Riverbed Adds Support For AWS, Microsoft Azure With Upgrades To SteelConnect SD-WAN Offering

Updates to Riverbed's SteelConnect offering give the SD-WAN platform unified connectivity and orchestration across data centers, networks and the cloud, the company said.

The San Francisco-based WAN optimization stalwart expanded its SD-WAN offering to include connectivity and optimization for Amazon Web Services Direct Connect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, which allow for private connections between data centers and the public cloud. The company also has unveiled integration between SteelConnect and its Xirrus Wi-Fi and an LTE wireless option for SteelConnect SD-WAN gateways.

"The more I talk to customers, it is very obvious that one of the things that attracts them to SD-WAN is to simplify network management, to make it easier, and to do things much quicker and increase efficiency," said Milind Bhise, Riverbed senior director of product marketing. "Any features, capabilities that increase agility are always welcome. Doing more with less is always the mantra. Now I can make sure I don't have to have multiple interfaces. That's music to their ears. It's a value they really like."

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The updated SteelConnect offering enables Riverbed to offer a complete cloud networking offering and gives solution providers more ways to serve customers, Bhise said.

"We're not only offering value in SD-WAN, but we're offering a complete cloud networking solution, and now with Xirrus Wi-Fi [which Riverbed acquired last year], it allows us to ensure the value to the customer and offer a single pane of glass to manage your SD-WAN, Wi-Fi and wireless LAN," Bhise said. "It's zero-touch provisioning, and that's real operational efficiency and it increases our differentiation."

Partners, Bhise said, can now jump on more use cases and work their way into more scenarios with customers. "If a cloud customer is using AWS or Azure, it will fit that use case very well," Bhise said. "Many customers, especially in retail and manufacturing, are really looking for a way to have more efficiencies in the network, and now a partner can say we have a single pane of glass for both SD-WAN and Wi-Fi."

Dominic Grillo, vice president at Atrion Communications, a Branchburg, N.J., solution provider that works with Riverbed, said the vendor has been "extremely aggressive" about adding capabilities to its SD-WAN platform since it acquired Ocedo in early 2016. The result is steadily growing customer interest as the market for SD-WAN technology heats up.

"SD-WAN adoption is still early for most customers, and there are a lot of vendors claiming an SD-WAN solution," Grillo said. "It's going to take time for the market to shake itself out. Including Xirrus Wi-Fi makes complete sense, and these are definitely great developments to Riverbed's SD-WAN vision, and we've positioned SteelConnect with a number of customers."

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