Silver Peak is partnering with network service provider Masergy to offer an SD-WAN service. The service uses SD-WAN branch gateway devices from Silver Peak, and is managed on behalf of customers by Masergy via a cloud-based portal.
Masergy, which operates a global MPLS network, offers managed network, security, and cloud services to enterprises.
Masergy said it evaluated several SD-WAN vendors for the service. It selected Silver Peak in part for its dynamic path selection, which can switch traffic between different connections; and Unity Boost, a software add-on from Silver Peak that offers WAN optimization features. Ease of provisioning was also a factor.
But the Silver Peak deal is not exclusive. Paul Ruelas, director of product management at Masergy, said the company will continue to evaluate its options. “We launch with one vendor, and as solution becomes more mature, we’ll add more.”
As part of the service, Masergy can source both MPLS and broadband connections for customers’ branch sites if the customer needs it.
One promise of SD-WAN is that it can help customers cut costs by swapping out MPLS circuits in favor of multiple broadband links. While broadband is best-effort, many SD-WAN vendors employ traffic shaping techniques and real-time monitoring to ensure that business-critical traffic uses the best-performing link.
Masergy’s Ruelas, however, doesn’t see SD-WAN and MPLS as mutually exclusive.
“I don’t think SD-WAN is an MPLS killer,” he said. “We don’t see pure broadband as the ultimate solution. SD-WAN can mitigate challenges, but since there’s no SLAs, jitter can be a challenge, so we steer customers toward the appropriate connection.”
He also notes that if customers start hitting 10 or 20Mbps uploads, providers may push them to a dedicated access circuit. “It isn’t as expensive as MPLS,” he said, “but you start to lose some of the cost benefit and you don’t get any SLA guarantees.”
The service will be available in the fourth quarter of 2016. Masergy didn’t provide pricing specifics, but said it will be based on the appliance size and bandwidth.
Software-Defined WAN As A Service (SDWaaS?)
While the majority of SD-WAN vendors are selling to enterprises (either directly or via resellers), there’s also a growing market of service-driven options.
For instance, Verizon offers a managed SD-WAN option, which is based in part on equipment from Cisco and Viptela. TELoIP offers managed SD-WAN to customers in North America. And startups such as Aryaka and Versa Networks also offer SD-WAN services.
By partnering with Masergy, Silver Peak can get a foothold in the services world.