That bet may be a safe one, says Joe Skorupa, a research vice president at Gartner, where he is part of the Data Center Transformation and Security Research unit. Although some competitors have potential to take a similar approach, such as the market leading Riverbed, whose acquisition of Zeus last summer may enable it to offer a similar solution, Skorupa says Silver Peak will gain valuable attention for breaking the mold.
"I think Silver Peak will have an advantage here for some period of time," Skorupa says. "It's always valuable for a smaller, less-visible company to show up with a thought-leading way of doing something. So it will get attention, and it will get people considering them that may not have considered them in the past."
However, Silver Peak will not remain out in front for long, Skorupa says, as the hype around its new virtual marketplace may prompt others to attempt to catch up quickly.
"If Silver Peak sees significant success, if people start asking their competitors where their downloadable version is, I have no doubt the competition will follow," Skorupa says.
The advantage afforded through the virtual marketplace will only boost an already rapidly growing company. Silver Peak's renewed focus on WAN optimization is what differentiated itself enough to earn it a spot in Gartner's Leaders Quadrant for the WANOpt market last month, alongside Riverbed and Cisco.
With some success in its latest initiative further pushing it along, Silver Peak could very likely disrupt a market that Cindy Borovick, IDC program vice president for Enterprise Data Center Networks, says is poised for a shakeup.
"When you think about the strategic importance of the enterprise network and the connectivity out to customers, partners, taking advantage of cloud services, or even just using your own internally owned data centers to create an active-active [network] or an overall disaster recovery strategy, there's a real focus on that WAN architecture," Borovick says. "And we believe the combination of network intelligence and WAN expertise is really going to start to change. We'll start to see some vendor changes and acquisitions."
Silver Peak appears to be striking at an opportune time, as well. Earlier this year, IDC predicted the market for WAN optimization and network intelligence tools to reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2012, outpacing growth for the overall network equipment market as a whole.
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