Don't Let High Bandwidth Needs and High Latency Stop Your Cloud Migration Strategy


Riverbed launched the SteelHead GX10000 earlier this month. This is the first of a family of products that Riverbed has envisioned to easily scale WAN optimization to network topologies that leverage high-capacity links — 10Gb Ethernet and beyond. Let’s take a look at what the SteelHead GX10000 is all about.

Why launch the SteelHead GX10000?

Today's networks are carrying more data, becoming more complex and more distributed. Enterprises are pursuing "cloud first" strategies, using cloud and SaaS applications whenever possible and moving to off-premise datacenters. Under those conditions, IT administrators are striving to ensure zero impact to productivity, to meet application-performance SLAs, to simplify network administration, and to lower costs. High-bandwidth links from service providers, where available, have been tremendously helpful in adding extra capacity to these networks. The SteelHead GX10000 plugs right in to provide application acceleration on these high-capacity links via simple and energy-efficient architectural deployments.

The SteelHead GX10000 provides all the functionality of smaller SteelHead appliances and is compatible with existing CX70 Series deployments — but comes with significantly upgraded performance and scale. The appliance allows users to easily scale up to 10 Gbps WAN networks and fits in a compact 2RU energy-efficient footprint.

As you begin to grow your cloud deployments, scale your disaster recovery circuits, consolidate datacenters or branch locations, or just add bigger pipes, the SteelHead GX10000 can:

  • Provide a green and energy-efficient solution with high-powered, state-of-the-art hardware
  • Serve as a scalable aggregation point for all kinds of WAN architecture uses cases: on-premise, remote, and cloud
  • Improve the user experience by accelerating applications
  • Provide the capacity to slow down your bandwidth upgrade cycle

A powerful and efficient solution

The SteelHead GX10000 sports top-of-the line hardware, as illustrated in Table 1.

SteelHead GX10000


Number of cores


256 GB

Data store

9.6 TB

WAN capacity                            

10 Gbps              

Optimized connections


Network services — flows


Connections per second


With more RAM, more storage, and more processing power, the SteelHead GX10000 can manage up to 270,000 optimized TCP connections and UDP flows.

All that power is packed into a single 2RU appliance with a small carbon footprint, thanks to its efficient energy use. Previously, Riverbed users have been able to scale out to the sort of functionality provided by the SteelHead GX10000, but that involved coordinating multiple SteelHead appliances in conjunction with SteelHead Interceptor for flow distribution. The SteelHead GX10000 takes the "scale-up" philosophy instead, reducing rack space and power consumption. It also significantly reduces network topology complexity while cutting the time required for problem resolution.

Scalable aggregation for a number of use cases

The SteelHead GX10000 sits in the datacenter and aggregates and manages traffic from a number of sources, keeping your enterprise running smoothly. The appliance can manage:

  • Traffic from off-premise datacenters. One of the big trends in large enterprises is moving datacenters away from headquarters to other hosted facilities that provide a brick and mortar setup for power, cooling, and Internet connectivity. That saves money, but can come at a price when it comes to application performance — and, as a result, productivity. A high-capacity SteelHead GX10000 can manage a connection between an off-premise datacenter and a large office with 3,000 or more employees.
  • Traffic to cloud apps. As enterprises move everything from CRM to office productivity suites to the cloud, that just adds to the amount and complexity of WAN network traffic — and the SteelHead GX10000 is there to efficiently aggregate and deliver LAN-type network performance to end users.
  • Traffic to branch sites. Deployed in the HQ or datacenter, the SteelHead GX10000 can aggregate traffic coming from and going to individual branches with Riverbed infrastructure, serving as a "fan-out" appliance.
  • Datacenter-to-datacenter traffic. Backup and recovery needs are on the rise, and data is a company asset that needs to be protected, stored, and recovered in case of a disaster. With its high-capacity footprint, the SteelHead GX10000 can efficiently optimize increases in traffic growth between data centers.

Accelerated applications create a better user experience

Ultimately, what can really improve users' experience are accelerated applications, and the SteelHead GX10000 delivers just that. SteelHead's WAN optimization technology improves response times and ensures more efficient use of bandwidth, which means that your users won't experience lag while using applications that are cloud-based or distributed geographically across the network.

Hold off on those bandwidth upgrades

The amount of bandwidth enterprises consume is always increasing — and it isn't free. A Riverbed infrastructure combining SD-WAN and WAN optimization can help you use bandwidth more efficiently. The GX10000 provides a stronger value than just committing to bandwidth upgrades that only act as a short-term "Band-Aid" solution.

A vision for IT

Riverbed’s long-term vision is to support high-performance, enterprise-grade agile IT, allowing customers with complex, heavily networked traffic to reap the benefits of Riverbed's SD-WAN and WAN optimization technologies. The SteelHead GX10000 is another step forward towards that goal.

Whether you're a current customer looking to upgrade or a new customer looking to make your network simpler to manage and more efficient, you should learn more about the SteelHead GX10000. Check out the SteelHead CX/GX page or contact your Riverbed sales rep for more information.