Riverbed Disrupt: 7 New Offerings Around SD-WAN, Hyper-Converged

Riverbed Disrupt

Riverbed Technology unveiled a slew of new offerings at its Riverbed Disrupt event in New York, including a new hyper-converged SteelFusion cloud offering, SteelConnect 2.0 for software-defined WAN, and enhancements to SteelCentral using technology recently acquired from Aternity.

"The stars are aligning for those partners doing managed services and leveraging software-defined and more modern approaches to managing networks," said Josh Dobies, vice president of product marketing for Riverbed, in an interview with CRN. "These launches are going to really benefit what we call those next-generation managed service providers."

CRN breaks down the seven most important new offerings reveled at Riverbed Disrupt Tuesday aimed at increasing channel partners' profitability and recurring revenue.

SteelConnect 2.0

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based Riverbed acquired software-defined networking and SD-WAN specialist Ocedo, which created the foundation for its first SD-WAN SteelConnect platform, launched in April.

The new SteelConnect 2.0 delivers significant updates and enhancements, including native dynamic routing for simplified networking, end-to-end visibility through integration with Riverbed SteelCentral, WAN optimization via Riverbed SteelHead, and support for large-scale data center deployments with Riverbed Interceptor, said Dobies.

"This is extending how you orchestrate connectivity in a cloud environment like [Infrastructure as-a-Service] as well as branch networks," said Dobies. "That's one of the unique things about SteelConnect -- it does cast a much broader net of ubiquitous and unified connectivity deep into these networks."

The new platform will be generally available in October with enhancements released throughout 2016.

Enterprise SteelConnect Gateways

With native routing capabilities, SteelConnect Gateways replace legacy branch routers to reduce the cost and complexity of managing connectivity in remote locations. At Disrupt, Riverbed unveiled two new gateway models with increased performance and high availability.

SteelConnect Gateway 1030 delivers up to 1 Gbps throughput at edge locations, while the Gateway 5030 delivers up to 10 Gbps throughput and supports high-availability configurations in the data center.

SteelConnect Switch

Riverbed launched a SteelConnect Switch with enhanced density and throughput. The SteelConnect Switch S48 provides 48X GbE PoE+ ports in a 1U rack-mountable form factor.

Hyper-Converged SteelFusion Edge

SteelFusion, the company's hyper-converged solution that converges server, storage and network infrastructure into a single appliance, can now be offered in cloud and virtual deployment options for greater choice and flexibility.

Riverbed's new Virtual SteelFusion Edge delivers complete software-defined edge capabilities in a virtual form factor capable of running on any server hardware that meets required specifications, according to the company. This gives customers the flexibility to deploy SteelFusion on commercial off-the-shelf server hardware. The offering initially will be available as a fully integrated system through distributor Avnet by the end of 2016.

"Our partners have the ability to position a much broader value proposition to their customer when they're talking about transforming their network and bringing them into this cloud-centric age," said Dobies.

SteelFusion On IBM SoftLayer

The SteelFusion hyper-converged infrastructure offering is now available to deploy on IBM SoftLayer, an IaaS platform and bare-metal cloud infrastructure for the enterprise. SteelFusion now supports IBM Spectrum Accelerate, a software-defined storage solution for building enterprise private clouds with commodity server hardware, according to Riverbed.

Aternity Merges With SteelCentral

In July, Riverbed acquired Aternity, a provider of end-user experience and application performance monitoring solutions. Aternity's technology has been integrated with SteelCentral, Riverbed's end-to-end solution application performance solution -- enabling channel partners to offer new services for customers, according to Erik Hille, director of product marketing for SteelCentral.

"We're now able to offer our customers monitoring right down the to end-user device," said Hille. "It's also just a much closer way to get a view of how satisfied a customer is with the performance of the application. … A lot of our partners today are providing an [application performance management] solution; this is going to enable them to extend that capability for their offerings."

SteelCentral SaaS

By leveraging Aternity technologies, SteelCentral can now be offered as a SaaS solution.

"We're pushing towards visibility on or off the cloud. SteelCentral SaaS is our first offering that includes both network performance monitoring and APM within one integrated tool in a SaaS-based solution," said Hillie.

Hillie said the offering improves uptime and troubleshooting as well as provides integration with SteelConnect to deliver SD-WAN monitoring and visibility.

"In the production environment, you're going to be much more able to identify network-based issues especially when they're running in AWS and [Microsoft] Azure environments," said Hillie.