Riverbed Updates SD-WAN to Serve Businesses From Cloud to Network Edge


Riverbed released updates to its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) product, SteelConnect, to create a networking product that spans from the cloud to the edge. The updates include integrations with Xirrus WiFi, LTE wireless uplinks to add connectivity options, and added support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

“With these new enhancements, Riverbed eliminates complexity at the edge by offering a single pane of glass to manage SD-WAN capabilities,” wrote Milind Bhise, senior director of product marketing at Riverbed, in an email to SDxCentral.

Last April, the SD-WAN vendor acquired the cloud-based WiFi vendor Xirrus to extend SteelConnect’s WiFi and wired capabilities. The acquisition gave Riverbed access points that could gather application data at the edge and give users visibility into more thorough data, as well as a better WiFi protocol, WiFi management tools, and new WiFi services.

The latest integration of Riverbed Xirrus WiFi makes for simplified deployment and management of the WAN, WLAN/LAN, and the cloud, the company claims. End users can now manage both SD-WAN and WiFi from a centralized cloud console, which gives them the ability to use zero-touch provisioning of Riverbed Xirrus access points, create WiFi networks, and monitor their WiFi.

The second major update to SteelConnect is the addition of LTE wireless options for SD-WAN gateways. The LTE wireless uplinks increase the network reach and productivity, while adding flexibility to connectivity options for a variety of use cases including retail stores, rural sites, or mobile retail.

The uplinks also increase network agility and resiliency, Bhise said.

As enterprises increasingly adopt a cloud-first approach, “connecting to the cloud securely – and in an agile fashion – is critical,” wrote Bhise. “In order to leverage the agility of what the public cloud has to offer, it’s imperative that the connectivity offers a similar agility.”

Plus, the added support for AWS Direct Connect and Azure ExpressRoute allows users to securely connect to these public clouds over dedicated private links on Riverbed’s SD-WAN, thus bypassing the public Internet. It also enables single-click cloud automation and connectivity.

Riverbed SteelConnect

Riverbed’s SD-WAN provides connectivity and policy-based orchestration across the network — including LAN/WLAN, data center, and the cloud. It integrates with both Riverbed’s performance monitoring platform, SteelCentral, and its WAN optimization product, SteelHead SD.

The technology was launched in April 2016, following the company’s acquisition of Ocedo, a German SD-WAN startup.

The company also recently integrated SteelConnect with Zscaler’s cloud security platform. The integration chooses the optimal Zscaler data center to use for each site in the SteelConnect network to provide business with cloud-based security across remote business locations.