Friday, 30 April 2021 01:36

VIDEO Interview: David Hughes, Silver Peak founder talks SD-WAN, Aruba and more


Founded by David Hughes in 2004, Silver Peak has grown to become the global SD-WAN leader, so much so that it was acquired by HPE's Aruba in September 2020, strengthening Aruba's Edge Services Platform, “helping to advance enterprise cloud transformation with a comprehensive edge-to-cloud networking solution covering all aspects of wired, wireless local area networking (LAN) and wide area networking (WAN).”

A student of Professor Hugh Bradlow, the former CTO of Telstra, David Hughes is a remarkable visionary, who is now the SVP of Aruba’s WAN division, and we had the opportunity to interview David - with that video interview embedded below.

First though, some background. Acquired by HPE’s Aruba in September 2020, Antonio Neri, president and CEO of HPE said at the time: “WAN transformation is a key component of HPE’s Intelligent Edge and edge-to-cloud vision and growth strategy.

“Armed with a comprehensive SD-WAN portfolio with the addition of Silver Peak, we will accelerate the delivery of a true distributed cloud model and cloud experience for all apps and data wherever they live.”

Expressing his confidence, Keerti Melkote, president of Intelligent Edge for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and founder of Aruba Networks said: “I am very excited to welcome the Silver Peak team to the Aruba family.

“With the evolving nature of the hybrid workplace, enterprises are looking to extend connectivity to branch locations and enable secure work-from-home experiences. By combining Silver Peak’s advanced SD-WAN technology with Aruba’s SD-Branch and remote worker solutions, customers can simplify branch office and WAN deployments to empower remote workforces, enable cloud-connected distributed enterprises, and transform business operations without compromise.”

In the media release celebrating the acquisition, we are told: “Enterprises are increasingly investing in SD-WAN technologies as legacy WAN architectures incur relatively high costs and are cumbersome to operate. Aruba and Silver Peak share a common vision and goal to provide simplicity, scalability, and application-awareness at the edge.

“Aruba’s all-in-one SD-Branch portfolio and remote worker solutions, combined with Silver Peak’s self-driving SD-WAN and WAN optimization solutions, allow Aruba to better address a wide set of customer requirements in order to capitalize on a promising market opportunity.”

At the time, David said: “I look forward to leading the new WAN business unit within Aruba and accelerating our customers’ edge-to-cloud transformation initiatives. Digital transformation, cloud-first IT architectures, and the need to support a mobile work-from-anywhere workforce are driving enterprises to rethink the network edge. The combination of Silver Peak and Aruba will uniquely enable customers to realise the full transformational promise of these IT megatrends.”

I was given the opportunity to talk with David earlier this week, which was a couple of weeks after Aruba’s successful Atmosphere 21 conference, and that video interview is embedded directly below, after which you’ll find a summary of the topics we spoke about.

I started by introducing David, welcoming him to the program and started by asking him to explain what SD-WAN is, and its benefits to companies today.

We spoke about the combined synergies of Silver Peak, Aruba and HPE, and what this meant for customers.

I asked David about the Atmosphere 21 conference, where Aruba not only announced to its secure access service edge (SASE) platform, but also its integration with Silver Peak’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform, and what this means for the business and for enterprise customers.

David spoke about the deals with AT&T and Verizon, and some of the global and Australian customers that are using SD-WAN solutions, along with more about the expanded Aruba business since the Silver Peak acquisition, now more than half a year ago.

I asked David what his vision was for the company when he founded it back in 2004, and a bit more about his history in the world of tech.

David shared his memories of his first computer, a TRS-80, and then answered my question about how he sees Aruba, Silver Peak, SD-WAN and everything else he’s working on evolving over the next few years to 2030.

David then shared the best piece of advice he’s received in life to help him get where he is today, and then shared his final message to iTWire viewers and readers, and to his current and future customers and partners.

So, to learn more, I commend the video interview to you, and encourage you to watch it!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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