Industry shift to application-driven WAN Edge accelerated by Silver Peak, SD-WAN solution displaces branch routers

Silver Peak, a global provider of broadband and hybrid WAN solutions, has announced a series of advances to the Unity EdgeConnect high-performance SD-WAN solution. These are designed to enable enterprises to realise the advantages of a thin branch office.

With its latest software release, EdgeConnect reportedly becomes the industry’s first fully integrated SD-WAN solution to combine high performance SD-WAN, WAN optimisation, routing and a stateful firewall. These advances simplify and consolidate branch office infrastructure, shift the WAN edge toward being application-driven and enable secure, direct internet connectivity to SaaS and trusted web-based applications from the branch office.

With more than 350 customer deployments and counting, EdgeConnect is fast becoming the preferred SD-WAN solution for geographically distributed enterprises and partners including Clair Global, Bentley Systems, Radial Inc., and Solar Communications Group.

According to Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Joe Skorupa, “By 2020, more than 50% of WAN edge infrastructure refresh initiatives will be based on SD-WAN versus traditional routers.”

Silver Peak EdgeConnect aims to liberate enterprises from the cost, complexity and headaches associated with legacy router-centric branch office infrastructure. With a series of new innovations and capabilities, EdgeConnect can power an application-driven WAN edge and enable enterprises, of all sizes, to confidently embrace commodity broadband to connect users directly to applications, whether they are hosted in the cloud or the data centre.

Damon Ennis

By consolidating branch office infrastructure at the WAN edge, enterprises can dramatically simplify operations and lower costs without sacrificing network or application performance.

Granular SaaS and cloud application visibility and control with first-packet iQ

EdgeConnect incorporates a new feature called First-packet iQ that automatically identifies more than 10,000 applications and 300 million web domains based on the first packet received. With granular insight into HTTP/HTTPS traffic, First-packet iQ enables internet breakout automation by steering specific, trusted SaaS and web-based application traffic directly to the internet while directing unknown or suspicious traffic to a regional hub or data centre firewall for further inspection.

Direct internet breakout automation optimises SaaS and web application performance, enhancing worker productivity and business agility. First-packet iQ utilises sophisticated techniques to provide the highest levels of application awareness and intelligence available today.

The techniques include a dynamic application data repository based on DNS queries and hosted in the Silver Peak cloud portal, DPI, TCP/UDP port data and IP protocol methods to assure accurate application identification on the first packet.

Integrated stateful firewall for secure internet breakout

EdgeConnect now integrates a stateful firewall that supports foundational firewall and security capabilities for branch office locations that do not host applications. The integrated stateful firewall allows outbound traffic to exit, but only allows ingress traffic to enter in response to user-initiated sessions providing robust, thin branch security.

For applications traffic directed to regional or corporate firewalls, EdgeConnect supports seamless service chaining across its industry-leading technology alliance ecosystem that includes: Check Point Software, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet and zScaler.

Seamless routing interoperability

Joe Skorupa

EdgeConnect now supports industry-standard BGP routing protocols for seamless interoperability between the SD-WAN and legacy WAN architectures. BGP routing protocols facilitate full mesh network configurations and dramatically simplify the addition of local subnets to an SD-WAN, enabling enterprises to transition to an SD-WAN at a comfortable pace.

The combination of an integrated stateful firewall and routing interoperability enables progressive enterprises seeking to rapidly integrate acquired companies or consolidate branch office infrastructure to transition to a thin branch without sacrificing the performance, security and reliability of their WAN.

“We’re embarking upon a long overdue revolution of the legacy WAN as enterprise network managers reach a boiling point over the rigidity, complexity and escalating costs associated with router-centric architectures,” said Damon Ennis, senior vice president, products at Silver Peak.

“Increasingly, enterprises are seeking to simplify branch and WAN Edge infrastructure with SD-WAN solutions that connect users directly from branch offices to cloud-hosted applications without sacrificing application performance.

EdgeConnect enables distributed enterprises to immediately or progressively transform their router-centric WAN infrastructures to an SD-WAN to gain the performance, security, reliability and control they require to keep pace with changing business requirements.”

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