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Riverbed releases WAN cloud storage gateway appliances

The gateways deliver 12:1 data compression and are targeted at data back-ups to the cloud

Riverbed Technology today released three new gateway appliances that use WAN acceleration algorithms in order to reduce the bandwidth required to send data to public or private cloud infrastructures.

Prior to the release of its new Whitewater-510, Whitewater-710 and Whitewater-2010 appliances , Riverbed's Steelhead acceleration technology required two appliances on either end of a WAN connection to replicate data. Now, the company said, one box can replicate data across a WAN to a private data centercloud or storage service provider.

Previously, Riverbed had also called all of its products WAN accelerators. Now it prefers the term "cloud storage gateway."

"It means so much more," said Eric Thacker, Riverbed's director of product marketing.

The Whitewater 510 and 710 appliances are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs); the Whitewater 2010, a refresh of the Steelhead 2000 WAN acceleration appliance, is aimed at mid-sized enterprise-class users.

Thacker said he believes the SMB market is primed to adopt cloud services and will need greater bandwidth for migrating data offsite for disaster recovery and business continuity. But, there are a few stumbling blocks to adoption of cloud services, such as data security and data restore.

"Cloud storage is cheap and it can be remotely managed, but you have to guarantee the performance is there for data restores," Thacker said.

Riverbed's Whitewater-510 cloud storage gateway appliance

Riverbed claims its Whitewater appliances deduplicate data at a 12:1 ratio. They also use a AES 256-bit encryption algorithm to secure data at rest, and, unlike their Steelhead predecessors, use secure socket layer (SSL v3) to encrypt data sent over networks.

The Whitewater appliances install in less than an hour, according to Thacker, and only need a simple change of the existing backup application disk storage target to the cloud storage gateway to work. The new appliances support Symantec NetBackup and Backup Exec, IBM Tivoli, Quest vRanger, EMC NetWorker and CA ARCserve.

The Whitewater cloud storage gateway will then manage the network and storage deduplication, compression, encryption and the transmission of the data stream to local disk cache and the cloud. It also provides data to the backup application when a restore is required, without the need for user intervention.

The boxes can then provide WAN optimized access to public cloud storage services like Amazon S3, AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service (based on EMC Atmos), and Nirvanix, with backup and restore performance similar to that of local disk, according to Thacker.

Riverbed would not release pricing on the 510, 710 and 2010 models, but said its Whitewater software, without an appliance, has a starting price of $7,995.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about cloud computing in Computerworld's Cloud Computing Topic Center.


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