Riverbed introduces enterprise-class server and data consolidation solution

Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, introduced a new release of its groundbreaking Riverbed Granite product family that delivers an enterprise-class solution for server and data consolidation. With expanded capacity and higher performance IT managers can now extend the benefits of Granite to larger branch offices and data-intensive applications that previously were difficult or impossible to consolidate. 

Granite is a technology that empowers businesses of all sizes to remove servers and data from branch offices and centralise them in the secure data centre—without sacrificing user experience. This new architectural approach makes it possible to centralise backup operations and get data out of high-risk locations, while increasing agility and lowering the costs of managing remote office IT. To succeed in this dynamic environment, IT leaders need agility, security and control, while business users demand performance. Granite delivers these benefits in a single solution.

This announcement includes new Granite 2.5 software that adds support for Fibre Channel to its existing iSCSI support, enabling Granite solutions to now support over 90% of the current enterprise-class storage array market. Granite 2.5 also improves data protection with automated snapshots and simplified support for existing data-centre class backup and recovery software. This news builds upon EMC E-Lab™ qualifying Granite with EMC VMAX in 2012 and the recently completed EMC E-Lab qualification of Granite with EMC VNX in June 2013. The performance of Granite 2.5 can be further enhanced with the addition of the new, purpose-built Steelhead EX 1360 model appliance, on which Granite can be hosted. The Steelhead EX 1360 model appliance offers enterprises greater capacity and performance for consolidating larger data stores back to the data centre. Granite 2.5 and the Steelhead EX 1360 model appliance together deliver an enterprise-class solution for server and data consolidation that allow organisations to deploy any application to any location with high performance and reliability.

“Data growth and infrastructure shifts continue to hamper IT’s ability to meet all protection, retention and compliance requirements. Addressing all these data protection challenges, requires a holistic approach,” Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at ESG. “Silos in technology add to the cost and complexity while reducing productivity and increasing risk of data loss. IT needs to give end users the tools they need to be successful while IT keeps oversight and control.”

Extended Integration with Enterprise-Class Storage Arrays

Granite 2.5 software adds Fibre Channel support for the virtual Granite Core that extends integration with enterprise-class storage arrays, including those from EMC, NetApp and IBM. Leading analysts have found that nearly 70 percent of enterprises deploy Fibre Channel-based external disk solutions in 2013. Many organisations choose to deploy Fibre Channel-based storage solutions for their high speed, low latency transport capabilities and abilities to interconnect multiple storage devices to better use and share the storage within the datacentre. The addition of Fibre Channel storage solutions support to the already supported iSCSI in the data centre means over 90% of the current enterprise-class storage array market is now supported by Granite solutions, providing greater flexibility for enterprises to meet the storage consolidation needs of branch offices with larger data sets. 

“We see the expanded flexibility of Granite 2.5 in the data centre as a big win – both from a storage and a data protection standpoint,” said Mike Rinken, director of information technology at Mazzetti, an engineering design and consulting firm.  “In our business where large CAD files have been moving toward a more collaborative parametric modeling data set, more resources for Granite Edge appliances make perfect sense.  We can consolidate even more data and still make sure branch users get the local performance they need to be effective.  We’re excited to have the flexibility of utilising Fibre Channel storage and how Riverbed is extending their storage footprint by offering more robust devices.”

Simplification of Backup and Recovery

By consolidating data out of the branch and into the data centre, Granite enables organisations to eliminate branch backup and recovery systems, shifting data protection operations to the secure data centre and leaving data protection to skilled storage personnel. Granite 2.5 further simplifies data protection through enhanced support of industry-leading backup and recovery software solutions like Symantec NetBackup. Granite 2.5 also offers an enhanced centralised management user interface and simplified scheduling of hourly, daily or weekly application snapshots executed in the branch office and captured in the data centre. As a result, Granite 2.5 delivers a single point of management for branch snapshot schedules simplifying data protection, resulting in improved recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTO/RPO). 

“We've deployed Granite to help us manage our data and applications centrally and eliminate the hardware footprint at our data-intensive branches, which has translated to cost savings for us,” said Rohit Tellis, director of information technology at Alamos Gold, a Canadian-based gold producer with exploration and development activities around the globe. “The data protection enhancements help even further and will give us the assurance that our centralised backup process is easy to manage.”

New Steelhead EX 1360 Model Appliance

Remote and branch offices come in many sizes and with diverse application and data storage requirements. The Steelhead EX1360 model appliance consolidates larger data sets back to the data centre while ensuring business continuity. The new model delivers local-speed experience for applications that need high-performance storage access such as high-volume transaction databases and geographic information systems (GIS) data modeling files that require high input/output per second (IOPS). In addition, the new Steelhead appliance also enables organisations with larger data workloads to increase the amount of data it can lock within the appliance cache, increasing the ability of branch offices with larger data sets to maintain productivity, even during WAN outages. The new Steelhead EX1360 model appliance enables a broader range of organisations to deploy Granite storage delivery solutions, even those branches with demanding application and heavy compute and storage workloads without fear of performance degradation or productivity loss.

Granite 2.5 and Steelhead EX 1360 model appliances are expected to be generally available in Q3 2013.



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