Silver Peak to rise in Aruba: HPE buys specialists for “self-driving WAN”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) plans to expand its network business with the acquisition of Silver Peak. The deal is worth $ 925 million in cash to the IT pioneer. If the regulators give the green light, the acquisition could be completed by the fourth fiscal quarter 2020, which ends in October this year. Silver Peak is to be merged with HPE’s Aruba network division. The Californians had taken over the network supplier in 2015 for around $ 2.7 billion.

Silver Peak positions itself as a specialist for software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs), whereby those responsible for the provider also interpret SD as “self-driving”. The central product is the “Unity EdgeConnect” platform. Silver Peak thus promises its customers to modernize networks and operate them more flexibly. Unity EdgeConnect should be available in branches, regional hubs, data centers and in the cloud. The platform is available in two different versions – for corporate customers and for service providers. It is managed centrally via the “Unity Orchestrator”. Users can use it to define Quality of Service (QoS) and security guidelines for application operations. The optimization tool “Unity Boost” is intended to improve the performance of latency-sensitive applications and to handle data transfers more efficiently.

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Silver Peak claims to serve around 1,500 customers in over 100 countries, including the German manufacturer of specialty products for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry Gerresheimer from Düsseldorf. In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure from November 2019, the analysts ranked Silver Peak in second place behind VMware in the Leaders Quadrant. The pursuers include providers such as Fortinet, Cisco, Citrix and Huawei. By contrast, analysts only rank HPE with Aruba as a niche player. Gartner names the strengths of the Silver Peak offer as efficient application operation and the optimization options for the network infrastructure. The portfolio also addresses the upcoming requirements on the user side and can be operated easily and automatically. However, there are still gaps in the security area and in the cloud gateways.

Silver Peak and Aruba could complement each other well. “With this acquisition, we are accelerating our edge-to-cloud strategy to provide a true distributed cloud model for all applications and data,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO of HPE. Silver Peak brings critical skills that would help customers modernize and redesign their networks.

HPE announced in 2018 that it would invest approximately $ 4 billion in expanding edge computing solutions. The aim is to build a management center for hybrid IT landscapes that can be used to control and manage infrastructures from the network edge, the edge, via the cloud to your own data center. To this end, the provider recently introduced additional service packages from its Greenlake portfolio and launched a new software initiative, “Ezmeral”.

FAQ: What you should know about SD-WANs

HPE also expects better business from the SD-WAN acquisition. Global business in this segment is expected to more than double from $ 2.3 billion this year to $ 4.9 billion by 2024, analysts from the 650 Group said.

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