Silver Peak CEO: We're re-imagining the WAN for a cloud world

CEO and founder David Hughes sees huge opportunities in software-defined WAN.

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Silver Peak, Inc., made its name as a top provider of wide-area network optimization capabilities. But the company has its sights set on a loftier goal today: Completely changing the way you build your entire WAN. Silver Peak is moving rapidly to support so-called software-defined WANs, which make it easier and cheaper to connect branches and end users to cloud applications.

David Hughes founded Silver Peak and became CEO in 2013. In this conversation with John Gallant, Chief Content Officer of IDG US Media, he talks about the customer pressures driving this strategic change. He also discusses how the move distances Silver Peak from competitors like Cisco and Riverbed, and describes new tools from Silver Peak that enable customers to build networks based on real business goals versus arcane tech specs.

How do you define your market and what differentiates you from competitors?

Traditionally, we’ve been seen as a WAN optimization player. That’s certainly where we made our name. We’ve been able to satisfy some of the largest customers in the world. Now, we’re looking beyond WAN optimization, looking at how to rethink the way you build a wide-area network. We’re hearing from customers that the current way of building a WAN using MPLS, for instance, just isn’t satisfactory as they move to the cloud. They want to be able to use the Internet more effectively than they can today. Where we see our future differentiation is around providing very ready access, very easy connectivity to broadband services so people can build a wide-area network much more quickly and efficiently.

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