Riverbed takes aim at booming SD-WAN market

Its newest SteelConnect appliance launches with SD WAN market set to grow to $6 billion in 2020

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Riverbed takes aim at booming SD-WAN market Kennelly: SteelConnect has the potential to disrupt the multi-billion dollar branch office router market and re-define networking as we know it today.
By  David Ndichu Published  April 28, 2016

Riverbed Technology has launched Riverbed SteelConnect, an SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) solution that offers a new approach to networking in a cloud-centric world.

Leveraging its application knowledge, Riverbed is delivering an application-defined approach to networking, with SteelConnect designed to enable business-intent policies for applications to provide the performance and agility enterprises need today. SteelConnect unifies network connectivity and orchestration of application delivery across hybrid WANs, remote LANs and cloud networks such as AWS (available immediately) and Microsoft Azure (later this year).

With a fully integrated line of secure WAN gateways, remote LAN switches and Wi-Fi access points, all managed centrally through a cloud console with an intuitive and graphical user interface, SteelConnect simplifies and streamlines the process of designing, deploying and managing distributed networks, enabling organizations to modernize their network architecture to realize the full potential of digital transformation, the company says.

“The market is going through one of the largest transformations ever, with organisations moving quickly to adopt more digital and cloud services and hybrid networks,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Unfortunately, legacy approaches to managing distributed networks and routing – which are hardware-bound, hard-coded, inflexible and error-prone – haven’t changed much in 20 years.  We believe SteelConnect has the potential to disrupt the multi-billion dollar branch office router market and re-define networking as we know it today.  With SteelConnect, we’re delivering an application-defined networking solution that leverages Riverbed’s application DNA and integrates industry-leading visibility, to provide the agility, simplicity and speed enterprises need to manage today’s complex cloud and hybrid architectures.” 

Industry analyst projections indicate enormous pent-up demand for newer and better approaches to networking. Gartner expects SD-WAN uptake to grow from less than 1% of enterprises today to 30% of enterprises by the end of 2019, and IDC expects the worldwide SD-WAN market to grow from less than $225 million in 2015 to more than $6 billion in 2020.

“We’re seeing very strong interest in SD-WAN, driven by the complexity in hybrid clouds and networks, the need to drive efficiencies, and the desire for flexibility to easily shift workloads and deploy new applications and services,” said Brad Casemore, Research Director, IDC.  “Riverbed is well positioned in the emerging market for SD-WAN and the broader enterprise branch networking opportunity, with a differentiated initial offering in SteelConnect, and a strategic roadmap that leverages Riverbed’s experience providing network and application visibility and optimization.”

“SteelConnect represents a complete rethink of how networks should be built and managed in today’s cloud-centric world,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Riverbed’s SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion business units. “SteelConnect provides a new experience of networking for both IT and business, where deploying and managing network services is as intuitive as downloading apps onto your smart phone and as instant as spinning up compute and storage resources into a public cloud.”

Businesses are increasingly using private and public cloud-based infrastructure solutions.  SteelConnect provides single-click and instant provisioning of secure WAN gateways into cloud environments as part of the broader solution, unifying the management workflow and policy-based orchestration of both on-premises and cloud network environments.

“SteelConnect is a compelling SD-WAN solution in AWS Marketplace, as it provides customers with an easy-to-manage solution that delivers agility, security and performance for hybrid architectures,” said Barry Russell, General Manager of Global Business Development, AWS Marketplace and Catalog Services, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “The availability of SteelConnect in AWS Marketplace provides customers with a streamlined way to immediately purchase and deploy the application-centric software-defined solutions IT organizations need to evolve their networks to meet the demands of the business.”

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