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

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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