Riverbed, Akamai Partner to Speed Hybrid Cloud Performance

Riverbed and Akamai early next year will roll out a solution that will improve the performance of hybrid cloud environments.

Riverbed Technology's expertise is in accelerating application performance within the enterprise. Akamai Technologies is known for its ability to optimize network performance across public clouds.

Now the two companies are joining forces to optimize WAN traffic in hybrid cloud environments.

Riverbed and Akamai officials announced May 10 their plans to create a joint application acceleration solution that leverages the capabilities of both vendors to improve performance in hybrid cloud networks. The companies made the announcement at the Interop 2011 show in Las Vegas.

The combination will be a boon to businesses will be able to "combine the benefits on the public cloud side ... with the benefits of Riverbed on the private side with WAN optimization," Nik Rouda, director of solutions marketing at Riverbed, said in an interview with eWEEK.

The companies expect to launch their joint solution early next year. The plan is for Akamai's Internet optimization software to be integrated into Riverbed's Steelhead appliances, bringing Akamai's capabilities into enterprise networks and extending them from the edge to the data center. In turn, Akamai's edge servers will be integrated with Steelhead's optimization features, bringing those capabilities from the data center to the public cloud.

The solution will be designed to address the key problems that officials with both Riverbed and Akamai said are stunting application performance in the cloud: The vast distances between users and their cloud providers; the different types of data and applications that are being handled in the cloud; and access problems caused by the need for businesses to use private WANs to connect to private clouds while also using connections in those data centers to connect to applications in public clouds hosted by cloud service providers.

Riverbed's Steelhead technology can enhance application performance over the private WAN to the data center, but it needs Steelhead appliances in both ends of the connection to speed performance. Having the Steelhead capabilities integrated into Akamai's edge servers-and having Steelhead appliances support Akamai's networking optimization technologies-means that performance optimization is now supported from the data center through the private clouds and out into the public clouds, they said.

"We're going to solve all three of those problems," Neil Cohen, senior director of product marketing at Akamai, said in an interview.

Customers should see immediate and long-term benefits from the joint solutions, Cohen said. They'll see more reliable performance from hybrid clouds, which will improve productivity, and they won't have to buy more technology to get the optimization benefits.

"We have the footprints now," Cohen said, noting the expertise both Riverbed and Akamai have. "Customers don't have to purchase new hardware."