by Adam Armstrong

Riverbed SteelConnect EX Released

Today Riverbed announced the general availability of its new enterprise-class and carrier-grade WAN Edge Infrastructure solution, Riverbed SteelConnect EX. The company states that the new solution is a combination of enterprise-class SD-WAN, best-in-class application acceleration, advanced network security. Riverbed also announced several advancements to its NPM solutions.

The evolution of IT has been rapid, with changes coming so fast it can be difficult to keep up with it all. Enterprises are no longer centrally located and data, along with transferring it, is critical in every aspect. With this, the WAN needs to change and modernize to meet the changing demands. One way to address this is to leverage and deploy hybrid WAN topologies that combine on-premises and off-premises infrastructure, connected by private and public transport types. This does introduce complexities and potential cost and performance issues.

A solution to the above has been the SD-WAN. However, up until now, SD-WAN solutions have been unable to interface directly with legacy networks during a phased SD-WAN rollout. Riverbed SteelConnect EX fixes this issue by enabling Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution to co-exist and interoperate with legacy networks, while SD-WAN services enable organizations to adopt hybrid and Internet-based topologies without compromise to operational efficiency or WAN reliability. Riverbed claims that this solution can also accelerate applications granting up to 33x performance. 

The SteelConnect EX line consists of the following:

  • SteelConnect EX SD-WAN enables enterprises to cost-effectively expand WAN capacity, accelerate the roll-out of new sites and applications and streamline operations for hybrid and Internet-based WAN topologies.
  • SteelConnect EX App Acceleration provides industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities to boost app performance and end-user experience by up to 33x or more for on-premises, cloud and SaaS-based applications. SteelConnect EX interoperates directly with SteelHead physical and virtual appliances today. And with the availability of SteelConnect EX, Riverbed also announces plans to further integrate Riverbed's industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities into the SteelConnect EX platform in Q1 2020 for a converged SD-WAN Edge solution.
  • SteelConnect EX Security enables fully integrated and layered security services to deepen and simplify branch security. Provides a broad set of security functions, including Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Antivirus (AV), and Intrusion Detection and Protection Services (IDS/IPS).

As stated, Riverbed also enhanced its network performance management (NPM) solution. The company has delivered next generation cloud monitoring capabilities for complete visibility and control over IT efficiency and performance in multi-cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud environments. Other advancements include:

  • In addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS), SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud now extends its rich network and application visibility into AWS GovCloud West and Microsoft Azure environments.
  • Riverbed adds more flexibility, scale and power to SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual and SteelCentral Flow Gateway Virtual for flow-based monitoring of virtualized, private and public cloud environments, giving customers the flexibility to choose the deployment model that best suits their needs without compromising capabilities.
  • SteelCentral NetIM 2.0, a completely re-architected infrastructure monitoring solution uses a modern containerized architecture to provide significantly better performance, massive scalability, and cloud-ready deployment.
  • AppResponse Cloud and SteelCentral NetProfiler work together to provide packet-based and flow-based monitoring for a consolidated and complete view of network performance across on-premises, virtual and cloud environments.

Availability 

While announced to have general availability now, SteelConnect EX is actually targeted for November 2019, so in a week or so. 

Riverbed SD-WAN

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