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Solution providers see Granite, in particular, as one of Riverbed's most forward-thinking solution sets.
Trace 3, which worked with Riverbed on Granite's development, said Granite is appealing in particular to large customers with hundreds of locations that are looking to consolidate their data center but keep operating costs in line while doing so, and to enterprises with mobile and virtual desktop users that necessitate frequent movement of virtual workloads.
"The appeal of Granite is to walk into a large enterprise location, and put it in, and start running everything else they have in there out of the rack, but keep the compute near the user the whole time," Trace 3's Hekimian explained. "You're offering Riverbed WAN op and Riverbed storage optimization, and also taking away a lot of the major operational cost of backups -- it's not being done in the remote site, it's being done in the data center. Plus, if you have an outage at the remote site, they're VMs that are in use, so I can reboot them all at the data center. Granite's pretty revolutionary."
Riverbed won't de-emphasize its WAN optimization bread-and-butter, but it is looking to incentivize partners to sell the entire performance platform, from cloud storage to application delivery. The potential in that total addressable market is measured in the tens of billions, said Carolyn Crandall, Riverbed's vice president of worldwide marketing.
"It's no longer just about bandwidth and latency," Crandall said. "Partners have to think of these as business conversations and not just go in tactically. There are many upsell and cross-sell opportunities."
"It's giving the partner community different stories to tell," said Randy Schirman, senior vice president of worldwide channels. "It's giving them new audiences, such as customers that need SaaS application solutions, and the partners that can say, 'We can make all of your SaaS applications better. ' In many cases, we're in the early stages of a lot of this with the partners."
Along with the technology updates, Riverbed has spent much of the past year expanding its Riverbed Partner Network program. In March, Riverbed added a new specialization to RPN focused on how to build partner competency across the whole Riverbed portfolio, from WAN optimization to cloud backup and recovery solutions, including training. Business planning tools, an updated MDF portal, a new partner portal and other resources were added as well.
Crandall and Schirman emphasized that Riverbed's goal is to grow all of its types of partners, but that the branch-office-driven WAN optimization market where many Riverbed partners still make most of their money is far from tapped out.
"A question we get often is, 'Isn't it done?' " Crandall said. "But if you look at the number of branch offices out there, and that if every time you consolidated a branch office you could be putting in a Steelhead, then that market is only 15 [percent] to 20 percent penetrated. So do we have enough partners? We're not intending to open the floodgates, but the answer can't be yes."
NEXT: Going Beyond The Point Product Discussion