Coming Soon: SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge for ROBO Locations


At September's Microsoft Ignite conference, Riverbed demonstrated an early working version of the SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge, schedule to be released in the first half of 2018, and attendees came away impressed.

No more datacenters?

For some enterprises, the SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge may eliminate the need for traditional on-premise datacenters. At a minimum, it will give enterprises the flexibility to choose the right approach.  The SteelFusion solution will continue to have both Edge and Core appliances, but now the Core can exist as a virtual appliance in the Azure cloud. With a cumbersome datacenter out of the picture, edge IT can fully capitalize on cloud agility and efficiency.

"We value our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and with the SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge, we will provide joint customers with even more options for managing edge IT," says Paul O'Farrell, Riverbed senior vice president and general manager of SteelHead, SteelFusion, and SteelConnect. "With this solution, organizations will be able to instantly realize the benefits of using Azure cloud storage wherever they do business."

Set up is easy with the wizard

As always with SteelFusion solutions, the Azure-Ready Edge will be easy to set up and maintain, too. All cloud infrastructure provisioning and orchestration occurs via a simple wizard interface, combining multiple disparate interfaces into a single, powerful point of interaction. The SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge's enhanced orchestration workflow enables simple management of multiple environments.

Riverbed has worked closely with Microsoft to make the SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge a reality, and Microsoft shares O'Farrell's enthusiasm: "With Riverbed SteelFusion, we will be extending the same benefits of the Azure cloud to the edge of the network, which remains a critical component to the ongoing success of the business in today’s distributed IT landscape," saysTad Brockway, Microsoft's partner director of Azure storage.

Watch the Riverbed SteelFusion Azure-Ready Edge demo

New HyperV support, too

Shipping alongside SteelFusion's Azure-Ready Edge capabilities will be full support for HyperV virtualization on the edge. Adding even greater flexibility to this solution, and as an addition to its current VMware capabilities, SteelFusion customers will now be able to choose a solution that supports either of the major virtualization providers.

SteelFusion update: Reimagining Edge IT

A recent survey conducted by ESG shows just how starkly ROBO/edge sites have been left behind. A full 91 percent of the polled cloud and IT managers and infrastructure leaders indicated that the cloud has made edge IT more complicated, slowing down their organizations' migration. That's a huge problem when the edge is where customers are served, transactions are processed, and revenue is generated. 

Fortunately, that's precisely where SteelFusion's unique software-defined edge can help. Today, SteelFusion can help ROBO/edge locations:

  • Converge remote storage, server, backup, services, and advanced networking infrastructure into one small appliance
  • Secure 100 percent of a company’s data in the datacenter or public cloud while delivering the local application performance required by remote workers to do business
  • Achieve agile IT with instant provisioning of new network services, line-of-business apps, entirely new networks and sites
  • Eliminate remote backup, achieve near real-time RPO and significantly reduce RTO
  • Minimize operational costs by extending hybrid cloud investments in storage, virtualization, backup and IT staff to every edge in the business

Successes in the field

How is SteelFusion benefiting enterprises today? Consider that "Over 1,200 enterprises have chosen SteelFusion as an edge IT platform, dramatically streamlining operations for remote business locations," says O'Farrell. Here are a few recent examples.

  • A comprehensive refresh: A fast-growing, global auto parts manufacturer based in the MIdwest was running 20 remote sites with Riverbed SteelHead™ appliances at each, and renewal time was near. The small IT team felt overwhelmed administrating the growing number of sites from recent acquistions and had no data backup plan. A successful POC showed that SteelFusion could replace the SteelHead appliances and also provide software-defined WAN via Riverbed SteelConnect™, lessening administrative burden, accelerating acquisition integrations, and enabling robust backup capabilities.
  • Branch modernization: The infrastructure of a respected U.S.-based bank with more than 70 locations lacked redundancy and suffered from slow recovery; as a bank, and with customers to please, they found this unacceptable. They decided to implement SteelFusion with its recently released support for NFS, placing all services and apps into one integrated system. The result? Rapid deployment and improved performance of the customer-facing teller application, along with reduced infrastructure and operations at the local branches.
  • Faster rollouts, recovery savings: In Australia, a large supermarket chain with more than 50 locations (and growing) needed a way to accelerate and streamline its ongoing expansion. After evaluating and adopting SteelFusion, new store rollouts became 75% faster than before, and site outage recovery times improved from three days to one hour, saving $100,000 AUS with each occurrence.

Learn more

For more on SteelFusion and its Azure-Ready Edge, read Gabe Dixon's blog post, Extend Cloud Resources to the Azure-Ready Edge, and don't forget to check out the impressive preview demo, too.

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