HPE makes big SD-WAN play with $925M Silver Peak acquisition

Silver Peak's Unity WAN technology will slide into HPE subsidiary Aruba's portfolio and give it an immediate boost in the hot SD-WAN arena.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise took a significant leap into the SD-WAN market with its offer to buy networking vendor Silver Peak for $925 million.

Silver Peak's Unity WAN technology will slide into HPE subsidiary Aruba's portfolio and give it an immediate shot in the competitive arm when it comes to the hot SD-WAN arena where Cisco, VMware and others are attracting enterprise IT dollars.

Founded in 2004 by David Hughes, who is still CEO, Silver Peak develops a variety of wide-area network technologies including WAN optimization and SD-WAN software.

"Our Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform is highly complementary to HPE's industry-defining SD-Branch offerings and it will become the centerpiece of Aruba's WAN edge strategy," Hughes wrote in a blog about the sale to HPE. "Upon closing the deal, we will become part of HPE's Aruba division, bringing together the industry's most comprehensive end-to-end secure networking portfolio from the data center to the campus, to branch and remote worker locations."

As applications continue to move to the cloud, remote working and mobile employees rise, and billions of IoT devices are added to the network, the SD-WAN market is growing quickly – or at least it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, HPE Aruba cites 650 Group research that says the market for SD-WAN will grow from $2.3 billion in 2020 to $4.9 billion in 2024. More recently, researchers at IDC noted that SD-WAN's yearly growth rate, which was nearly 40% until around March, fell to less than 1% in June. But that drop is understandable under the circumstances, said Brad Casemore, research vice president, datacenter networks, at IDC.

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