advance cloud transformation? Here, you’ll find the basics of SD-WAN, what the benefits are, and why VLCM recommends Silver Peak to get IT right.


What is SD-WAN? 


A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that uses a centralized control function to securely and intelligently direct application traffic across the WAN. An SD-WAN provides enterprises with the flexibility to use any combination of transport services — including MPLS, 4G LTE and broadband internet services — ensuring users have secure and reliable connectivity to applications.


SD-WAN technology is the answer to growing bandwidth demands and tightening budget considerations. New solutions offer simplified WAN operations and reduced operational costs for those managing public and private WAN connections, and those shifting toward cloud‑based services altogether.

Traditional WANs based on conventional routers were never designed for the cloud. They typically require backhauling all traffic – including cloud- destined traffic – from branch offices to a hub or headquarters data center where advanced security inspection services can be applied. The delay caused by backhaul impairs application performance resulting in a poor user experience and lost productivity.


Unlike the traditional router-centric WAN architecture, the SD-WAN model is designed to fully support applications hosted in on-premise data centers, public or private clouds and SaaS services such as Salesforce.com, Workday, Office 365 and Dropbox, while delivering the highest levels of application performance.


What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

An advanced SD-WAN offering, like the Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform drives additional cost savings by replacing multiple branch devices such as routers, firewalls and stand-alone WAN Optimization appliances. Additionally, Silver Peak enables enterprises to build a modern WAN that drives maximum value from existing and ongoing cloud and digital transformation investments, achieving a multiplier effect.

SD-WAN Benefits

  • Increased app performance and availability
  • Enhanced agility and responsiveness
  • Improved WAN security
  • Simplified WAN architecture
  • Operational efficiencies

Business Impacts

    • Improved business productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability; increased net promoter score.
    • Helps IT reduce downtime.
    • Faster time-to-market; accelerated ROI on cloud investments
    • Reduced risk; brand image protection
    • More efficient IT resource utilization and IT responsiveness; consistent policies across the enterprise
    • Lower WAN costs


Why VLCM recommends Silver Peak to get IT right


Enterprises are increasingly investing in SD-WAN technologies as legacy WAN architectures incur relatively high costs and are cumbersome to operate. Aruba and Silver Peak share a common vision and goal to provide simplicity, scalability, and application-awareness at the edge. Aruba’s all-in-one SD-Branch portfolio and remote worker solutions, combined with Silver Peak’s self-driving SD-WAN and WAN optimization solutions, allow Aruba to better address a wide set of customer requirements in order to capitalize on a promising market opportunity.

“I look forward to leading the new WAN business unit within Aruba and accelerating our customers’ edge-to-cloud transformation initiatives,” said David Hughes, founder of Silver Peak and senior vice president of the WAN business at Aruba. “Digital transformation, cloud-first IT architectures, and the need to support a mobile work-from-anywhere workforce are driving enterprises to rethink the network edge. The combination of Silver Peak and Aruba will uniquely enable customers to realize the full transformational promise of these IT megatrends.”

Among these reasons, VLCM also recommends Aruba and Silver Peak because of Silver Peak’s exclusive focus on the WAN edge. We have found that not all SD-WANs are created equal - they lack the intelligence, reliability, performance, scale, and aggressive competition Silver Peak offers in the WAN space.

To learn more about SD-WAN, visit vlcm.com/sd-wan.



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