Riverbed Extends WAN Alliance With Microsoft


By: Michael Vizard

Riverbed at the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference today moved to connect its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) platform with a managed Azure Virtual WAN service that Microsoft is in the process of building out.

At the same time, Riverbed also announced it is extending its relationship with Microsoft to include an instances of its Riverbed SteelFusion platform for caching access to remote storage over a wide area network (WAN) to the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. Support for Microsoft Hyper-V will only extend to the Hyper-V 2016 or later instance of the hypervisor. Riverbed also plans to continue to support VMware hypervisors on its appliances.

Riverbed by connecting the SteelConnect SD-WAN to the Microsoft Azure service is making it possible to consistently apply policies across an SD-WAN and the Microsoft cloud networking service from within the graphical user interface presented via SteelConnect, says Milind Bhise, senior director of product marketing for Riverbed.

Microsoft, as it expands its presence in the cloud, is starting to become a more significant force in the world of networking. Microsoft has made it clear that the network edge is a critical element of its overall hybrid cloud computing strategy in part to better differentiate its cloud services from rivals such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). A forthcoming edition of Windows Server 2019 will further those aims, notes Bhise.

As part of the overall effort to align more closely with Microsoft, Riverbed earlier this year announced that SteelConnect supports Azure ExpressRoute with automated “single-click” connectivity.

Longer term, Riverbed expects to extend that alliance to further expand its Internet of Things (IoT) ambitions.

“We’re starting to dabble in IoT,” says Bhise.

Accessing cloud services over public and private networks is, of course, a primary reason any organization invests in SD-WANs in the first place. The number of alliances between SD-WAN vendors and cloud service providers to optimize those network services is only going to exponentially increase in the months ahead.