The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Cloud Steelhead and the Public Cloud

Posted by riverbedtest on December 17, 2010

Riverbed customers have been using their Steelheads in private clouds for a number of years now.  Since private cloud infrastructures are dedicated to a single user organization, it's usually not a big deal to physically install a Steelhead appliance behind the router or to configure WCCP in the switches supporting the private cloud.

However, the public cloud is a different matter.  Public cloud users can install their own software applications on into the Cloud, but they lack access to the underlying network infrastructure supporting the public cloud.  Without this access, it's not possible to deploy physical Steelheads into the public cloud network, or to configure WCCP in the switches in order to re-direct traffic to Steelhead software deployed in virtual machines. 

To address this challenge, Riverbed recently introduced Cloud Steelhead, the first and only solution that is specifically designed to deliver WAN optimization services to the public cloud.  Cloud Steelhead is one of two new products introduced by Riverbed in the past month (the other being Riverbed Whitewater).  Unlike other WAN optimization products, Cloud Steelhead can be deployed into a public cloud without configuration changes in the underlying network infrastructure supporting that cloud environment.  Once deployed, these Cloud Steelheads can communicate with Steelhead appliances at the customer's location or Steelhead mobile software clients installed on employee laptops to deliver fast LAN-like performance to public cloud applications.

The Riverbed innovation that makes this possible is the Discovery Agent, which allows traffic to be transparently re-directed to Cloud Steelheads without WCCP, PBR, or physical in-path deployment of the Steelheads.  The Discovery Agent also provides clustering, load balancing, and high availability/failover for WAN optimization services delivered by the Cloud Steelheads–the same capabilities that Riverbed customers enjoy in their private cloud and enterprise Steelhead deployments.

A final key component of Cloud Steelhead is the Riverbed Portal, an online resource used by Riverbed customers to deploy, manage, and monitor their Cloud Steelheads within the public cloud. After logging in to the Riverbed Portal, Riverbed customers activate or extend the Cloud Steelhead licenses that they have purchased from their Riverbed reseller.  The Riverbed Portal also provides detailed central reporting information on the health and status of their Cloud Steelheads.

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