What do Tesla and SD-WAN Have in Common?

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Tesla Model S Plaid

Source: Tesla

I am the proud owner of a Tesla, a recognized leader in electric vehicles, which makes my daily commute (of almost 3 hours) less stressful and more enjoyable. I also work for Silver Peak (acquired by Aruba in 2020), which is a recognized as a leader in the SD-WAN industry. Both Aruba and Tesla have unique positions in different markets.

So, why should I make the tie between Tesla and Aruba?

Not only do the two companies continue to innovate in their respective industries, they also continue to disrupt the status quo of the way things have worked for decades to make them work in today’s fast-paced world. Just as Tesla has transformed the automotive industry by developing the most innovative self-driving vehicle, at Aruba, we don’t think of SD-WAN just as a software-defined WAN, but as a self-driving wide area network that learns and adapts to keep pace with the changing requirements of today’s cloud-first enterprises.

Just Make it Easy

The “old way” is not always the best way! Tesla has replaced nearly all conventional controls with a single, easy to use touchscreen. This allows for a highly configurable car – designed to improve over time with over-the-air regular software updates. This also reduces cost and assembly time with fewer buttons and dials to buy and install, reducing maintenance as well.

The same applies to the WAN. With a traditional, router-centric WAN, multiple devices must be manually configured, deployed and managed individually across every branch location. They are complex, rigid and expensive to operate. Much like the Tesla, the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform leverages automation and intelligence, making the network far simpler and cost-effective to operate. Not to mention far more flexible and powerful.

Beyond Automation to Self-Driving

Tesla’s powerful computing hardware can process enormous amounts of data (from cameras and radar and ultrasonic sensors) using AI, neural nets and machine learning to learn and adapt to changing conditions in real-time, enabling the vehicle to make safe driving decisions.

Much like the Tesla, the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform employs machine learning, AI, monitoring and analytics to detect changing conditions, triggering immediate adjustments to deliver the highest quality of experience to users, even under the worst network conditions. For example, maintaining high quality of a voice or video call over a broadband connection during a brownout condition.

Performance Matters

A base Tesla Model 3 can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, with instant torque. If extra acceleration is required to avoid a dangerous situation, Tesla has you more than covered.

Similarly, the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform benefits from extra acceleration, especially when application performance degrades due to long hauls and distances. An optional Aruba Boost  WAN optimization license can be applied on demand with the click of a mouse for those applications that require additional acceleration. This performance boost is analogous to pressing the Tesla’s gas, errrrr, electricity pedal to get extra muscle when you need it most!

Centralized Orchestration from a Single Pane-of-Glass

On the Tesla, you can access everything from its 15-inch touchscreen. Multiple functions like media, navigation, driving controls and climate are at your fingertips.

Similarly, Aruba Orchestrator provides complete observability of your entire wide-area network from a single pane of glass, providing real-time monitoring and historical reporting and offering rapid and consistent implementation of network-wide business intent policies. Centralized orchestration makes changes easier, minimizes human errors and enables faster troubleshooting so that IT is more responsive to the business.

Safety and Security

Safety plays a foundational role in the overall Tesla design, and the company’s cars have received five-star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, with various control options, including the “Sentry” mode, Tesla is enabling software to improve security.

Similarly, the EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform is built with security in mind. By combining robust data and management plane security features with the industry’s most robust security technology alliance ecosystem, and simplified service chaining to cloud security services, it delivers a level of security that better meets the actual protection and compliance mandates of today’s cloud-first enterprises.

Ready for the Future of Self-Driving?

When it comes to automation, Tesla is transforming the automotive industry; shifting the sense of urgency when it comes to innovation. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk envisions a future of self-driving carswhere people travel in autonomous Tesla vehicles without doing anything – the car just works!

Likewise, the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform is disrupting the traditional router-centric network world with a new WAN edge architecture that yields consistent application performance, robust security and operational efficiency.

David Hughes, SVP and chief product and technology officer of Aruba (and the former CEO of Silver Peak), coined the term “self-driving wide area network” and has written extensively about the journey from the software-defined WAN to the self-driving wide area network. By employing sophisticated self-learning techniques, Aruba has demonstrated that networks can become more autonomous, leading to a self-driving WAN edge platform that learns and adapts, getting smarter every day. Leveraging automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, EdgeConnect gives customers a network that just works.

The Time is Now to Experience Innovation

If you are looking for an innovative car, you might consider experiencing the unique performance and technology of a Tesla electric vehicle for yourself by scheduling a test drive.

Similarly, if you are shopping for the right SD-WAN platform for your network, look for a vendor that has truly demonstrated experience powering the wide area networks of thousands of forward-thinking global enterprises and is recognized by leading industry analysts as a leader in SD-WAN innovation, strategic vision and execution. And by all means, take the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform for a test drive today.

This blog was originally published in 2019 and updated in September 2021. Silver Peak was acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.