At a Riverbed Disrupt event today, Riverbed Technology expanded its portfolio of software-defined wide area networking technologies via a series of integrations delivered via the cloud.
The latest version of the Riverbed SteelConnect software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) now not only spans Internet and MPLS networks, it can be connected to network services being delivered via cloud platforms. Support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being provided starting today, while Microsoft Azure support is planned for early 2017.
Other new features being delivered in SteelConnect 2.0 include support for native dynamic routing and integration with the rest of the Riverbed SteelCentral portfolio of management as well as Riverbed WAN optimization and load balancing software.
At the same time, Riverbed unfurled a software-as-a-service (SaaS) implementation of SteelCentral and extended the reach of SteelCentral to include the Aternity end user monitoring tools that Riverbed acquired earlier this year.
Josh Dobies, vice president of product marketing for Riverbed, says all three offerings are part of a larger Riverbed effort to make networks simpler to manage using tools that make networks programmable.
“We need a new perspective on networking,” says Dobies. “It’s time for fundamental rethink.”
To bring about that change, networking vendors have been pushing various forms of software-defined networking. However, as various forms of SDN get embraced, the line between local and wide area networks starts to blur. In the case of Riverbed, that blurring of the line calls for more integration between its offering and other forms of SDN in the data center. However, providers of SDN software in the data center such as VMware have already expressed ambition to extend their reach out to the remote office. That should set up a classic opportunity for more “coopetition” across the networking vendor community.
In the meantime, IT organizations stand to benefit greatly from a number of SDN platforms promising to finally turn rigid enterprise networks into much more agile frameworks capable of meeting the needs of the modern digital business.