Silver Peak Forms Alliance With Nutanix, Infoblox, Zscaler To Expand SD-WAN

Silver Peak is planning to become the leader in the emerging software-defined WAN market by teaming with three key industry players to expand its Unity EdgeConnect ecosystem for creating software-defined WANs. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor said partnering with Nutanix, Infoblox and Zscaler will push it ahead of competitors such as Cisco, CloudGenix, VeloCLoud and Viptela.

Silver Peak recently unveiled its Unity EdgeConnect overlay solution that allows enterprises to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of building a WAN by leveraging broadband to connect users to applications. By partnering with Infoblox, a provider of automated network control and management; hyper-converged specialist Nutanix; and Zscaler, a cloud-based security startup, partners can sell and deploy solutions easier and faster than anything on the market, according to Bob Bruce, Silver Peak's channel chief.

"I look at it as market expansion that allows partners on all sides to drive new opportunities and expand the scope and provide a true end-to-end solution for the end user," said Bruce, in an interview with CRN. "With VARs partnering with both us and Nutanix, they can really leverage the solutions we provide and give customers a more flexible option with deploying a SD-WAN with broadband ... Channel partners love disruptive technology, and this is truly disruptive."

[Related: Silver Peak CEO: Cisco's 'Old Ways' Won't Cut It In Software-Defined WAN Market]

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Dan Molina, CTO of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider who partners with Nutanix and Silver Peak, said the alliance gives channel partners a leg up against competition because of its simplicity.

"With Silver Peak and Nutanix, it's a perfect fit -- it couldn't be easier to deploy a solution like this," said Molina. "Before, it could take weeks to deploy something like this ... Silver Peak is a virtual machine and Nutanix is extremely fast so the deployment can literally be done in minutes. Simplicity is probably the biggest draw because you're going to be able to use resources in a much more granular way by going down this route."

The combined interoperability options between the four companies provide partners with a new set of secure, optimized hardware and software solutions for deploying broadband and hybrid WANs, according to Damon Ennis, senior vice president of products at Silver Peak.

Ennis said it's creating the most agile broadband WAN where customers will see better flexibility, visibility, performance and costs savings due to expensive multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks. Silver Peak lowers connectivity, equipment and network administration costs by upward of 90 percent by leveraging lower-cost Internet bandwidth, according to Ennis.

Ennis said the alliance places Silver Peak above Cisco's SD-WAN solution, IWAN, as well as startups in the emerging market, including CloudGenix, VeloCloud and Viptela.

"What Cisco's done with IWAN is glued together a bunch of technologies that they happen to have in their bag; they're trying to say this is a SD-WAN solution ... but to really deliver on the vision of SD-WAN, it's important to have a pure-play vendor like ourselves who is really tackling the problem head-on," said Ennis.

"All those startups -- CloudGenix, the Viptelas of the world -- their mission is to provide a pure-play SD-WAN solution, but versus them we have been building these networks -- they weren't called SD-WANs -- but we’ve been building virtual, secure overlay networks with our products for 10 years," he said.

Molina said the channel is seeing similar synergies between companies that want to augment and help simplify each other's solutions.

"The way I see it is simplicity with all the partnering," said Molina. "Nutanix can benefit by having SD-WAN-type of capabilities on top of its platform ... You deploy Silver Peak as a virtual application and deploy that on a Nutanix platform and you're done. With the other technologies you're worrying about more components; if something goes south, you have more OEMs to call."

Bruce agreed that forming partnerships is the direction being taken in the market, which benefits solution providers who want to be able to offer customers an end-to-end solution.

"All of these placed together allows the VARs to expand their marketplace and expand their opportunity," said Bruce. "They're looking to bring a total and complete end-to-end solution to customers."