Customer Study and Webinar: How SteelConnect Helped OpenEye Scientific Software Simplify IT


We live and work in the age of cloud, and the legacy network infrastructures of 1997 feel their age. Traditionally managed WAN topologies are difficult to expand and they carry high operational costs, and while cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure enable newfound business agility, it's often difficult to reconcile their abilities with the drawbacks of legacy infrastructure.

SD-WAN simplifies the cloud

This is a key reason why software-defined networking (SD-WAN) technology, such as offered by Riverbed SteelConnect™, is now so important. SteelConnect simplifies cloud network management, automating the process of creating secure VPN tunnels, routing, and other networking associated with migrating to and maintaining hybrid networks using public cloud infrastructure such as AWS.

SteelConnect brings three unique innovations that enable enterprises to modernize their network architecture:

  • Ubiquitous and unified connectivity spans WANs, remote office LANs and cloud infrastructure networks, including AWS
  • Business-aligned orchestration offers meaningful visualization of networks and plain-language policies that drive zero-touch provisioning and easy change management
  • Cloud-centric workflow enables network architects to first virtually design their environments and networks before deploying a single, self-programming piece of hardware to any branch office

To see how these advanced capabilities affect real-world business concerns, we turn to an on-demand webinar about OpenEye Scientific Software, which recently adopted SteelConnect to allow its business to scale beyond what traditional legacy infrastructure could allow.

Challenge: Legacy infrastructure constrains new SaaS product

OpenEye Scientific, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has offices in Boston, Cologne, and Tokyo. Founded in 1997, it creates products that help pharmaceutical companies model, discover, and design new drugs, reducing time to market.

OpenEye recently began offering its new drug-design platform, Orion, in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) format. However, it found its initial attempts hindered by the shortcomings of its legacy network infrastructure.

"Our current hardware just would not support this," says Craig Bruce, OpenEye scientific software developer. "We would have needed to buy a lot more hardware for a rather large price, and scalability would have been incredibly costly and difficult. We don't have an internal Cisco resource here at OpenEye, so it was taking weeks' to months' worth of work to get network connectivity set up."

The SteelConnect solution

Upon learning of SteelConnect, Bruce found its tight integration with AWS appealing. He could connect multiple accounts easily because SteelConnect had a complete understanding of the mixed network topology.

OpenEye uses AWS virtual private clouds (VPCs) to isolate and ensure the privacy of client data, so OpenEye harnessed SteelConnect's SD-WAN capabilities to supply a consistent backbone connection between all the VPCs and to provide consistent and secure connections to anywhere in the world.

The initial, single-region test deployment proved wildly successful, so now Bruce plans to expand it to other locales.

"We installed the first instance of SteelConnect in our VPC in less than an hour," he says.

"Between my system administrator and myself, we can enable a new VPC and the virtual private network (VPN) connection in less than an hour. The most complicated part is the subnet definition. The connection itself is just a few clicks."

Now OpenEye can expand its secure network in hours, rather than weeks or months. Says Bruce, "we will be able to grow quickly since we have the ability to add more and more connections without hardware limits or other technical frustrations. SteelConnect enables us to be far more agile, which is really good for our growing business."

Read the full OpenEye customer profile and check out the video >>

AWS and beyond

As OpenEye discovered, SteelConnect's single-click cloud deployment lets customers automate cloud networking, as well as elegantly manage both physical and VPC networks from a single pane of glass.

SteelConnect customers can also enjoy Riverbed's industry-leading WAN acceleration by deploying consumption-based SteelHead devices behind SteelConnect Gateway, leading to secure and fully WAN-optimized links between AWS sites and the rest of the infrastructure.

In short, SteelConnect offers an intelligent and simplified approach to designing, deploying, and managing distributed networks for today's cloud-centric world.

Watch the new webinar

This article is just a taster, as OpenEye recently joined Riverbed experts in a webinar to delve into the finer points of the SteelConnect SD-WAN-AWS experience. Check out the webinar to learn how to:

  • Automate secure connectivity to AWS, between AWS regions and between cloud providers
  • Improve network performance and efficiency while simplifying management
  • Utilize this integrated solution to save time and money when moving to the cloud

View the webinar >>

Additional information