Converged Infrastructure in the Branch: Riverbed Granite Becomes SteelFusion

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

With today’s rebranding of Riverbed Granite as SteelFusion, Riverbed is prodding all branch IT owners (and vested users) to step up and consider what branch IT should ideally look like. Instead of a disparate package of network optimization, remote servers and storage arrays, difficult if not foresworn data protection approaches, and independently maintained branch applications and IT support, simple converged SteelFusion edge appliances sit in the branch to provide local computing performance but work on “projected” data that is actually consolidated and protected back in the data center.

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Enterprise Storage Projected to Branch Locations: Riverbed and IBM Team Up

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

I just had the pleasure of sitting with Rob Whitely from Riverbed and Michelle Tidwell from IBM to discuss their jointly validated solution that combines IBM enterprise class storage in the data center with Riverbed Granite in branch locations. Together, the result is as if you had enterprise class storage in each branch location, but really all data is managed and protected in the data center.  And each branch gains resiliency to network failures and local storage performance. 

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Riverbed’s Edge Virtualization Redefines What Data “Center” Means

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

We’ve seen one physical barrier after another fall in the IT datacenter under increasing advances in virtualization.  It seems every hard-wired IT resource we’ve ever had to manage physically is experiencing re-invention as new “software defined” capabilities separate the “control plane” from the “data plane”. We certainly have a lot to explore and learn about where IT can go with the increasing virtual decoupling of the logical from the physical under increasingly dynamic management control.

Riverbed, leveraging their world-class WAN optimization and storage “extension” solutions, has just rolled out an interesting new capability that they are calling edge-virtualization. Basically, Riverbed’s latest Steelhead EX coupled with Granite storage not only enables highly efficient datacenter consolidation of physical resources, like servers and storage brought in from remote network “edges” while preserving remote performance and productivity, but also supports scenarios in which datacenter managed VM’s themselves are pushed dynamically out to the remote edge locations to run locally.

Sounds a bit like application virtualization where the app is a VM, but that kind of recursive thinking can make your head spin. Better is to just focus on the fact that centralized storage and data is made available at the edge, and now so can live VM’s running datacenter applications. This ability to effectively deliver not just centralized data, but also the processing application to the edge could accelerate further data center consolidation efforts and ensuing benefits.  

Combine this edge-virtualization capability with emerging constructs for managing a “software defined datacenter” (and mix of course with some cloud/hybrid elastic capabilities) and you are really redefining the single physical nature of what a data center means. I’m sure we’ll soon see some very interesting use cases emerging based on Riverbed’s edge-virtualization, not least of which I’m sure will be superb VDI enablement with high ROI due to the underlying consolidation.  

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