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Last week, I attended the second digital version of HPE Aruba’s annual Atmosphere event. Aruba demonstrated what I thought was a great blend of use cases and enhancements to the company’s Edge Services Platform (ESP) launched at last year’s event. I also had the opportunity to spend time with executives in a highly interactive Q&A session. In this column I would like to share my take on the news items I found particularly compelling at the event.

HPE announced its intention to acquire Silver Peak in July of last year and closed the transaction a few months later. The technology giant must have seen tremendous value in Silver Peak given the nearly $1B price tag it paid for the SD-WAN provider. I believe the acquisition is a smart move in that it combines Aruba’s leadership in software-defined wide-area networking at the branch (a term it has cleverly coined “SD-Branch”) with Silver Peak’s robust security and segmentation capabilities. It also consolidates two leaders in the SD-WAN space, which is a crowded market and filled with too many me-too offerings, in my opinion. 

What impresses me is that Aruba integrated Silver Peak into its Edge Services Platform (ESP) in a short six months. Aruba ESP comprises four major buckets – cloud services and data management, dynamic policy and security, connectivity diversity and ecosystem creation. Silver Peak extends ESP’s capabilities in three key areas: zero trust segmentation, unified branch security and an expanded partner ecosystem. Let us examine each.  

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