Silver Peak is one of over 80 SD-WAN vendors on the market. On Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, it is one of only two SD-WAN companies in the leaders’ quadrant (VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud is the other).
However, Gartner advises that focusing on the leaders’ quadrant isn’t always the best course of action as it the best choice depends on how the provider aligns with your business goals.
This blog post examines the strength and weaknesses of Silver Peak SD-WAN, compares Silver Peak alternatives such as Cisco Viptela and VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, and suggests an alternative that is best suited to managed service providers, internet service providers, and large telecoms: Multapplied.
Pros and Cons of Silver Peak SD-WAN
Silver Peak’s SD-WAN product has strong application management including WAN and real-time traffic optimization. Its WAN optimization solution also can be priced as a subscription and shared across a domain.
Gartner sees more channels selling the Silver Peak solution than ever before, which speaks to the expanding number of channels and offers in the market. It also speaks to the level of competition in the market for MSPs, ISPs trying to sell a Silver Peak SD-WAN solution.
Because of its market-leading position, Silver Peak maintains a very high price point. This isn’t an offer for the mid-market enterprise. Return on investment for MSPs and ISPs may be a challenge as the cost will ensure margins are tight.
Compared to other solutions on the market, Silver Peak SD-WAN lacks:
- A full native advanced security suite. Instead, Silver Peak relies on third-party firewalls or cloud security services.
- Cloud gateways. Silver Peak requires enterprises or MSPs to create these.
- Small footprint devices for small offices or branch offices. Silver Peak is mainly focused on the enterprise.
Let us take a look at some Silver Peak Alternatives.
Silver Peak Alternatives
Alternative 1: VeloCloud vs. Silver Peak
VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud sits alongside Silver Peak on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure. Like Silver Peak, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud lacks native advanced security functionality. Neither solutions offer core nodes that are multi-tenanted.
Like Silver Peak, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud’s licensing costs can increase dramatically as the bandwidth required at each end-customer site increases. This makes the quoting and sales processes complex.
Aside from that, the two solutions are very different. Whereas Silver Peak uses Forward Error Correction to guarantee voice and other critical traffic such as credit card authorizations work well across networks that do not guarantee end-to-end QoS, Velocloud uses application session-level redundancy.
Silver Peak can be deployed in various traditional modes (Bridge, Router, or Server), but Silver Peak deployments heavily based on installing hardware both at the client site and in the data center. VeloCloud offers a range of deployment options for edge devices, physical or virtual, with optional cloud gateways and orchestration which can be cloud-based, MSP-hosted, or cloud-hosted. As such, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud has some of the largest SD-WAN deployments and a wide range of channel partners selling their solution, including global Network Service Providers, VMware sales channels, and Dell sales channels.
Alternative 2: Cisco Viptela vs. Silver Peak
On Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, Cisco Viptela is in the challengers’ quadrant, rather than the leaders’. According to Gartner, “challengers execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of market direction.”
This is certainly true of Cisco Viptela SD-WAN. While Silver Peak dominates in the enterprise space, Cisco moved its “legacy” Viptela SD-WAN code over to the IOS hardware platform to differentiate by providing a converged environment.
Gartner reports that this has had limited success and has encountered stability and scale problems. It is complicated and challenging to install. Further, Cisco ISR hardware may need upgrades to support Viptela due to throughput limitations.
As Cisco is traditionally a hardware vendor, Viptela is often sold in the way hardware is sold. This results in a lot of local price competition which makes it difficult for service providers to differentiate their business. Silver Peak’s pricing is also heavily hardware-oriented and like the rest, Cisco and VeloCloud included, charges annual or term-based licenses for maintenance and support. Silver Peak and Cisco both have variable licensing costs that are based on the bandwidth at each site, thus perpetuating the traditional telecom/bandwidth-based charging model that makes quoting and sales more challenging.
Alternative 3: Multapplied vs. Silver Peak
SD-WAN companies like Silver Peak, VMware, and Cisco maintain big brand names and large analyst relations budgets. Their focus is mainly on enterprise business — partner and service provider business is secondary. Since Multapplied SD-WAN focuses solely on partner sales and is mostly white-labeled, it is listed as a “Vendor of Note” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure.
Instead of reselling another branded vendor’s SD-WAN service, Multapplied empowers service providers to bring their own privately-branded SD-WAN service to the market. Multapplied is a better fit for service providers that seek to:
- OEM a software-based SD-WAN platform
- Control SD-WAN pricing and markup (Silver Peak has a high price point)
- Access multi-tenant core nodes (Silver Peak’s core nodes are not multi-tenanted)
- Gain virtual CPE on white box hardware (Silver Peak requires closed CPE)
- Improve uptime with bandwidth aggregation
- Retain infrastructure control with customization ability
Read more about the business benefits of Multapplied for MSPs.