Riverbed Debuts High-End WAN Appliance

data center WAN

For the channel, it means a new tool for solution providers to go after big and complex storage arrays with WAN optimization needs.

"We've got an industry first with this," said Nik Rouda, Riverbed's director of product marketing. "And it's not like we're just moving the data around, we're optimizing it. You're getting the bandwidth savings as well as getting high throughput from the SAN to the WAN."

The Steelhead 7050 comes in two models: the 7050L, which supports up to 75,000 concurrent TCP connections and comes with 14 SSDs, and the 7050M, which supports up to 100,000 concurrent TCP connections and comes with 28 SSDs.

Leveraging the SSDs, said Rouda, allows Riverbed an edge in what it can offer for fault tolerance, in that if one SSD fails, the appliance doesn't lose anything in terms of throughput and data optimization. Rouda likened the feature to how RAID works with disks.

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The 7050 succeeds Riverbed's 6050 appliance line as its new top-tier model. Compared to the 6050, Rouda said, the 7050 offers three times the throughput and two times the connections.

According to Riverbed, the appliances will be available by the end of the quarter to all channel partners.

The company has been focused of late on building out its WAN optimization and acceleration products to target different market segments. In November, Riverbed launched a virtual version of Steelhead and a virtual iSCSI storage offering for accessing applications in public clouds.

The company also recently unveiled a number of additions to its channel program and announced that it would use two-tier distribution in North America for the first time, with Avnet and Arrow the chosen distributors.