Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN certified for AWS, Google, Microsoft

Silver Peak's Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN is certified for AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Companies can deploy the product from the cloud providers' marketplaces.

Silver Peak recently became the first SD-WAN vendor to have its product certified to run on the three leading cloud providers, an achievement its competitors are likely to pursue.

Silver Peak said this week it added Google Cloud to the IaaS providers that certified the Unity EdgeConnect software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) for their platforms. The others are AWS and Microsoft Azure -- which, together with Google, are the top three cloud providers -- and Oracle Cloud.

Silver Peak is the only SD-WAN vendor certified for the three leaders. Customers can deploy the company's product directly from cloud providers' marketplaces.

Silver Peak has been more aggressive than its competitors in getting certification, said Marc Sollars, CTO for reseller and systems integrator Teneo. However, Sollars said he expects other SD-WAN vendors to follow.

That's because companies want the technical advantages of using the same SD-WAN software stack to connect a branch office or enterprise WAN to a public cloud. Using the same SD-WAN technology lets an organization take advantage of the product's security and traffic routing capabilities, while using its software console to manage the connection to the cloud.

Also, SD-WAN products let companies use less expensive internet links instead of traditional WAN circuits, such as MPLS.

"We've had customers at the start of an SD-WAN journey who have said, 'We are working in these three [leading] cloud environments. Who supports that?'" Sollars said.

That demand, which is growing as more companies move business applications to the cloud, means other SD-WAN vendors will soon follow Silver Peak, Sollars said. "There's always somebody that leads the way, but you know it's a way that others are going to follow."

Teneo's SD-WAN partners include Silver Peak, Riverbed and VMware.

Public cloud providers

Unity EdgeConnect's strengths and weaknesses

Silver Peak's strengths in SD-WAN include its "real-time internet path intelligence, path conditioning, link bonding and optional integrated WOC [WAN optimization controller]," Gartner wrote in its WAN edge infrastructure Magic Quadrant, which was published in October.

EdgeConnect's weakness is the lack of a next-generation firewall for security, according to Garner. A company has to acquire, deploy and manage that feature separately.

Also, EdgeConnect's lack of "cloud-resident gateways that are delivered as a service can make the solution less attractive from management, deployment and cost perspectives," Gartner wrote.

On the management side, a Silver Peak SD-WAN appears as a node in Unity EdgeConnect's console. Silver Peak doesn't charge for the cloud version of EdgeConnect. Instead, the company charges a monthly subscription fee for each cloud-based node. The typical price is $199 a month for up to 200 Mbps of bandwidth.

Silver Peak has about 3,000 WAN edge customers, according to Gartner, which lists the company as a market leader with Cisco and VMware.

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