Alkira and Aruba Networks: Where SD-WAN Meets Cloud

Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN is one of the leading SD-WAN and WAN optimization solutions used by enterprises of all sizes. We are very excited to add support for Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN to the Alkira’s solution. The joint solution allows our customers to seamlessly extend their Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN to any public cloud leveraging Alkira’s industry-first cloud network as-a-service (CNaaS) offering.

Traditionally, MPLS has been the most common way of providing WAN services for branches and data centers, as it offered enterprise-grade connectivity with privacy, reliability, and quality of service guarantees. Over the years we have seen considerable improvements in Internet connectivity both from reliability and throughput perspective. However, security was still a major concern for enterprises leveraging the Internet as a transport. Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN (formerly SilverPeak SD-WAN) has capitalized on the opportunity and provided a solid alternative to MPLS, allowing enterprises to leverage a hybrid connectivity model integrating MPLS and Internet transports. Security has become an integral part of providing both application traffic privacy with strong IPSec encryption and CPE perimeter protection.

As enterprises migrate their workloads from on-premises data centers to one or multiple public cloud environments, they quickly realize the complexity of cloud-native networking options offered by the cloud providers. Extending on-premises networks to the public cloud is a fairly simple problem to solve, which is where SD-WAN solutions significantly excel above limited site-to-site VPNs and expensive colocations. However, getting enterprise-grade networking and security features inside the public cloud environment proves to be highly challenging, especially in multi-cloud deployments. Lack of cloud networking expertise, limited cloud-native capabilities and inconsistent operating model across multiple cloud providers forces enterprises to rethink traditional networking and security architectures.

In talking with numerous enterprise customers, we have identified a consistent set of requirements for successfully delivering networking and security services for the public cloud environments.

  • A standardized network solution for and across public cloud providers like AWS, Azure and GCP.
  • Simple network design for multi-region cloud deployments.
  • Cloud networking complexity is abstracted, no deep cloud expertise is required.
  • Integrated security for traffic between on-premises and cloud, between cloud regions and between multiple clouds.
  • Full monitoring, visibility, governance and troubleshooting capabilities for the cloud network.

Alkira and Aruba are breaking the boundaries of traditional thinking by bridging the best-of-breed SD-WAN solution powered by Aruba Networks and industry’s first cloud network as-a-service powered by Alkira.

Integration Details

Keeping customer requirements top of mind, Alkira has designed the integration which allows seamlessly onboarding Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN virtual appliances inside the Alkira Cloud Exchange PointⓇ (CXP) in just a few clicks. Once the virtual appliances are onboarded, Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN is automatically extended to the public cloud environments attached to the Alkira Cloud Services ExchangeⓇ. The advantages of cloud networking agility and simplification brought forth by the joint solution extend across the hybrid cloud, single cloud and multi-cloud environments, eliminating the need to understand the specifics of cloud architectures.

As part of the integration, Alkira completely automates the deployment, maintenance and lifecycle of the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN virtual appliances, yet allowing enterprises to maintain a full administrative control through the Aruba Orchestrator, just like other physical and virtual CPE (customer-premises equipment) devices in their SD-WAN network.

The distributed nature of SD-WAN networks and the cloud workloads allows Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN to peer with Alkira Cloud Services Exchange in multiple geographically distributed locations. This is achieved by regionalizing the deployment of Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN virtual appliances in multiple hub Alkira Cloud Exchange Points. Route exchange between the SD-WAN and the cloud network occurs at these hub locations. Enterprises can leverage Alkira intent-based traffic policy controls to influence routing information exchange between the two environments. Such controls allow optimizing the path between on-premises sites in the SD-WAN fabric and the workloads in the cloud network.


Figure: Alkira and Aruba Networks: Where SD-WAN Meets Cloud.

Security is paramount to the successful cloud deployment. With a joint solution, next generation firewalls deployed in the Alkira Cloud Exchange Points provide integrated security services for application traffic between the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN fabric and the cloud workloads, as well as between the cloud workloads in single or multi-cloud environments.

Alkira network services marketplace completely automates the deployment of the next-generation firewalls in the Alkira Cloud Exchange Points. Alkira intent-based policies allow easily selecting cloud-bound application traffic of interest ingressing from the SD-WAN fabric to be forwarded to the firewalls for inspection. This allows enterprises to standardize their connectivity and security postures for all cloud providers instead of having differently tailored solutions for each one.

Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN business-intent overlays offer effective means of traffic segmentation, which is seamlessly integrated with Alkira’s cloud network segmentation capabilities, effectively creating an end-to-end segmented environment across LAN, WAN and cloud. Since the majority of security attacks originate from within the enterprise environment, rather than infiltrate through the external perimeter security, the joint end-to-end segmentation solution compartmentalizes resources and prevents lateral movement that minimizes the attack surface.

Ultimately, the joint solution allows enterprises to gain deep operational insights into the health and availability of the infrastructure elements, as well as the application and flow level details. Monitoring and troubleshooting made available through the industry-leading visualization makes sure that enterprises get the full breadth of operational controls.


The integration is a definite win-win for the organizations looking to extend their on-premises enterprise WAN powered by the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN into the cloud and multi-cloud environment powered by the Alkira Cloud Services Exchange. The joint solution has the benefits of end-to-end enterprise-grade networking and security capabilities for LAN, WAN and cloud environments coupled with the extreme simplification and agility brought forth by the abstraction and as-a-service consumption.

If you want to learn more about the integrated solution, contact us at [email protected]

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