How a business-driven SD-WAN can deliver a multiplier effect on your cloud investments

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Jo Youngju

I just left another CIO meeting with a Fortune 100 prospect who was wondering, “why Silver Peak versus the 800-pound gorilla in the networking space that offers several different ‘SD-WAN’ offerings?” The challenge she faced wasn’t about whether it was the best solution or not - Silver Peak cruised through the technical evaluation, easily winning the technical recommendation. What she really wanted to know is if she should trust the future of her next Wide Area Network (WAN) to a private company.

This is a challenge we at Silver Peak face in seemingly every account we earn. The technical part isn’t the hard part, as we consistently win product evaluations and bakeoffs. What we have to prove is that it’s actually less risky to choose Silver Peak as the platform to build their next generation WAN on when compared to trying to stretch a Cisco router-centric model. 

Our response to C-level concerns like this is always the same: unlike our competitors, we bring unique differentiators that must be taken into consideration when looking at the long-term business benefits of building a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN): 

  1. We deliver a multiplier effect on your existing and ongoing investments in cloud applications and services
    • We are, in essence, an insurance policy for all the expensive SaaS applications being deployed today and in the future. For a fraction of the overall spend, you can ensure that all SaaS applications run at peak performance – including voice and video over broadband with SLAs. You also gain the ability to retire legacy branch routers and firewalls, automate everything, gain advanced security and the freedom to select best-of-breed partners without compromise.
  2. We solve the “first-mile” issue better than any other solution on the market
    • It’s all about application SLAs across the internet and the biggest roadblock to consistent application performance for SaaS applications, leveraging internet break-out at the branch, is the performance of the internet circuits from the branch to the nearest internet backbone. Silver Peak has a long and proven history of solving for packet loss, congestion and out-of-order packets. By bonding tunnels and fully automating the entire process over subpar networks, we make it easy for enterprises to move off of private, expensive, MPLS circuits to an all broadband WAN.
  3. It’s all about automation and orchestration
    • Centralized and adaptive orchestration enables self-learning and continuous control to ensure ongoing alignment with business intent. If the network performance changes, new links are added, SaaS applications or IaaS providers make changes, or new cloud security PoPs are added, Silver Peak learns this and automatically and continuously adapts. This adaptive, self-learning solution automatically addresses changes without disruption to assure user productivity because applications don’t break or become sluggish due to poor performance. This can translate into competitive differentiation, higher productivity from employees and ultimately, higher revenue as the business continues to operate normally even under less than ideal conditions.
  4. Silver Peak just works
    • It’s not super dramatic, but we’ve been doing this for 1000’s of large enterprise customers for over 15 years. It’s our focus. It’s what we do. If you’re going to retire legacy Cisco routers that have been working for years, albeit primarily just passing packets, with a much more sophisticated solution, it better just work and have all the features required to integrate with your existing environment.
  5. We provide a future-proof platform for the WAN that evolves as your needs change
    • We’re 100 percent focused on delivering the WAN of today and the future. This is all we do. Our company is not successful unless the Silver Peak SD-WAN is successful. We must continuously innovate to be the leader in the technical capabilities required of the next generation WAN. We have to make it a priority to enable a “best-of-breed” WAN. That means partnering with leading ecosystem partners, like Zscaler, Palo Alto Networks, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, while seamlessly working with the best-of-breed solutions needed to build the best WAN.
  6. Our architectural philosophy is focused on extending the performance, visibility, and security of the traditional private WAN out to the edges of the internet
    • This means that every enterprise owns the WAN end points from end-to-end, irrespective of where those end points reside. Many SD-WAN solutions provide “shared” cloud gateways. Dedicated Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ appliances can be deployed in any IaaS Data center, SaaS offering, and/or private data center, and intelligently provide the highest quality of experience possible for every application.

As I told this particular CIO and dozens more who are also making strategic business decisions, for most enterprises it’s much riskier to bet your cloud investments and digital transformation initiatives on companies that are doing SD-WAN as an add-on to their portfolio businesses. This is what we do, and we’ve been doing it better than anyone for going on two decades.

If you are rethinking your WAN edge (and we believe you should be), this Gartner SD-WAN report is a must-read.

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