Silver Peak unveils Unity to give IT more network insight
By Digital News Asia August 21, 2014
- Intelligent WAN market is expected to reach US$3.2 billion by 2018
- New product to offer IT ability to monitor and control connectivity to the cloud
SILVER Peak today unveiled Unity, touted as a groundbreaking intelligent wide area network (WAN) fabric that unifies the enterprise network with the public cloud.
Unlike traditional WAN optimization solutions, Unity correlates information about cloud services and Internet “weather” to intelligently route traffic over a secure, optimal path.
According to the company, by keeping Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) traffic on the Unity fabric, IT gains an ability it’s never had: the ability to monitor and control connectivity to the cloud while ensuring consistent SaaS performance.
David Hughes, chief executive officer of Silver Peak said that most enterprises use dozens of SaaS services, whether IT knows about them or not
“That usage will only increase as enterprises shift computing workloads to the cloud. The problem is, IT staff have no insight into that traffic once it leaves the WAN.
“They can’t troubleshoot problems or optimize applications the way they would on their own network. CIOs (chief information officers) don’t want to be responsible for performance they can’t control,” he added.
The public cloud has become a powerful tool for increasing enterprise growth and efficiency and worldwide spending on public IT cloud services is expected to hit US$107 billion in 2017 according to IDC.
However, as adoption of the public cloud grows, so too does the use of IT systems and solutions without organizational approval.
According to a study conducted for McAfee by Stratecast, a unit of Frost & Sullivan, 81% of line-of-business workers and 83% of IT staff admit to using non-approved SaaS apps.
This practice, often referred to as ‘Shadow IT’, opens a major gap in visibility, security and performance across the network and a headache for CIOs.
According to a recent market analysis conducted by Doyle Research, the worldwide Intelligent WAN market is expected to reach US$3.2 billion by 2018 and is growing at a rate of 20% year-over-year.
Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research said that public cloud adoption is placing significant stress on the WAN.
“This has opened the door for new WAN solutions that can maximize your return on cloud investments, rein-in Shadow IT, and enable highly reliable, secure networks with low-latency traffic to end users independent of their location or device type,” he added.
The Unity solution
According to Hughes, Unity represents “an entirely new approach” to wide area networking, which steps beyond WAN optimization
“We're giving the enterprise a complete map of the cloud-‐driven network and applying new routing and intelligence to help enterprise IT see, control and optimize connectivity to every SaaS application,” he added.
Silver Peak software installed in data centers, branch offices and cloud interconnection hubs generates the Unity fabric, a network overlay that controls and accelerates connectivity to any combination of enterprise services, IaaS resources and SaaS applications.
Each Silver Peak instance on the Unity fabric communicates with the company’s new Cloud Intelligence service, which aggregates constantly changing information about cloud providers and Internet weather.
Unity uses this information, along with calculations from each software instance, to dynamically route traffic to the cloud over the optimal path.
Orchestration is handled by Silver Peak’s Global Management System (GMS), which provides IT managers with complete visibility and control over the deployment and use of cloud services.
The new offering combines unique technology for monitoring, controlling and optimizing the new network, which features that include:
Advanced WAN Routing: Advanced Exterior Routing identifies the closest egress to cloud data centers and directs traffic to a cloud service over an optimal path. Advanced Interior Routing dynamically selects the fastest, least congested, or most available path for traffic by monitoring packet loss, latency, and bandwidth in real time.
Cloud Intelligence: This new subscription service delivers information about cloud services to Silver Peak software instances, creating an Internet weather map for intelligent routing decisions.
Accelerated Encryption: The Unity fabric is built on IPsec VPN security without any performance degradation, using AES-256 encryption with SHA-1 authentication and a simplified deployment model.
Data Reduction: WAN compression and deduplication inspects all traffic in real-‐time, eliminating repetitive transmission of duplicate data.
Path Conditioning: Adaptive Forward Error Correction reconstitutes dropped packets in real-time, while Packet Order Correction re-sequences packets that may traverse multiple paths across the network.
Traffic Shaping: Applications are classified to prioritize critical traffic classes while constraining recreational or personal use traffic classes.
Global Visibility: Web-based GMS provides centralized orchestration of WAN deployments, advanced application classification, and detailed performance metrics.
Silver Peak customers can build a Unity fabric by upgrading to release 7 of Silver Peak software and subscribing to Silver Peak’s new Cloud Intelligence service.
New customers simply purchase Silver Peak software and subscribe to Unity Cloud Intelligence. Customers can expand their Unity fabric by adding Silver Peak instances in cloud hubs or IaaS providers.
The Silver Peak Unity Cloud Intelligence subscription is US$5,000 per enterprise, per year and supports any SaaS applications while Silver Peak software instances are available for as little as US$551 per year.
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