Riverbed Accelerates SteelHead Appliance for Network Optimization

Riverbed is starting off 2015 with a renewed emphasis on its flagship SteelHead product lineup. This week, the company announced the new SteelHead CX70 series, which promises more performance and reliability than past devices.

Susan Hewitt, director of SteelHead product marketing at Riverbed, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the SteelHead CX70 series is a platform refresh to adapt to the challenges of the hybrid enterprise.

Among the key enhancements in the new platform refresh is the fact that all CX70 series appliances now leverage an all-SSD datastore architecture. The new platform also includes up to two times more RAM than the previous generation of devices, in a bid to be able to support heavier-weight secure application protocols.

Additionally, Hewitt commented that the new CX70 series devices include updated specifications to support the application visibility, control and optimization features introduced with the SteelHead 9.0 software release first announced in November 2014.

“The CX70 series is designed for scalable performance, visibility, optimization and consolidation to support the increased number of users, devices and data centers,” Hewitt said.

She added that the new CX70 models are intended for enterprises that are processing a large amount of network connections. In contrast, Riverbed’s SteelHead EX line is intended for smaller offices or branch offices.

“Consolidating and virtualizing with Steelhead EX streamlines operations, decreases costs, simplifies management and enables more responsive service delivery,” Hewitt said.

From a product perspective, the new CX70 series replaces a number of previous CX appliances. The older CX7055 is now being replaced by the new CX7070, the CX5055 is being replaced by the CX5070 and the CX1555 is being replaced by the CX3070.

The top-end CX7070 appliance is a 2U device that can support up to 2 Gbps of optimized WAN capacity and as many as 180,000 optimized SSL connections. The appliance can be equipped with up to 128 GB of RAM and 4.8 TB in SSD storage.

Riverbed going private

As a company, Riverbed is currently undergoing a major change as the company is being taken private in a $3.6 billion acquisition, led by Thoma Bravo.

The acquisition was announced on December 15, and Hewitt noted that right now, it’s business as usual at Riverbed.

“We are all focused on developing cutting-edge, best-of-breed solutions for the rapidly changing landscape of the hybrid enterprise and remain focused on developing and delivering high value for customers and employees,” Hewitt said. “We will continue to be a strategic partner to our customers and sustaining Riverbed as a great place to work.”

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

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