Riverbed Updates Granite for Better Server ConsolidationRiverbed Updates Granite for Better Server Consolidation
Riverbed Technology has updated its Granite server consolidation appliance to better enable companies to push all their edge servers to an offsite the data center while still delivering the quality of service an on-premise server delivers.
July 15, 2013
Riverbed Technology (RVBD) has updated its Granite server consolidation appliance to better enable companies to push all their edge servers to an offsite the data center while still delivering the quality of service an on-premise server delivers.
“Think of this as the vacuum cleaner that brings all the data back to the data center,” said Eric Carter, director of Product Marketing at Riverbed. “We found that even with the consolidation of data in a corporate data center, servers and storage sometimes are left in the branch office for whatever reason, but these guys hate having stuff at the edge. Granite seeks to capture those servers at the block storage level, including servers that have been virtualized, which then can be delivered back to the branch but managed at the data center.”
The issue, he noted, has been the user experience attached to having servers offsite—latency can be a productivity killer, not to mention put people in a really bad mood. But Granite combined with Riverbed’s Steelhead WAN optimization technology, can deliver the best of both worlds—offsite data with onsite-quality user experience, Carter said.
“Basically, Granite does four things: consolidates edge servers and storage and bring them back to the data center; centralizes backup; secures edge data; and [enables] quick provisioning and recovery—minutes to an hour vs. eight hours to two days,” he said.
Granite 2.5 includes support for Fibre Channel, building on its existing support for iSCSI-based storage in the data center. “This was something our partners and our customers both said was needed,” Carter said. “Our previous iSCSI-only support was a conversation-ender for a lot of partners, but this now hopefully will reduce that sales friction of partners and conversations will keep on going now, hopefully translating into sales.”
The addition of Fibre Channel support addresses 90 percent of the SAN market, he added, greatly improving the ability for Riverbed’s partners to sell Granite into their customer base.
Also new is a snapshot scheduler function that enables IT admins to centrally configure branch schedules, reducing time and effort. The scheduler integrates with major storage vendor management programs including those from EMC, NetApp and EqualLogic, Carter said.
“In the data center, customers still doing a lot of traditional enterprise backup, and it was not as simple as customers wanted it to be,” he said. “2.5 now has a snapshot handling process, which can come through on regular schedule, making branch center data more protected by backing up in the data center.”
Finally, Riverbed introduced the EX1360, a Granite hardware or virtual appliance designed to extend capabilities to branches in need of higher-performance capabilities the previous version of Granite couldn’t support. It features more compute resources and faster cache, according to the company, and can run more-demanding applications such as database applications directly from the appliance. The EX1360 provides 10TB cache, which is up from the 4TB in the previous version, and consolidates up to 30TB.
“From the VAR perspective, we’re offering a unique and different approach to administration,” Carter said. “Granite 2.5 offers partners the ability to have new value-added conversations … people are tired of doing administration at the edge.”
Plus, he noted, it’s a complementary technology to the hot, hot, hot storage market, offering upsell opportunities. “When you’re talking storage and backup, we don’t sell that stuff and so this is something extra VARs can bring to customers.”
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