Riverbed Evolves Steelhead, Adds Edge Virtualization

Riverbed Technology (RVBD) announced that it is evolving its Steelhead product family with CX and EX products and introduced a new architectural approach called edge virtual server infrastructure (edge-VSI).

John Rath

February 2, 2012

2 Min Read
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Riverbed Technology (RVBD) announced that it is evolving its Steelhead product family with CX and EX products and introduced a new architectural approach called edge virtual server infrastructure (edge-VSI).

The Steelhead CX series is a dedicated WAN Optimization appliance and like its predecessors in the xx50 series, overcomes bandwidth and geographic limitations to make users more productive, data transfers faster, and applications perform seamlessly regardless of location. The new CX series however has greater throughput and offers more capacity, all for the same total cost of ownership. The Steelhead EX adds a robust platform with more memory, disk, and CPU to support the Virtual Services Platform (VSP) and Granite, a new architecture also announced Wednesday.

“In an effort to simplify management, increase resource utilization and reduce costs, organizations have been actively consolidating and virtualizing IT environments into centralized data centers,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “While these consolidation efforts provide numerous benefits, it is imperative that organizations ensure that these consolidated IT environments are adequately protected and available. Furthermore, these consolidation efforts can introduce inherent performance over distance challenges. Riverbed’s enhanced Steelhead product family enables organizations to centralize virtually all applications, driving down operational overhead and costs, yet still maintain high levels of availability and improve end-user satisfaction.”

Steelhead-CX and Steelhead-EX series are expected to be generally available this quarter.

Riverbed Granite

Riverbed also announced a new architectural approach called edge virtual server infrastructure (edge-VSI) that does for edge servers what virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) did for desktops. Riverbed Granite is the new offering that enables edge-VSI. With Granite, global enterprises can achieve complete consolidation of edge applications, servers and storage to the data center, while delivering services to the edge of the enterprise as if they were local. Edge-VSI is complementary to wide area network (WAN) optimization, accelerating performance for applications and use cases not addressed by any WAN optimization approach today.

Saving up to 50 percent over traditional approaches to managing distributed infrastructure, Granite decouples storage from its server over thousands of miles, yet works as if the storage were local to the server.  Granite solves bandwidth and latency problems over distributed networks, but lower in the technology stack – at the block level – making it possible to deliver global storage and server infrastructure extended from the data center over the WAN.

“Traditionally, data centers and remote offices have been managed through separate operational processes, procedures and infrastructures,” said Dave Russell, Research Vice President, Storage Technologies and Strategies, at Gartner. “In an ideal world, IT could leverage its investment in building the data center of the future by putting its IT infrastructure into one central data center, with its control, economies of scale, and security. However, with workers at large enterprises distributed across the globe, performance is a key challenge, especially for storage heavy workloads. To make this a reality, a new approach is needed that addresses these currently challenging workloads.”

Granite is expected to be generally available this quarter.

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