Feeds

Riverbed lobs Granite at offices, WIPES OUT remote servers

Revs up WAN optimisation

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Riverbed says customers can dispense completely with servers in remote and branch offices by using Granite technology layered on its Steelhead-based WAN optimisation – and so deliver all IT services to remote offices as if they were local.

Riverbed describes its technology as Edge VSI (Virtual Services Infrastructure); WAN optimisation-plus we suppose, and asserts:

[Despite WAN optimisation] for many organisations committed to complete consolidation of global infrastructure, a few servers often remain in the branch. Granite was developed to allow organisations to remove those remaining servers and achieve complete consolidation. ...

The demands of custom and write-intensive applications in the branch, the need to work with large data-sets that defy existing WAN optimisation techniques and the concern of user productivity in the face of WAN outages have forced businesses to maintain costly storage and application servers at the edge of the enterprise, increasing IT footprint and introducing administration and infrastructure overhead.

The pitch is that customers can use Granite to move those servers out of the remote offices and scrap them or put them in the data centre.

Granite Edge

Riverbed Granite Edge

There are two parts to this: Granite Core runs as a virtual or physical appliance in the data centre and talks to Granite Edge, which is software running on a Steelhead EX product in the remote office. This includes a "Riverbed Virtual Services Platform (VSP) featuring a VMware-based virtualisation hypervisor [which will] host multiple virtual services or applications running in the branch." The technology extends iSCSI LUNs to the remote office.

Granite Core

Riverbed Granite Core

Riverbed says Granite Core parallelises currently sequential server-to-storage interactions by adding file system intelligence to the block layer. It "solves bandwidth and latency problems over distributed networks, but lower in the technology stack – at the block level."

The company claims that it will: "Improve the performance of many of the most commonly used applications across the network, typically by 5-50 times and, in some cases, by up to 100 times... [and] reduce the use of WAN bandwidth by 65-95 per cent, and relieve network congestion [and] Push out costly network upgrades by two years or more."

It works across thousands of miles of WAN links and reduce IT costs in branch and remote offices while safeguarding data management and protection through centralising it in the data centre. There's goodness all round from Granite, it seems.

Some speeds and feeds

The Steelhead + Granite combo provides:

  • Increased hardware capacity [which] enables consolidation of multiple basic services in the branch such as print, DNS and DHCP as well as applications that require significant computing resources.
  • A local authoritative cache ensures LAN-speed reads and fast cold writes at the branch.
  • Block-storage optimisation ensures that data is centrally managed yet always available to support business operations in the branch even in the event of a WAN outage.
  • An active-active high availability (HA) deployment option for Granite ensures LUN availability for remote sites.
  • The Granite setup wizard auto-discovers storage LUNs from configured iSCSI targets, ensuring proper mapping of block-storage resources from a centralised storage area network (SAN) to Granite Edge in the branch office.
  • Integration with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service enables consistent point-in-time data snapshots and seamless integration with backup applications.
  • Support for industry-standard Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authenticates users and hosts.
  • A secure vault protects sensitive information using AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Solid state disks (SSDs) guarantee data durability and performance.
  • Easy to use wizard configuration and an intuitive user interface simplify setup and management.
  • Customisable reports for utilisation, performance, and diagnostic information.

Riverbed has various analyst firms – such as ESG, Taneja and Forrester – backing up its Granite claims. There is a Granite data sheet here (PDF). We are left thinking that, firstly, this sounds wonderful, and, secondly, wouldn't faster server-storage interaction benefit local users as well as remote office users?

Granite should be generally available later this quarter. There is no word on pricing. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.