Riverbeds new Steelhead Models 100 and 200 are intended to provide small offices with up to 20 users with TCP optimization as well as reduce the "chattiness" of application protocols to lower latency.
They follow on the heels of new SOHO (small office/home office) offerings launched by rivals Tacit Networks and Orbital Data.
"Instead of a rack-mounted pizza box, this is more a cable modem form factor on a desk. It delivers all the same features as the current product line at half the price of the current low-end model," said Alan Saldich, vice president of marketing at Riverbed in San Francisco.
The Model 100 supports up to seven concurrent users, while the Model 200 supports up to 20 concurrent users.
To support larger deployments of the appliances for large enterprises with hundreds of remote branch offices, Riverbed also enhanced its Central Management Console.
Version 2.1 of the software enables operators to deploy, remotely configure, monitor and manage a large number of Steelhead appliances. It also provides a view into WAN and application resources.
Version 2.1s "touchless configuration" provides automated installation of Steelhead devices from a central location, according to Saldich. "You can ship an appliance to a branch and the CMC will detect when someone plugs it into the network. [The CMC] will automatically detect it and send it its configuration files," he said.
CMC Version 2.1 also adds the ability to schedule operations such as software upgrades or policy changes. Such changes can be scheduled at appropriate times and can be executed across groups or subgroups of offices.
The new models provide the same disk-based optimizations used in existing Steelhead models. They optimize applications traffic across WAN links of up to 1M bps and include 36GB of storage. The models and the CMC Version 2.1 are available now. The models start at $3,495.