Riverbed Announces SteelConnect EX
October 24, 2019
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Riverbed announced a significant milestone in the evolution of its SD-WAN portfolio by announcing general availability of SteelConnect EX, an enterprise-class and carrier-grade WAN Edge Infrastructure solution with best-of-breed SD-WAN, integrated application acceleration and advanced network security services that can overcome the challenges of network transformation for the world’s largest and most complex networks.

Digital transformation continues to present unprecedented challenges for enterprise networks and the IT professionals who operate them. As enterprises become more distributed and as they place mission-critical applications in the cloud, there is mounting pressure to modernize the WAN and change the way apps are delivered. To meet the needs of today’s modern digital enterprise, IT leaders are deploying hybrid WAN topologies that combine on-premises and off-premises infrastructure, connected by private and public transport types. However, with traditional approaches to networking, these hybrid environments are overwhelmingly complex to manage, protect and optimize from a performance and cost perspective.

SD-WAN is largely viewed as the right approach to overcome the complexity of managing hybrid and Internet-only WANs, with the promise of boosting agility while reducing WAN circuit costs. But adoption of SD-WAN amongst larger enterprises has been quite limited to date, due in large part to the inability for SD-WAN solutions to interface directly with legacy networks during a phased SD-WAN rollout.

Riverbed SteelConnect EX sets a new standard for SD-WAN in large enterprise that will propel mainstream SD-WAN adoption across enterprises and organizations of any size. An enterprise-class and carrier-grade routing stack ensures that Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution can seamlessly co-exist and interoperate with legacy networks, while best-in-class SD-WAN services enable organizations to adopt hybrid and Internet-based topologies without compromise to operational efficiency or WAN reliability. In addition, industry-leading application acceleration offers the ability to optimize user experiences by boosting app performance by up to 33x or more for on-premises, Cloud and SaaS-based applications. And an advanced suite of network security services are available, helping enterprises future-proof their security strategy as they expand direct access to Internet-hosted applications at remote sites.

“Riverbed now offers the most complete and powerful digital networking solution in the market to help organizations achieve higher levels of agility, efficiency, innovation and growth. Riverbed’s new SteelConnect EX encompasses the scalability, performance, and security to meet the needs of the most complex networks,” said Dante Malagrino, Chief Development Officer at Riverbed. “With a proven track record of WAN expertise, world-class support and professional services, Riverbed sets the new standard for digital networking to propel and accelerate digital transformation with confidence.”

“The key to digital transformation is infrastructure modernization, and the networking industry is at an inflection point where we’re starting to see mainstream, enterprise organizations rapidly adopting SD-WAN as a way to deliver greater network agility and achieve significant cost-savings,” said Zeus Kerravala, Principle Analyst at ZK Research. “The new release of SteelConnect EX from Riverbed delivers the comprehensive SD-WAN capabilities that large scale organizations require in order to successfully compete in today’s cloud-based, complex digital environments.”

The Next Generation Network with Riverbed

When devising a strategy for modernizing the WAN, IT leaders must fully address the implications and requirements of expanded public cloud workloads and SaaS applications; pervasive connectivity for people, places, and things; and network traffic shifting from private links to the public Internet. This requires a radical shift from traditional networks to a next-generation network powered by Riverbed that is software-defined, performance-driven, analytics-powered and security-enabled.

Riverbed’s unique combination of best-in-class SD-WAN and advanced network security with industry-leading application acceleration will enable large organizations to confidently deploy and operate SD-WAN at high scale (5,000 sites) within the world’s most complex and secure networks. Product solutions include:

- 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).

SteelConnect EX is targeted to be generally available in November 2019.

Network Performance Management in a Cloudy Environment

Riverbed has also made significant advancements to its network performance management (NPM) solution by delivering the next generation of cloud monitoring capabilities for complete visibility and control over IT efficiency and performance in multi-cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud environments.

- 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.

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