Thinking beyond the pandemic with Silver Peak SD-WAN

Issued by icomm for Networks Unlimited
Johannesburg, 21 Aug 2020
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Read time 3min 50sec

Organisations will have to look at re-engaging with their customers and business prospects in an entirely new way in a post-COVID-19 economy. This will most likely force an assessment of business model design and delivery in which the wide area network (WAN) will play an important role in defining success.

So says Kristian Thyregod, vice-president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region at SD-WAN solution provider, Silver Peak. Writing in a blog entry, Thyregod explains: “Forward-thinking companies continuously plan and execute their enterprise architectures to not only accommodate current requirements, but also foresee developments of future requirements – eg, a temporary, or even permanent, shift in business model design and execution.

“The WAN is the connecting tissue across the enterprise architecture. The WAN must deliver the capability to connect users, locations and applications – and that must be automated such that the WAN conforms continuously to the needs or intent of the business. That is where SD-WAN comes in and that’s our unique focus.”

Marcel Fouché, Networking and Storage General Manager at Networks Unlimited Africa, the distributor for Silver Peak in Sub-Saharan Africa, clarifies: “An SD-WAN is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to use any combination of transport services – including MPLS, LTE and broadband Internet services – to securely connect users to applications. SD-WANs are able to lower costs, reduce complexity and make branch communications more secure.

“This means that SD-WAN is an excellent fit for enterprises that are geographically widely dispersed, allowing businesses to act in a more agile manner. In the current and post-COVID-19 world that is still unfolding, remote working by an organisation’s employees has become far more the norm than before the global pandemic struck, meaning that SD-WAN’s implementation was in many instances moved forward in an organisation’s thinking and planning.”

Thyregod adds: “We know that most companies operate in both dynamic and competitive markets with B2B and B2C customers now displaying frugal spending habits given the current unstable economic environment. And we also know that in times like these most leaders are seeking agility and efficiency in terms of gradually easing into the new normal.”

Fouché clarifies: “SD-WAN is well-placed to give business leaders the agility and efficiencies they are looking for. Silver Peak prides itself on the fact that its SD-WAN offering supports business connectivity requirements, while enabling organisations to realise the maximum returns on their digital transformation and cloud initiatives.”
In another Silver Peak blog entry, Derek Granath, Silver Peak VP of product marketing, explains that SD-WAN adoption is continuing to accelerate at tremendous speed during this period of getting to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, as many enterprises are now recognising that WAN transformation is essential to maximise the value from their existing and future cloud investments.

He outlines seven important considerations to look at when evaluating and selecting an SD-WAN vendor and platform, as follows:
• The ability to use any form of WAN transport, including MPLS, LTE and broadband Internet services.
• Simplifying branch WAN architecture: An advanced SD-WAN platform can completely replace dedicated legacy routers, firewalls and WAN optimisation devices by unifying all of these network functions in a single WAN edge platform.
• Automation with continuous adaptation.
• Rich end-to-end visibility and analytics, including alerting and reporting.
• Complementary, best-of-breed partnerships: The SD-WAN must provide flexibility to integrate with complementary solution providers rapidly and seamlessly, to take advantage of innovations geared to address new types of security threats as well as new cloud applications and technologies.
• Mature, enterprise-grade service and support.
• A proven history of delivering WAN innovation.

Concludes Fouché: “We are still in the early stages of understanding the medium-to-long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is much water still to run under this particular bridge. However, from an IT perspective, it does seem fairly certain that those organisations which are not currently in the process of transforming their WANs are running a real risk of emerging from the current situation with impaired capabilities to successfully operate in business life in the post-COVID normality.”

Silver Peak
Silver Peak, the global SD-WAN leader, delivers the transformational promise of the cloud with a business-first networking model. The Unity EdgeConnect™ self-driving wide area network platform liberates enterprises from conventional WAN approaches to transform the network from a constraint to a business accelerant. Thousands of globally distributed enterprises have deployed Silver Peak WAN solutions across 100 countries. Learn more at

Networks Unlimited Africa
Networks Unlimited Africa is a value-added distributor, offering the best and latest solutions within the converged technology, data centre, networking, and security landscapes. The company distributes best-of-breed products, including Altaro, Attivo Networks, Carbon Black, Cofense, Fortinet, F5, Hitachi Vantara, NETSCOUT, NVIDIA, ProLabs, RSA, Rubrik, SentinelOne, SevOne, Silver Peak, Tenable, Tintri and Uplogix.
Our product portfolio provides cutting edge solutions from the network edge to the data centre, and addresses key areas such as cybersecurity in the IT/OT space, hybrid cloud, datacentre and infrastructure, networking and integration, SD-WAN solutions, network performance management and application performance management, application delivery networking and load balancing, DataOps management and data management, and backup and recovery solutions. Most of our solutions are highly regarded by Gartner and will be found on their respective magic quadrants.
Since its formation in 1994, Networks Unlimited Africa has continually adapted to today’s progressively competitive and evolving marketplace, and has reaped the benefits by being a leading value-added distributor (VAD) within the Sub-Saharan Africa market