Riverbed joins a number of other vendors, including Blue Coat Systems, in offering a virtual WAN optimization appliance. Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead will be available later in the third quarter.
Riverbed Technology is rolling out a virtualized version of its Steelhead
WAN optimization appliance, a move that company officials said will enable the
Steelhead technology to be put into a larger number of environments.
Riverbed introduced Virtual Steelhead July 22, adding that it will be
available later in the quarter.
Virtual Steelhead, which comes in 11 models, will give customers more
options when deploying Riverbed's technology, according to Apurva Dave, vice
president of product marketing at Riverbed.
"There's a need for even greater flexibility," Dave said in an
interview with eWEEK. "This takes all of the core benefits of our
technology and puts them into a new form factor."
Those benefits include the use of RiOS (Riverbed Operating System) 6.1 for
the virtual and physical Steelhead appliances, and the ability to offer the
same level of performance in the virtual product that is found in the physical
Virtual Steelhead is designed to run on VMware's vSphere virtualization platform.
Like the physical appliances, Virtual Steelhead is made to accelerate WAN and
application performance in enterprise networks.
Riverbed joins a number of other companies that offer virtual WAN
optimization appliances, including Blue Coat Systems with its ProxySG Virtual
Appliances, Certeon with its aCelera Virtual Appliance and Silver Peak Systems
with its VX-5000 appliance.
Riverbed officials first talked about a virtual Steelhead appliance in
November 2009, when they announced plans to roll out a host of new
products designed to improve
performance of applications in public clouds.
They also talked about a
product called Cloud Steelhead, which is still in the works.
Dave said Virtual Steelhead will enable Riverbed to expand the reach of the
WAN optimization technology. More than 8,300 customers already use Steelhead
appliances. The Steelhead capabilities will now be usable in such areas as
ruggedized military environments and first-responder emergency situations,
highly virtualized data centers, remote facilities, or spaces that a physical
appliance could not fit.
"What we're doing with our virtual technology is we're giving customers
a lot of choice," Dave said. "We're not trying to force the customer
to make a choice. A Virtual Steelhead is a Steelhead."