Riverbed to launch SteelConnect EX to blend legacy WAN with SD-WAN

Riverbed's SteelConnect EX delivers a combination of enterprise-class SD-WAN, application acceleration and network security. (Pixabay)

Riverbed Networks announced on Monday the upcoming general availability of its SteelConnect EX, which is a WAN edge infrastructure solution integrated with SD-WAN.

Large enterprises' SD-WAN adoptions have been hamstrung by the inability of SD-WAN solutions to interface directly with legacy networks during a phased SD-WAN rollout, according to Riverbed. To bridge that gap, SteelConnect EX provides an enterprise-class and carrier-grade routing stack that ensures Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution can co-exist and interoperate with legacy and hybrid networks.

SD-WAN is largely viewed as the correct approach to reducing the complexity of managing hybrid and internet-only WANs, with the promise of boosting agility while reducing WAN circuit costs. According to Riverbed, the adoption of SD-WAN by large enterprises has been limited to date, due in large part to the inability of SD-WAN solutions to interface directly with legacy networks.

According to Riverbed, SteelConnect EX offers the ability to optimize user experiences by boosting app performance by up to 33 times for on-premises, cloud and software-as-a-service-based applications. A suite of network security services will also be available, which Riverbed said enables enterprises to future-proof their security strategies as they expand direct access to internet-hosted applications at remote sites. SteelConnect EX is slated to be generally available next month.

Riverbed has also made updates to its network performance management (NPM) solution by delivering cloud monitoring capabilities for complete visibility and control over IT efficiency and performance in multi-cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud environments.

In addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS), SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud now extends its network and application visibility into AWS GovCloud West and Microsoft Azure environments.

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In IHS Markit's second quarter SD-WAN report, Riverbed was the 15th largest vendor based on revenue, which was the same position it held in the first quarter. In the SD-WAN infrastructure market, Cisco holds the largest market share followed by VMware, Silver Peak, Nuage Networks and Riverbed, respectfully, according to International Data Corporation's research.

“Riverbed is well positioned for SD-WAN with its heritage in WAN optimization," said Scott Raynovich, the founder and chief analyst of Futuriom. "However, this is a crowded field, and Riverbed is a bit behind the curve in launching full SD-WAN capabilities for its SteelConnect EX so there is some catch-up work to do here.”

Earlier this month, Riverbed announced that David Murphy had been appointed at its interim CEO.