Riverbed releases cloud storage gateway appliances

The gateways deliver up to 30:1 data compression and are targeted at data back-ups to the cloud

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

Riverbed's flagship product has been the Steelhead appliance, a WAN acceleration technology that reduced bandwidth requirements when replicating data between two data centers. The Steelhead acceleration products require two appliances on either end of a WAN connection to replicate data. Riverbed's new Whitewater-510, Whitewater-710 and Whitewater-2010 appliances require only one box to replicate data across a the Internet to a data center cloud or storagecloud service provider.

Previously, Riverbed had also called all of its Steelhead products WAN accelerators. It's Whitewater appliances are termed "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, formerly called the Whitewater 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.

The Whitewater appliance
Riverbed's Whitewater-510 cloud storage gateway appliance

Riverbed claims its Whitewater appliances deduplicate data at a 10:1 to 30:1 ratio. The appliances also use a AES 256-bit encryption algorithm to secure data at rest and secure socket layer (SSL v3) to encrypt data sent over networks. The Steelhead appliance only uses SSL and not AES encryption algorithms.

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 virtual service, an ASP offering, 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 lmearian@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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