Silverpeak SDWAN – MPLS replacement?

Silverpeak is one of the vendor listed as SDWAN leader by Gartners, besides Cisco and VMware.

As I wrote a post about the basic characteristics of SDWAN in previous post, SDWAN solution from Silverpeak also has those basic functions. In a nutshell, the noteworthy characteristics of SIlverpeak SDWAN products are as follows:

  • Best WAN Optimization
  • Best WAN Accelleration
  • Very high redundancy over the internet which may be able to replace MPLS
  • Not for internet direct access

Because they are from WAN optimization company just like riverbed, their technologies to make the existing WAN reliable and fast is really nice. If you want to know more about how they make these WAN optimization, you can check “Overcoming Packet Loss With Forward Error Correction (FEC)” which they called it as packet level RAID.

What I found most surprising is “High Availability” option in path conditioning though. As the name suggest, it makes the packet redundant. This is to make sure every packet is being delivered to the destination no matter what. As in the image below, it sends duplicate packets to both of the circuit, and destination edge connect will re-constract all the packet in order regardless of which circuit it receives. So it is not bandwidth efficient because it consumes two streams of data on both circuit, but if your aim is to get MPLS level reliability over the Internet-based VPN, this might be one of the best choice you can get.

Silverpeak Error Correction

On the other hand, I don’t think it cannot be used for direct internet connection. They can be configured with Local breakout for the site users to connect to the internet directly, but what they support is only a basic firewall function only, and they don’t support anti-malware nor web-filtering nor those UTM function. They can be integrated with zScaler to establish a tunnel to the enforcement node to get those web filtering function, but it is a separate vendor and separate management, and it’s not totally integrated.

BIO(Business Intent Overlays) are interesting concept to make the policy, but it requires some time to get used to it, especially the interaction between BIO and other features which creates overlay/underlay tunnels.

So, in summary Silverpeak Edgeconnect is a good candidate to replace existing MPLS network. However, if your company is de-centralising your application –e.g. migration to public cloud, and users need more granular access to the direct internet, you may want to research further if this product is the best fit for you.