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SD-WAN

Silver Peaks Puts SD-WAN to the Test

In an effort to drown out some of the competitive noise in the SD-WAN market, Silver Peak took its Unity EdgeConnect to an independent test lab to verify its claims of greater resiliency and service quality in the face of network congestion and even Internet service blackouts.

Silver Peak Systems Inc. has touted what it calls path conditioning and dynamic path control as the competitive advantages of EdgeConnect in delivering high-quality wide-area-network services using a combination of MPLS and Internet broadband services. What the tests, which were done by Miercom's independent lab validating, showed was the SD-WAN product's ability to maintain the performance and availability of applications in the face of Internet congestion or even when the Internet connection was terminated.

"There is so much out there in the market with SD-WAN, that if you just read your competitor's web page, it sounds a lot like your product," Alex Amaya, Silver Peak technical marketing engineer, tells Light Reading in an interview. "So we wanted to put it to the test and prove to our customers that what we are saying is really what we can do, and the product really works in the real-world environment."


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So after doing its own internal testing, Silver Peak contracted Miercom to conduct a series of ten tests, using WAN traffic generators to create various degrees of congestion starting at 5% and going up to the disconnecting of the Internet service cable.

The testing used Silver Peak's Unity Orchestrator to set up a business service with defined Quality of Service parameters targeting real-time voice and video applications, and then monitored those video streams for interruptions and image artifacts. In each of those scenarios, EdgeConnect performed as expected and applications, including latency-sensitive voice and video, continued to perform as well.

Silver Peak has two capabilities that combine to enable this, dynamic path control and path conditioning, which combines the MPLS and Internet links and takes the best of both in creating an overlay network to match whatever a service level agreement for a specific application requires. If one of the underlying network fails, the EdgeConnect system has an automatic subsecond failover to the remaining link that prevents issues with applications.

Amaya says some competitors also offer failover if the Internet link goes down, but that generally comes with delays that interrupt the video signals, breaks up a voice call and requires data to be resent. He is challenging other SD-WAN vendors to also independently verify their product performance, as one way to sort out an otherwise very crowded market.

A full copy of the testing report can be found here.

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

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