“Peplink is a software company that makes a lot of impressive hardware.” -Travis Durick (Peplink Product manager)
Of all the incredible things I saw and heard at the West networks US Peplink Tech Summit in Savannah, Georgia, this month, Travis's quote perfectly sums up Peplink for me.
The main attraction at the summit was Firmware 8.3.0, which was released as a beta firmware this week, and my goodness, it does have some great stuff in it.
The biggest news is WAN virtualization – a long-awaited feature that enables us to present WAN connections (Starlinks, 5G domes, and fixed lines) as VLANs on a single physical interface to the MAX/Balance device they are connected to. Why is that important? As we work on larger vessels and bigger office and warehouse buildings, we need to spread larger numbers of 5G domes and Starlink dishes further and further away from the core network rack. WAN virtualization lets us have 5G domes hundreds of meters away from the rack, connected over single Fiber or Copper network connections making deployments much easier.
We also saw Synergy mode – a way to bring those virtual WAN-connected routers into the web UI of the core balance router they are connected to, as well as improvements to Dynamic Weighted Bonding, device type routing policies, InTouch support of USB to serial devices and Docker and KVM support, added to more models.
So, a lot of software. Then there was a lot of new hardware too. New long-range dual 5G domes, rackmount devices with slots for 400+ SIM cards for centralised SIM virtualization for remote devices and the brand-new Balance 2500EC (Edge Compute), the latest evolution of the existing B2500 powerhouse now with full KVM support (hands-up who wants Active Directory, DNS and Branch Cache as a VM running on their WAN gateway?! Yup me too.).
Seeing all the new hardware reminded me of the original multi-WAN appliances from 2004 (their Managed Adaptive Network Gateway series) and the nearly 20 years of intense multi-wan software development that has driven Peplink to build cooler and more capable hardware year after year.
Perhaps other vendors can lay claim to such a legacy of multi-WAN software and hardware development. Can any of those demonstrate the same bleeding edge innovation as Peplink shows today – that’s much less likely, and of those, how many can be set up and configured by a first-line engineer in a couple of hours? I’d argue none.
Peplink, as a software company, continues to lower the barrier of entry required to deliver multi-wan enhanced internet connectivity. They enable reliable connectivity to be deployed anywhere it's needed by combining Starlinks and 5G connections to provide enhanced performance and reliability whilst continuing to make their hardware products easier to use, manage remotely and more reliable in more places all over the world.
Yes, Peplink really is a software company that makes cool hardware, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what they create in 2023.
Martin Langmaid, CTO
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