For the longest time now there have been two separate forms of acceleration being applied across enterprise networks. The first involves the acceleration of internal network traffic using wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances. The second involves the users of content delivery networks (CDNs) to accelerate Web traffic. Now those two forms of acceleration are being brought together.
Riverbed Technology announced today that it is partnering with Akamai in a way that allows the software that Akamai developed to drive its CDN to be deployed on Steelhead WAN optimization appliances from Riverbed that are being made available as a cloud service.
According to Miles Kelly, Riverbed senior director of product marketing, the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator will make it easier for IT organizations to centrally manage network acceleration technologies created by Riverbed and Akamai in an era where hybrid cloud networks are expected to become commonplace. Many cloud computing services already rely on Akamai to improve the performance of their Web applications. The combined offering works by activating an instance of the Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) software running on a Steelhead that has been deployed on the Akamai Intelligent Platform. A version of RiOS enhanced to connect with the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator is also installed on the customer's Steelhead appliance.
When it comes to cloud computing, the number one technical issue most organizations face today is network latency. Centralizing IT resources in the cloud makes a lot of financial sense for many organizations. But if that financial gain comes at the cost of application performance, then most organizations are going to view the cost of cloud computing as a purchase they can't afford to make.