Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced Riverbed® SteelFusion™ 4.0, the first and only hyper-converged infrastructure solution for the branch of the future. SteelFusion 4.0 enables zero IT at the branch by virtualizing and consolidating 100% of data and servers from remote sites into data centers, centralizing data security and IT management without losing the benefits of running branch services locally. SteelFusion meets the IT challenges of today’s sprawling branch environments by enabling organizations to remove all servers, storage, and backup from remote sites; enabling instant provisioning and recovery; providing complete security and visibility; and ensuring that applications simply work.
In SteelFusion 4.0, the hardware platforms have been completely updated and redesigned to deliver increased performance and scalability for remote sites and regional hubs of all sizes. SteelFusion 4.0 also introduces new FusionSync™ for seamless branch continuity. FusionSync ensures that all branch data is accessible across private and hybrid cloud environments, providing the ability to withstand and recover from data center failures with zero downtime. Now, with SteelFusion 4.0, enterprises can deploy a single hyper-converged solution to centralize all branch office data and applications in the data center as well as leverage the cloud for continuity, resulting in dramatic increases in data security, business continuity and agility, operational efficiency and application performance.
An average of over 50% of enterprise employees are based at branch offices (remote sites, job sites, stores, manufacturing plants, etc.), meaning that if branch applications don’t perform, branch workers can’t work and business is lost with direct impacts to the top and bottom line. Branch offices, remote locations and store fronts are critical for local customer engagement, but they require IT staff to support many islands of infrastructure that are costly and inefficient to maintain and yet necessary to meet local performance and reliability needs. Today, 50% of company data and intellectual property still lives outside the data center, leaving it unprotected, open to compromise and data breaches. Backup processes are cumbersome and data recovery is time-consuming or even futile without qualified IT staff at most branches, not to mention the challenges of provisioning new services or applications in an agile world. These activities, and others that support branch IT operations, consume 50% of IT budgets.
SteelFusion changes the game so that enterprises can rethink branch IT. For example, one can imagine the branch analogously as a smart phone – a thin, small device that has access to all the applications and data of the Internet and cloud. And yet, when one buys a smart phone, the provider doesn’t also provide a backpack full of application servers, storage, and backup infrastructure to carry with it. In the age of the cloud, branch IT should be the same way, and now it can be with Riverbed SteelFusion 4.0.
“Branches are the front lines of business with increasing IT needs. However, the answer to delivering customer-centric business is not to introduce more IT complexity and infrastructure, but to rethink branch IT,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SteelFusion and SteelHead Product Groups at Riverbed. “With SteelFusion 4.0, Riverbed delivers the branch of the future with a zero branch IT solution that eliminates the challenges of supporting remote sites. This means getting all of the infrastructure — servers, storage and backup — out of the branch and centralized into the data center. By doing so, companies gain the agility to instantly provision new services and apps and to recover data in minutes versus days. This also means data security and control with full visibility, ensuring business continuity, and that apps perform as if local. SteelFusion 4.0 delivers on all these promises and more.”
Many Riverbed customers are already benefiting from a zero branch IT approach, including Weatherford, one of the largest global oil and gas service providers. “Our operations cover oil rigs and offshore locations where any disruption or unavailability of applications on site would result in loss of production time,” explained Han Koon Er, Asia Pacific IT Manager, Weatherford Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. “With Riverbed SteelFusion, we are able to optimize data center processes and thereby eliminate file servers, storage and other backup processes which require our IT teams to be dispatched to remote locations. This has enabled focused production on site with peace of mind that data is secured at our data center.”
The next generation of SteelFusion incorporates the following enhancements:
A new SteelFusion Edge platform to support larger branch offices. The new SteelFusion Edge platform delivers 4x the memory for virtual machines topping at 256GB to run a greater number of local workloads at larger branch offices and regional hubs. The three models in the new SteelFusion Edge platform also feature Advanced Tiering Cache that complements the existing write cache with solid-state disk read functionality. The new Edge platform replaces all existing SteelFusion Edge models.
A new SteelFusion Core platform to scale large, global deployments. A new SteelFusion Core platform complements the updated SteelFusion Edge platforms, designed to support a larger number of branch office locations, more capacity and faster performance to enable IT organizations to scale to support larger enterprise deployments.
Introducing FusionSync capabilities for even better business continuity. This innovative capability synchronizes branch-office data across private and hybrid cloud environments, ensuring all branch data is accessible in case of a data center failure. Organizations can now recover from both branch and datacenter outages within minutes with little to no data loss.
“With the volume of data created and stored outside the central data center continuing to grow significantly, CIOs are actively looking for ways to mitigate risk and simplify the challenge of data security and centralization, while achieving optimal productivity in branch locations,” said Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Branch IT operations represent a significant opportunity to address these issues, and CIOs must carefully consider how the current state of branch IT affects the business and bottom line, and which new technologies can help move branches into a more secure and cost-effective operating model.”
SteelFusion 4.0 is expected to be generally available in May 2015. For more information visit the SteelFusion website or attend the Zero Branch IT web event happening on April 28, 2015.