Thursday, July 22, 2010

Riverbed Broadens its Scope with Virtualized WAN Optimization

Riverbed Technology released a virtualized version of its Steelhead wide area network (WAN) optimization appliance, enabling enterprises to extend the benefits of WAN optimization to new locations without needing a physical Riverbed appliance. Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead works in conjunction with VMware's vSphere Platform.

Riverbed said its Virtual Steelhead offers the same WAN optimization performance metrics and features as its appliance, but can be deployed in a wider range of environments that may have specialized requirements, such as ruggedized environments or environments with space limitations, as well as data centers that have been heavily virtualized.

Riverbed claims WAN application performance boosts of up to 100X for its Steelhead line. The new virtualized version uses resources in the virtualized computing environment at the client end. The Steelhead software functionality runs in a virtual machine in the equipment already available at the client end. For instance, for military field operations, a ruggedized virtualized server may already be part of the deployed equipment, so the WAN optimization functionality is better run in a virtualized machine on the hardened server rather than as an additional appliance.

Additionally, service providers and systems integrators that deliver managed services based on Riverbed WAN optimization now have the option to deliver a virtualized solution without having to put an additional physical box in the customer location, making provisioning easier and allowing customers to more cost-effectively reap the benefits of application acceleration and IT consolidation with a flexible pay-as-you-grow model.

"Our server infrastructure is 80% virtualized today. The option to extend virtualization to a WAN optimization solution based on Riverbed's best-of-breed Steelhead appliance will enable our continued effort to reduce our IT hardware footprint. Virtual Steelhead is built on a proven WAN optimization solution. Virtualization is an innovative way to handle consolidation, cost-control measures, and even green initiatives," said Searl Tate, director of engineering at Paul Hastings, a global law firm.

Virtual Steelhead is expected to be generally available in Q3 2010.

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