Riverbed has unveiled ambitous plans to expand from its WAN optimisation roots with the release of a new storage platform, dubbed Granite.
Granite will allow branch offices to remotely access storage devices hosted within a central datacentre.
It is optimised to deliver large-scale data transfers, and gathers and transfers storage blocks at higher speeds than traditional platforms.
The result, said the company, is a system which can deliver data over the WAN at speeds comparable to those of on-premise systems.
While vendors such as Infineta have targeted storage applications such as datacentre backup and disaster recovery, Riverbed believes that there is an opportunity to bring WAN optimisation to everyday storage uses.
Miles Kelly, Riverbed senior director of product marketing, told V3 that many customers have expressed the desire to consolidate servers from branch offices within a single datacentre. Performance and access worries, however, have left many servers sitting in less secure branch locations.
"The really innovative disruption here is that Riverbed has managed to decouple server from storage," Kelly explained.
"You begin to see this scenario with the best of all worlds, where IT gets what it wants and end users get local performance."
The Granite platform will be deployed through the company's Steelhead EX appliance. Designed to function as a single-appliance solution for connecting branch offices, the Steelhead EX will support embedded SSD storage as well as features to manage hypervisors and the Granite platform.
For firms looking just for WAN optimisation, the company will offer the Steelhead CX. Designed as an update to the traditional Steelhead line, the CX will feature bandwidth and hardware updates without the added costs from hypervisor or Granite components.
Kelly said that the Steelhead and Granite updates are part of a larger effort to expand Riverbed's WAN management brand.
By expanding its coverage, the company believes it will allow businesses to further cut hardware costs by reducing IT infrastructure in branch locations.
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