The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Solving the Hybrid Cloud Network Challenge with Akamai

Posted by riverbedtest on May 10, 2011

How good is your cloud? It's a hard question to answer. Part of it depends on how you define cloud, and part of it depends on how you define good. At Riverbed, we don't have plans to define the first one for you (plenty of other people are doing that); and the question of "good" always comes down to performance in our minds. Is it local-like performance? And do you get that performance with the reality of cloud-like cost efficiency? In the spirit of driving performance of the cloud higher, I'm excited to announce Riverbed's strategic partnership and product direction with Akamai, the leader in Internet performance optimization.

Earlier today, Akamai and Riverbed announced their intention to develop a joint application acceleration solution for hybrid cloud networks that leverages the combination of Internet optimization and WAN optimization. The planned solution will accelerate the broad array of cloud-based applications.

So what's the story? You already know that Riverbed has some pretty powerful cloud acceleration tools like Cloud Steelhead, Virtual Steelhead, and Whitewater. This new offering from Riverbed and Akamai will add to this toolset, giving enterprises a way to leverage their existing Riverbed Steelhead investment while combining it with the incredibly powerful Akamai Distributed Edge Platform.  The Riverbed-Akamai proposed integrated offering

This offering is designed for businesses and government organizations of all sizes that would like to use public cloud resources and receive the same local-like performance that their end users depend on to be productive with private cloud applications. The offering is targeted primarily at Software as a Service offerings. Examples of those offerings include Microsoft Office 365,, NetSuite, SuccessFactors, and many, many more.

SaaS is becoming more and more important to businesses, but enteprises have a distinct lack of control in terms of distance (where the cloud data center is located), data (how much of it is required to go back and forth over long distances), and access (bandwidth, efficient routing, and even access to the DC itself to place performance optimization technologies). The end result? Customers needed a new way to accelerate SaaS applications that would address private WAN performance, Internet performance, and operate across manySaaS applications without access to the SaaS data center itself.

There's more to this partnership than just a logo exchange – there's real technology integration going on behind the scenes. Riverbed will integrate Akamai Internet optimization software directly onto the Steelheads that live in enterprise data centers, essentially extending the edge of the Akamai footprint to the enterprise data center. At the same time, Akamai will integrate Riverbed Steelhead technology into the Akamai edge platform, extending the customers’ Steelhead footprint up to the doorstep of the SaaS provider.

The result is that the combined optimizations of Akamai and Riverbed will deliver end-to-end acceleration from the front doorstep of the broad array of SaaS applications available all the way down to the branch office and mobile worker of the enterprise. This ability to accelerate end to end, from the front door step of the SaaS provider all the way to the branch or mobile enterprise user, solves the hybrid cloud network challenge.

The 'hybrid cloud network' deserves a little bit of extra explanation. When you typically think of accessing an application, you might do it in one of two ways. If it’s an application in your enterprises’ private cloud, you’d access it over the WAN. If it’s a general web site, or a partner portal, you would access it over the internet.

But things are changing and getting more complex. With SaaS applications, remote & branch enterprise users are typically backhauled across the private WAN and then go across the Internet to access an application – accessing an application over a hybrid network. While enterprises have tools to accelerate WANs and separate tools to deal with Internet performance limitations, they do not have an integrated solution that solves the problem end-to-end in a seamless fashion.

Combining the performance constraints of the Internet with performance constraints of the private WAN makes for a big, hairy challenge. That's why there's no better combination than Riverbed and Akamai to solve this. Combine the largest & smartest Internet optimization technology with the smartest WAN optimization technology and the advanced platform WOC marketshare leader, and you've got both the brains and the brawn to solve the SaaS performance problem right.

Welcome to the Riverbed partner family, Akamai!

2 Responses to “Solving the Hybrid Cloud Network Challenge with Akamai”

  1. EIP said

    I can guess the HO/Branch Office WAN optimization integration with Public Cloud, but how does it help the enterprise mobile worker? Are there any specific performance optimizations for them?

  2. @EIP: Yes, we can leverage Steelhead Mobile for VPN users in much the same way that we can leverage a Steelhead appliance in the branch. One of the advantages Riverbed has always possessed is the fact that we built our mobile product off the same software as our appliance. That gives us a big advantage in taking good ideas to anywhere the remote worker might be – branch or otherwise.

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