Silver Peak VX Review

A flexible and easy-to-deploy solution for reducing bandwidth consumption

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is as a WAN accelerator.

What is most valuable?

This solution has many great features, including:

  • I really love the auto-tunnel creation feature.  
  • The deployment modes that it has allows it to fit into any architecture, whether it be a Layer 2 environment, or a Layer 3 environment, or support for BGP, etc.
  • It allows me to set QoS policies and then route policies.

Overall, what I find most valuable are its flexibility and deployment.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better documentation for the integration of STDP traffic acceleration. That's one of the major things that people do not have good documentation for, and do not know how to deploy. Maybe a feature deployment guide is something that they can create.

More specific knowledge base articles would be of benefit. They have a CLI guide, but it does not come handily when it is time to deploy.

When it comes to features, there is no documentation that lists the details concerning them. They need to create a feature guide. For example, if somebody wants to know if a feature is supported, or what the benefits of it are, or what the loopholes are that they should be aware of, there is no documentation for that.

Reporting is something that they can improve on. Specifically, I would like a bandwidth monitoring tool. They have brilliant graphs that show bandwidth savings, but I would like to see it on a per-application basis.

Another thing that I find is that many people do not know about this solution. It should be marketed better so that people are more aware of it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is quite good. If you have a standard deployment with typical policies in place, and no custom applications, then you may not need to look at it for a couple of years. Once the deployment is done, you will yield the benefit.

Sometimes there are problems with very customized deployment modes, where the system traffic will cause problems and you have to reboot it every two or three months. It generally depends on what applications are being run in the environment.

Specific applications can also be discussed with the technical support team, and they may find a way to identify these issues and resolve them permanently.

In-house applications can sometimes cause problems, but for known protocols, there is no issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think that scalability is a problem. If you have higher traffic then give it more CPU power, bandwidth, and RAM, and it should work fine.

Every device, regardless of vendor, has its limitations. However, as a generic case, it is perfectly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is awesome, and transparency is there.

If there is a feature that is not there, they will help you to create a workaround. They will give you access to the device and let you play with it. They will not say that they cannot do it, as some other vendors might say. When this happens, they will raise an FR (Feature Request) and will see what can be done. After a couple of months, or perhaps even years, the feature may be implemented. In the meantime, you have a workaround if it is possible. They sometimes come by the office and explain that the feature cannot be implemented directly, but will then assist you with the workaround.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and deployment are quite simple. You can just log in to the device and it will guide you. It will give you a deployment page, you can get your IPs, click Ok, and you're done. You don't need to invest much time. The deployment guide is there if you need it.

What about the implementation team?

We assist our customers with the implementation of this solution.

What was our ROI?

When it comes to buying a WAN accelerator, the number one thing that you save is bandwidth. This is one data point that you should look for when you are doing your POC. If you are not saving bandwidth then it makes no sense to deploy.

If you are saving on bandwidth then the next thing to compare is the application latency. Previously, an application may have been working fine, but problems may occur, such as a slow UI, because certain things are not being passed or fully processed. So, it is important to make sure that all of the applications are still functioning correctly. Then, finally, look to see that the application performance has improved.

For ROI, it isn't that money is directly returned to you. Rather, it is realized in the savings for using a lower bandwidth, or in not having to upgrade your bandwidth with your provider. As a second point, your application's performance will improve over a period of time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You have to negotiate when it comes to pricing and licensing.

I do not think that the solution is costly, as it is still cheaper than its competitors.

It also depends on the relationship that you have with the vendor, being a standard user versus being in a partner-level program. Your benefits will vary.

What other advice do I have?

For people who are considering this solution, I would suggest doing a POC first to see if it fits. If it works in your environment then you will get a good product at a cheaper rate.

The first thing to look for is the benefit that it gives. Once you see that, then the next thing is to ensure that it does not impact the people who are trying to use it. You need an architect to design your WAN acceleration, because if something goes wrong then it can cause problems in the entire network.

This solution is not perfect because the reporting can be improved. It is still possible to obtain the data and do the analytics using a custom tool, but this is why I am taking one point off.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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