Riverbed Offers Virtualized WAN Optimization Management

Riverbed, which has already virtualized its Steelhead Mobile Controller appliance, is now offering a virtualized version of its Central Management Console, enabling MSPs to centrally manage multiple Steelhead appliances from a single physical server. The CMC-VE will let MSPs save on both capital and operational expenses, with further savings offered through flexible licensing.

Weeks after rolling out a virtualized version of its Steelhead Mobile Controller appliance, Riverbed Technology is offering managed service providers an easier way to manage multiple sets of Riverbed's Steelhead WAN optimization appliances.

Riverbed Aug. 10 unveiled its Central Management Console-Virtualized Edition-or CMC-VE-enabling MSPs to centrally manage and scale multiple Steelhead appliances for their customers from a single physical machine, eliminating the need for additional hardware.

"They can support multiple deployments of Steelheads from a single console," Karin Gerster, director of product management for verticals for Riverbed, said in an interview.

With IT budgets continuing to tighten, MSPs are looking for ways to control costs and spend more wisely, Gerster said. The CMC-VE will enable MSPs to do just that, she said.

While the number of Steelhead appliances that can be managed from a single physical server varies depending on the MSPs' environments, one internal test showed that one server was able to run 50 CMC-VE instances, with each instance managing 50 Steelhead appliances. Another internal test had the same server hosting six CMC-VE instances, with each instance managing 500 appliances.

Using the CMC-VE, MSPs are able to save their clients both extra capital and operational expenses, Gerster said. Until now, the capabilities in the CMC were offered only through hardware appliances.

CMC-VE runs on VMware's ESX virtualization platform, and can run on any server running that software.

In addition, Riverbed is offering flexible licensing, enabling MSPs to buy additional management licenses for Steelhead appliances as they're needed. In addition, they can essentially create a pool of licenses for Steelhead appliances, and can move existing licenses from customer to customer as needed.