Silver Peak, Ciena Tackle Enterprise SD-WAN Deployments

Posted on: Dec 18, 2019

Silver Peak and Ciena announced a team up that will pair the SD-WAN vendor’s software platform on the optical giant’s universal consumer premises equipment (uCPE). That combo is aimed at developing new service delivery models for communications service providers (CSPs) and greater flexibility for global enterprise customers.

Silver Peak’s Unity EdgeConnect software combines SD-WAN, routing, segmentation, and WAN optimization into a single NFV instance that will run on Ciena’s 3906 and 3926 uCPE platforms. Those platforms have, respectively, been optimized for 1-gigabit and 10-gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

Silver Peak claims Ciena’s ability to host multiple virtual network functions (VNFs) and Ethernet connectivity services frees CSPs to offer a “virtually limitless portfolio of connectivity,” and managed SD-WAN for medium to large enterprises.

“With an ongoing surge in demand for network connectivity and services driven by high-bandwidth content and business-critical applications, the industry is witnessing firsthand how digital transformation impacts the network,” said Brian Lavallée, senior director of portfolio marketing at Ciena, in a statement. “CSPs and enterprises are actively modernizing their network assets to be increasingly intelligent, agile, and adaptive.”

It’s Silver Peak’s hope that this partnership will enable enterprises to retire legacy edge routers, firewalls, and WAN optimization appliances in favor of managed services powered by its software and running on Ciena’s hardware.

Fraser Street, VP of technical alliances at Silver Peak, acknowledges that NFV and uCPE is becoming increasingly important to the company, for now, uCPE is being looked at with service providers in mind, while the company will continue to rely on black boxes for industry implementations. And this squares with recent findings from Gartner, which found that approximately 80% of SD-WAN vendors will continue to rely on black box appliances through 2021.

Cloud-first enterprises are increasingly turning to service providers for turnkey managed SD-WAN services that unite advanced network functions like the EdgeConnect NFV, enabling them to retire legacy WAN infrastructure and fully leverage the power of software that delivers a multiplier effect on cloud investments,” Street noted in a statement.

Silver Peak’s relationship with Ciena dates back several years. Street explained that until recently the partnership was largely anchored in Ciena’s Blue Planet ecosystem. Today’s announcement represents an expansion of the collaboration to focus on new SD-WAN use cases, particularly those sought by managed service provides.

Silver Peak and VMware were lumped into the highly coveted leadership quadrant in Gartner’s most recent WAN Edge Infrastructure report.