Riverbed adds NAS Storage support to SteelFusion in 5.0 release

Riverbed fills in what they state was the only void in their SteelFusion edge product, and expect this will open up new opportunities and continue the product line’s momentum.

Saveen Pakala, Senior Director, Products, Riverbed

Riverbed Technology has announced its Riverbed SteelFusion 5.0 release, the latest upgrade of their hyper-converged edge solution. There is only one significant enhancement, but it is a massive one. Support of NAS storage has been added to its existing support for SAN and Object-based storage, allowing it to support NFS environments. Support of key NAS vendors, and related backup products, has also been announced.

“The goal of extending the hybrid cloud to the edge and making it more seamless continues to be our focus point, said Saveen Pakala, Senior Director, Products at Riverbed. “Our software-defined edge is a very scalable model, that is very disruptive.”

Pakaka noted that SteelFusion has been showing strong market momentum, with over 9500 appliances sold, and the 1000 customer threshold recently crossed.

“Many of our customers started small and have added new sites every quarter, and we have a broad range of verticals, including some major logos,” he added.

“Adding support for NFS with this release eliminates the only piece that was missing,” Pakala said. “It’s a pretty significant portion of the market we were forced to walk way from.”

Pakala addressed the issue of why it took till the 5.0 release to add NAS support.

“It was a reflection of the complexity of the project,” he said. “It took us 9 to 12 months to develop this. We also wanted to make sure we were winning in our initial environments before we opened up the funnel.”

Out of the gate, support has been announced for NetApp, and for Dell EMC Isilon.

“The missing big one is VNX Unity, and we are talking about adding that next,” Pakala said.

As NAS storage systems are a significant storage backend for VMware environments, Riverbed has also announced SteelFusion support for key backup products. They include Veritas NetBackup and BackupExec, Veeam, Commvault and Dell EMC Avamar.

“We think this covers 90 per cent of the market, but will add others where there is demand,” said Alison Hubbard, Senior Director, Product Marketing for SteelFusion.

“We are going to market with this through a reference architecture-based approach through our VAD, which is Avnet in the Americas,” Pakala said. As the Tech Data acquisition of Avnet Technology Services has just closed, distribution will now be through the ATS element within Tech Data.

“There are some new elements to what Avnet will be doing here with SteelFusion,” he continued. “They will now be fully integrating the solution, and also taking the first level support calls.”

Riverbed SteelFusion 5.0 is scheduled for GA in mid-March.

Riverbed also announced the GA of Virtual Steelfusion Edge, which was announced last September.

“So far, Edge has only been hardware,” Pakala said. “This will help us go after markets we couldn’t reach before.”