Riverbed SD-WAN offers enhanced cloud connectivity, integrated Xirrus Wi-Fi for a cloud-to-edge networking offering

Riverbed Technology announced on Wednesday major updates to its SD-WAN and cloud networking solution, SteelConnect, the first and only SD-WAN solution that provides unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration spanning the entire distributed network fabric – hybrid WAN, branch LAN/WLAN, data centers, and the cloud.

With the latest upgrades to SteelConnect, Riverbed is expanding the power of one-click connectivity and optimization into AWS and Microsoft Azure with added support for AWS Direct Connect and Azure ExpressRoute.

Riverbed is also introducing seamless integration between SteelConnect and Riverbed Xirrus Wi-Fi with zero-touch provisioning of Riverbed Xirrus access points, and is providing new deployment flexibility with the addition of LTE wireless options for SteelConnect SD-WAN gateways.

Enterprises are striving to adopt more cloud-based applications and services in order to accelerate digital transformation, increase business agility and reduce costs. However, the resulting hybrid IT landscape often increases operational complexity and introduces new risk to security breach across the network.

According to a recent ESG survey, 91 percent of companies surveyed agree that incorporating cloud-based applications into their portfolio of corporate applications has increased the complexity associated with managing remote and branch offices (ROBOs). The pervasive use of mobile devices and the rise of IoT further challenges IT’s ability to secure and manage network access with an exponential increase in the number of devices and end-points at the network edge.

To address these challenges, Riverbed SteelConnect helps businesses transform their approach to networking, with a new software-defined and cloud-centric approach that yields dramatic gains in agility, efficiency and flexibility so that businesses can reach their cloud and digital goals faster. Riverbed SteelConnect has gained significant momentum over the last couple years, with hundreds of enterprise customers across all industries benefiting from a comprehensive approach to software-defined networking.

Riverbed SteelConnect now supports AWS Direct Connect and Azure ExpressRoute, providing customers with increased deployment flexibility. With this capability, customers can securely connect to their cloud resources over public internet or dedicated private links for automated cloud connectivity and improved performance through single-click cloud automation.

Unified management of SD-WAN and Wi-Fi. Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN now seamlessly integrates with Xirrus Wi-Fi for simple deployment and management of cloud networks. Customers can manage SD-WAN and Wi-Fi together through a centralized cloud console, including zero-touch provisioning of Riverbed Xirrus Wi-Fi Access Points, creation of Wi-Fi networks, and Wi-Fi monitoring.

“Conventional approaches to networking are both out-of-date and out-of-sync with modern use cases, and are failing to provide the agility and efficiency that IT professionals need in order to support their businesses, especially as they embark on digital and cloud initiatives,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Riverbed’s Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit. “Riverbed SteelConnect is helping organizations break through conventional limitations by taking the power of zero-touch provisioning and policy-based orchestration across the entire distributed fabric – WAN, LAN/WLAN, data center and the cloud. With new enhancements for integrated Wi-Fi, automated cloud networking and flexible connectivity options, Riverbed is once again raising the bar for networking in the cloud and digital era with the most complete and easy-to-use solution in the market today.”

“As Australia’s largest and most iconic lighting retailer, it is essential we keep pace with the digital age, and still provide an optimal in-store experience for our customers,” said Mick Tan, CIO at Beacon Lighting. “Riverbed SteelConnect appealed to us because of the ability to simply deploy and manage Wi-Fi and SD-WAN together from a single cloud console. With these capabilities, we can streamline and reduce the management cost of our nationwide store network infrastructure, and easily prioritize network traffic for point-of-sale, dynamic marketing, and stock management systems, ensuring business continuity and continuous revenue generation is maintained. SteelConnect also simplifies the roll out of new stores as Beacon Lighting’s business expands, and provides reliable in-store Wi-Fi for a modern, digital shopping experience that our customers demand.”

Riverbed SteelConnect now supports LTE uplinks for a variety of use cases including back-up network connectivity in retail stores, pop-up stores, rural sites, or mobile retail. By leveraging LTE, retailers can maximize reach and productivity while increasing resiliency and agility of the network.

SteelConnect, initially launched as an early access offering in April 2016, provides unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration spanning the entire network – LAN/WLAN (including cloud-based Riverbed Xirrus Wi-Fi), WAN, data center and the cloud, with one-click connectivity and optimization into AWS and Microsoft Azure.

SteelConnect also enables zero-touch provisioning, allowing an enterprise to set-up a global network and connect to the cloud in minutes, and easy ongoing network management that provides the ability to make network or business/application policy changes with a few clicks of a mouse.

Since the initial launch of SteelConnect, Riverbed has continued a rapid pace of innovation, introducing a broad set of unique capabilities, including integration with SteelCentral for visibility and insight, integration with the market-leading WAN Optimization solution (Riverbed SteelHead SD), and following the strategic acquisition of Xirrus (leading cloud-based Wi-Fi company) in May 2017, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi – bringing the power of policy-based network management out to the wireless edge. SteelConnect also seamlessly integrates with third-party network security services, such as Zscaler’s cloud security platform, to help IT professionals achieve agility, performance and security across the distributed enterprise.

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