Riverbed, Akamai Join Forces To Boost Hybrid Cloud App Performance


Riverbed Technologies and Akamai Technologies have teamed up to take on hybrid cloud architectures and boost the speed of cloud applications with a one-two punch that takes on both private and public cloud environments.

The two powerhouses partnered at Interop Las Vegas 2011 to deliver cloud-based apps over a hybrid cloud network. While neither could share a product roadmap, Riverbed vice president of product marketing Apurva Dave said the partnership shows the two companies' "intent to create" products and services around boosting the performance of cloud applications.

"We are announcing our intent to create a joint application acceleration offering for cloud-based applications," Dave said, calling it Riverbed's and Akamai's hybrid cloud vision.

The duo plans to combine Riverbed's private cloud chops that stem from its Cloud Steelhead and other cloud plays and Akamai's Internet acceleration capabilities.

Neil Cohen, Akamai senior director of product marketing, said the partnership with Riverbed comes as Akamai sharpens its public cloud optimization story. The company has already partnered with the likes of Rackspace and IBM, and Riverbed was the next logical step, Cohen said.

Through their partnership, San Francisco-based Riverbed and Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai plan to answer the three problems that plague cloud and SaaS applications: Distance, data and access. Distance can be a hindrance because cloud applications can live relatively anywhere in various data centers; data is an issue because new cloud applications are more rich and traditional acceleration and optimization methods aren't always adequate; and access has several routes, whether it's the corporate WAN, the Web or via VPN.

The overall goal of the Riverbed-Akamai partnership is to develop a joint acceleration product for hybrid cloud networks that leverages WAN optimization and Internet optimization to accelerate all cloud-based applications, Dave said.

Cohen said Akamai's Internet optimization software will be integrated within Riverbed Steelhead appliances to extend Internet optimization into enterprise networks, extending Akamai's edge from close proximity of the data center to directly within. Meanwhile, Riverbed WAN optimization software will be integrated within special Akamai Edge Servers to extend WAN optimization into the public cloud, extending Riverbed's edge from the data center to close proximity of cloud data centers.

"We're taking both optimization sets and applying them to the cloud network," Dave said.

Riverbed and Akamai are still working out the channel plan for their joint solutions, but Dave said partners of both companies will be capable of offering a one-size fits all cloud optimization play.

Both companies said product rollout, cooperative support and joint sales and marketing campaigns are expected in the second half of 2011 or early 2012. Riverbed and Akamai are currently bringing their respective channels up to speed on the hybrid cloud plans.