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Silver Peak Stakes SD-WAN Claim

Carol Wilson
9/19/2016
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Silver Peak today formally announced its selection as an SD-WAN vendor by Masergy, and promised a series of service provider announcements to come, based on its approach to delivering performance.

Masergy Communications Inc. had spilled the beans a week earlier, calling Silver Peak Systems Inc. the first of its software-defined networking vendors. In making their announcement, Masergy executives cited Silver Peak's path conditioning capabilities, and the performance they enable, as a key factor in its selection. (See Masergy Promises Differentiated SD-WAN and Masergy Launches SD-WAN Solution.)

David Hughes, founder & CEO of Silver Peak, says path conditioning is focused on delivering better SD-WAN performance by making use of all of the bandwidth available on whatever form of local access is available, instead of simply using SD-WAN in the more traditional way.

"In the current plain vanilla SD-WAN, you can select between different paths and at any point in time, choose the best path for a particular type of traffic," Hughes says. "One of the things that is different is that we're able to bond those multiple links together, to create a virtual network which can deliver availability and quality, which is greater than any of the underlying links. We call that bonding path conditioning."

On a typical SD-WAN service, there's an MPLS connection, a broadband Internet service such as a cable offering and possibly a fixed wireless LTE circuit, which may be considered primarily backup. Instead of measuring the performance of each of those and choosing the best, Silver Peak's SD-WAN spreads the packets across all three access services and uses forward-error correction to account for any packet losses on the other end, Hughes explains.

"We can deliver an end-to-end connection which is the sum of all those bandwidths and we are able to correct for losses on any of those links, and, if one fails, we reconfigure the bonding" on to the other two, he said.

In addition, Silver Peak offers WAN optimization as an option on any connection.

In an increasingly crowded SD-WAN market, the ability to stand out and differentiate a product is more difficult, and having Masergy as an announced customer certainly boosts Silver Peak's prospects. Hughes says he expects to have a series of operator wins to announce in the coming months, even as the company is also rapidly growing its enterprise customer base. Having announced hitting the 100-customers mark last May, the company is closing in on the 200-customers mark and doubling its customer acquisition rate almost monthly, Hughes says.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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