Riverbed Enhances Steelhead, Adds Granite Product Family
Riverbed, the company behind the Steelhead line of WAN optimization networking appliances, has simultaneously launched a series of enhancements to its Riverbed appliance and introduced a whole new product family, Granite, specifically designed for storage optimization. VARs hungry for optimal optimization might want to give Riverbed’s new offerings a look …
First up, Riverbed’s new Steelhead tools: The Steelhead CX and EX are two new products with a primary focus on evolving the xx50 series of Steelhead appliances. The Steelhead CX promises to “overcome bandwidth and geographic limitations,” for all sorts of data and application optimization. What’s more, Riverbed promises that although the CX is new and offers more capacity than its predecessors, it maintains the same total cost of ownership as past Steelhead appliances. The Steelhead EX, meanwhile, provides more of the same, but it also includes upgraded RAM and CPUs and comes outfitted with SSDs, all to work in conjunction with its new cousin appliance, Granite.
What is Granite? Riverbed does an excellent job explaining it:
“[Granite is] a new architectural approach called edge virtual server infrastructure (edge-VSI) that does for edge servers what virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) did for desktops: it allows IT to consolidate and manage all edge servers in the data center. But unlike VDI, edge-VSI does this while delivering 20 (sic)-50% (sic) lower total cost of ownership (TCO).”
With Granite in place, an enterprise could consolidate its “edge applications, servers and storage data center,” according to Riverbed, but still provide its branch offices with an experience that feels as though the information and servers are completely local. In addition, Granite allows a server to be “decoupled” from its storage, meaning a server can perform as though its storage is locally based, while really, it could be far away in a branch location or at corporate headquarters. Riverbed stresses that “Edge-VSI is complementary to wide area network,” and that Granite could be ideal for WAN optimization situations that are nontraditional.
For branch and remote server consolidation, application acceleration, bandwidth maintenance concerns, or even just optimizing an existing infrastructure, Riverbed believes the new Steelhead appliances — when paired with Granite — can hit a home run. All three products are set to be available by the end of this quarter, which looks like Q1 2012 (since Riverbed just closed out its Q4 2011 quarter). No prices have been announced, yet.