Riverbed Intros Cloud Storage Acceleration Business Unit

Ray Villeneuve, who was also previously the CEO of two startups, is heading the new business unit which is focused on providing support for the company's Whitewater cloud storage accelerator appliance.

The new cloud storage acceleration business unit was unveiled at Riverbed's annual sales kick-off event for internal sales reps and a group of major solution providers. The event is being held this week in San Diego.

The Whitewater appliance, which was introduced late last year, integrates with EMC's Atmos, AT&T's Synaptic Storage as a Service, and Amazon's S3 public cloud platforms to provide high-speed data backups featuring deduplication as well as encryption of data in flight and in the cloud.

Villeneuve, who spent several years as the vice president of marketing at NetApp, called Whitewater a gateway for doing backups to public storage clouds, and said it comes in four versions, including a virtual appliance and three physical appliances.

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It plugs into the backup stream from software such as Symantec's NetBackup and Backup Exec, Tivoli Storage Manager, EMC's Networker, and Quest's vRanger, which he said covers about 80 percent of the backup software market.

"Customers just aim their backup target to Whitewater, and we dedupe, compress, and encrypt the data, convert it to the appropriate cloud protocol, and pump the data to the cloud," he said. "It doesn't require any appliance at the cloud site."

Riverbed's new cloud storage acceleration business unit will focus on product development, marketing, and go-to-market execution for the Whitewater product, Villeneuve said.

Riverbed decided to form the cloud storage acceleration business unit to help its partners take advantage of the growing opportunity provided by public storage clouds, Villeneuve said.

"Cloud storage is in the early stages of an explosive opportunity," he said. "It's already a billion-dollar market, and will be several billion dollars in a few years."

Customers are interested in moving to the cloud, especially for such tasks as backups and archiving, Villeneuve said. "And they are interested in working with trusted advisors from whom they purchased disk and tape libraries throughout the year," he said. "We want to work with those partners. This is a big opportunity for the channel."