Riverbed Expands WAN Optimization Portfolio with Steelhead DX 8000

Rumors of Steelhead's demise were indeed exaggerated. New DX series joins Riverbed's CX and EX series.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Feb 11, 2014
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During the Riverbed earnings call at the end of January, Riverbed's CEO firmly stated that there is still life left in the Steelhead WAN optimization platform. Today, Riverbed proved that point by releasing a new version of the Steelhead.

The Steelhead DX Edition 8000 release is a 2 RU (Rack Unit) box that delivers optimized WAN capacity of 2 Gbps. The DX 8000 can handle up to 10,000 optimized TCP and UDP flows and has a limit of 4,000 Quality of Service (QoS) rules and classes.

"Steelhead DX Edition 8000 series extends the Steelhead product family, purpose-built for higher speed data transfers and replication workloads between data centers," Josh Dobies, group product manager for Steelhead at Riverbed, told Enterprise Networking Planet. "It doesn’t replace CX or EX."

Steelhead EX was first announced in February of 2012 as a WAN optimization platform that includes Riverbed Virtual Services Platform (VSP). Dobies noted that the Steelehad EX delivers converged infrastructure for the branch, enabling consolidation of servers and storage from remote sites into the data center. The Steelhead CX, in contrast, is about accelerating data and applications over distance.

The EX series includes a technology that Riverbed refers to as Granite, which delivers location-independent computing, enabling IT professionals to bring remote servers and storage into the data center where they can be centrally and securely managed. Dobies said that Riverbed Granite and the new Steelhead DX Edition are complementary.

"Granite helps consolidate servers and storage from remote sites into the data center," Dobies said. "Steelhead DX accelerates data transfers and replication workloads between data centers."

At the core of all Steelhead appliances is the RiOS operating system software.

"Steelhead DX series features both enhanced hardware and enhanced RiOS software, which are purpose-built for higher speed DC-to-DC workloads," Dobies said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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