Riverbed Seeks Broader Market

The new Steelhead 100 targets remote offices with up to five users, while the Steelhead 200 targets offices with up to 20 users. They are priced at $3,495 and $4,995, respectively.

“As we talked to customers, we found that they love our architecture and acceleration technology, but it wasn&'t economical for wide-scale deployment,” said Jerry Kennelly, CEO of Riverbed, San Francisco.

Until now, Riverbed&'s smallest appliance was its Steelhead 510, built for offices with up to 200 users.

Solution providers said the new appliances should lead to broader deployments of Riverbed technology.

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Before, customers&' smallest branches have had either poor WAN performance or had to pony up a minimum of around $12,000 per office to be included in Riverbed rollouts, said Fred Nix, CTO of Syscom Technologies, an Atlanta-based solution provider.

“There wasn&'t a good answer,” Nix said.

The new appliances are full-featured versions of the Steelhead line that provide 1 Mbps of bandwidth and include 36 GB of data storage capacity. The Steelhead 100 supports up to 25 TCP connections, while the Steelhead 200 supports up to 75 TCP connections.

Along with the new appliances, Riverbed also is launching the 2.1 version of its Central Management Console. The upgrade adds automated configuration features and new group management and configuration profiles. Pricing for CMC ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the number of devices to be managed.

Currently 70 percent of Riverbed&'s U.S. sales come through the channel. The company expects to grow that to 85 percent over the next year, Kennelly said.

For the next several quarters, Syscom is on track to double its Riverbed sales quarter-over-quarter, Nix said. The solution provider has been working with Riverbed for about six months and currently has 12 Riverbed customers, he said.