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Riverbed Technology Inc. turns Granite into SteelFusion

Sonia Lelii

Riverbed Technology Inc. gave its Granite remote storage appliance a new name this week, launched two new appliances, and upgraded management and storage array support.

The

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WAN optimization vendor has rebranded Granite as SteelFusion. The new name reflects the product's relationship to the vendor's flagship Steelhead WAN optimization platform, and SteelFusion's role in what Riverbed calls a "branch converged infrastructure." Riverbed initially positioned Granite as a storage product, but it also includes WAN optimization and virtual machine management.

SteelFusion allows organizations to maintain data in SANs in the data center and push that data out to branch offices. It consists of SteelFusion Core appliances in the data center and SteelFusion Edge, which runs at branch offices and could be software on a Steelhead appliance or a standalone device.

New features include an advanced tiering cache, more solid-state storage capacity, a branch recovery agent and pool management capabilities.

"Branch IT has become very difficult," said Robert Whiteley, Riverbed's vice president of product marketing. Quoting an IDC report, Whiteley said a single data center "supports up to 55 branch offices and only 8% are consolidated. More than half of corporate data resides in remote or branch offices. If a branch office goes down, it can take 168 hours to recover."

The new models are the SteelFusion Edge 1360P and Core 3000. The 1360P supports 1.6 TB of solid-state drive cache with tiers for read and write caching. The previous models only managed writes.

Riverbed SteelFusion Edge 3.0 enhancements include a new branch recovery agent that tracks cached working data sets and streams recently accessed data back to the branch when recovering Windows virtual machines (VMs). The recovery agent sits on the branch appliance and monitors the behavior of VMware vSphere VMs. If there is a branch outage and VMs must be recovered, the branch recovery agent pre-fetches blocks from the core.

In addition, memory capacity on the previous 1160 and 1260 SteelFusion Edge appliances have been upgraded for the Virtual Services Platform, which is an embedded version of VMware vSphere.

The new SteelFusion Core 3000 appliance increases the capacity and scalability of the previous versions. A single Core 3000 supports up to 100 TB and 150 branch locations vs. the 35 TB and 80 branches supported by the Core 2000 series.

Riverbed also enhanced SteelFusion Core 3.0 software's snapshot support on NetApp Data Ontap cluster mode and EMC VNX storage arrays. SteelFusion Core's pooling management has been enhanced, and now supports 32 Core devices from a user interface.


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