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By Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading
Feb. 14, 2017 -- Riverbed, a company known for its WAN optimization technology, intends to distinguish itself in the hot SD-WAN market by combining those two capabilities into a single product, which it is announcing today. (See Riverbed Combines SD-WAN, Optimization}.)
A new version of its SteelHead SD product will include SteelConnect SD-WAN capabilities and, in addition, Riverbed Technologies Inc. announced a new SteelConnect SDI 5030 Data Center Gateway to enable greater scalability of software-defined wide area networking projects. All that news follows its announcement earlier this year that Riverbed added Microsoft Azure to its One-Click cloud networking solution.
Cloud networking is what all of this is about, says Milind Bhise, senior director of product marketing for Riverbed. Enterprises need to connect remote sites and branch offices to their cloud-based applications and services, and network operators have to help them do that more efficiently.
Combining SD-WAN and WAN optimization into one box creates some of those efficiencies and eliminates any loss of packets of application information in between two disparate boxes, he says.
"What the deal really is, is uncompromised application centricity," he says. "You have the application details, the discovery we do in our SteelHead can be seamlessly transferred to the SteelConnect virtual gateway that also resides in the same box, so you can have a unified cloud network. You get app performance and network agility together, in the same box."
What Riverbed intends to do is enable enterprises to make a better job of prioritizing their business applications while making sure the network is performing to its service-level agreements and that bandwidth-intensive apps don't hamper overall performance, Bhise adds. Combining WAN optimization with SD-WAN capabilities also enables more proactive response to problems, he claims, but indicating where applications aren't performing as they should.
Riverbed will continue to build on its One-Click cloud connections, he promises, adding other major cloud providers to that capability in coming months.