This week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced its acquisition of Silver Peak. I would like to provide my take on the nearly $1B purchase and what it means for HPE, Aruba and the company’s SD-WAN journey.
Why Silver Peak?
By most accounts, privately-held Silver Peak is considered a leader in the SD-WAN space. It is a crowded market with many companies, small and large, all vying for position. From my perspective, only a handful offer a complete end-to-end, cloud-native solution that encompasses orchestration, automation, segmentation and consistent application support. Silver Peak is one of them, and it consistently performs well—as evidenced by the company’s wins in the manufacturing, financial services, retail and healthcare sectors. It is no secret that HPE and its Aruba division are keenly focused on the edge, and Silver Peak’s EdgeConnect architecture seems on the surface to fit like a glove.
Can the acquisition extend Aruba’s leadership?
I wrote about Aruba’s recent ESP announcement, and if interested you can find it here. The ESP platform can be broken down into four major buckets: cloud services and data management, dynamic policy and security, connectivity diversity and ecosystem creation. From a connectivity and security perspective, Aruba has already established itself as one of the leaders with its SD-Branch offering. I believe Silver Peak will bring added depth and functionality, as well as a significant number of new customers into the HPE fold. Silver Peak’s SD-WAN and WAN optimization capabilities should position Aruba to better address customer requirements from a performance, scalability, and security perspective. This is particularly important in light of Covid-19 and the sudden need to support not hundreds, but tens of thousands of branch home offices,
HPE’s $1B offer for Silver Peak may seem high by some standards, but I see it as an SD-WAN market consolidator that instantly grows the install base for Aruba. Silver Peak also brings additional technical depth that is edge-centric and plugs nicely into the Aruba ESP platform. Two of a handful of the SD-WAN market leaders are coming together, and it should be a powerful combination. I expect further consolidation in the “Wild West” that is SD-WAN, and predict that HPE Aruba, Cisco, and VMware will emerge as the front runners.