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For customers who struggle to staff and maintain technical expertise at branch locations (how many network admins can a fast food joint or bank branch afford to have on staff?), this ‘zero touch’ offering will be a godsend. Furthermore, the fact that Project Tiger loosens Cisco’s grip on the SD-WAN market is a definite bonus.
The cloud is redefining networks, and the WAN is where some of the major changes are happening. However, it’s not the only place. Riverbed’s SteelConnect product gives organizations the ability to manage the network as a single entity—from the LAN to the cloud.
SteelFusion maintains branch data centrally to lighten the load on the edge systems that branches must support. The product also provides centralized backup, data governance, and security. Perhaps the most disruptive feature of SteelFusion, however, is how it handles business continuity. Because SteelFusion transparently migrates branch data to a central data center while maintaining recent and frequently used data on-site, if a disaster befalls the branch then no data are lost.
IDC sees Riverbed as well positioned in the emerging market for SD-WAN as well as for the broader enterprise branch networking opportunity. Its expertise with WAN optimization and application visibility and performance is well regarded, as is its extensive base of customers and channel/SP partners. The keys to success will no doubt be in how efficiently it integrates Ocedo's platforms into its Project Tiger and how well it articulates its value proposition for the distributed enterprise.
By adapting Ocedo Cloud Console to manage both Project Tiger and Ocedo products, Riverbed will be able to offer enterprises a unified central management platform that is designed for simple, GUI-based WAN management.
Riverbed SteelFusion is more than a hyperconverged appliance integrating compute, storage, networking, virtualization, and management; SteelFusion represents a change in the IT paradigm for ROBO IT. Taking a page from the cellphone industry, SteelFusion centrally automates server, data, and application provisioning, configuration, deployment, security, backup, and recovery. Like a new cellphone, the SteelFusion core appliance in the centralized corporate data center will automatically provision and configure a new SteelFusion edge appliance powered on in a ROBO location. The Edge appliance will fetch VMs, applications, and user data as needed, without IT staff intervention.
Riverbed’s expertise with WAN optimization and application visibility and performance is well regarded in the industry, as is the company’s extensive global footprint of customers and channel partners. IDC expects Riverbed will leverage these successfully to build a broader enterprise networking offering, one that could change the trajectory of this market, and the outlook for Riverbed, in the coming years.