Driving A “Zero Branch IT” Approach

by Sohini Bagchi    Apr 26, 2016


Riverbed Technology recently announced that its hyper-converged SteelFusion solution now supports both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure so that customers can leverage the cloud as a secondary storage tier.

In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Nagendra Venkaswamy, Vice President, Riverbed India and SAARC explained, “The current announcement is important as today’s enterprises are already using a hybrid IT model, with data both in the cloud and data center. With access to cloud-based storage and backup capabilities within SteelFusion, our customers can easily leverage the cloud as a secondary storage tier without any impact to users at the edge.”

Riverbed SteelFusion is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution built with the unique challenges of remote and branch office (ROBO) IT in mind. “The concept is similar to hyper-converged infrastructure in the data center, that is, simplify IT management and enable it to be controlled by software. This means, it eliminates the need for branch backup processes, and achieves all of this with zero compromise to application performance,” he stated.

Relevance to the enterprise

Today’s businesses are increasingly expanding operations and adding new locations as a result of war for talent, corporate acquisitions, entry into new markets and to bolster growth. “We’re seeing this play out in India too as a result of increasing competition both from domestic market and abroad, as well as the current government’s aggressive focus on improving the ease of doing business the country,” said Venkaswamy.

According to him, “As the number of locations increases and businesses expand, companies will find themselves deploying more and more infrastructure to deliver applications and data reliably and efficiently. While these distributed sites are critical to business growth, at the same time they require significant hardware investment and introduce numerous support challenges for IT.”

“Valuable company data stored in these locations is often left unprotected and frequently stored on servers jammed into closets, corners and hallways due to limited space. Without qualified IT staff on site to manage servers, storage and backup, provisioning new services, resolving application performance issues and recovering from outages can take days or even weeks, directly impacting business productivity and ultimately business results,” he added.

Product upgrades on the cards

The company plans to continue its innovation across its product portfolio including the Riverbed Application Performance Platform with a focus on helping organizations transform app performance into a competitive advantage.

“In the current context of today’s complex, rapidly evolving IT environments, this requires three core capabilities: Optimization, Visibility and Control,” said Venkaswamy, adding that the key to delivering app performance is understanding what is happening. With end-to-end application visibility, Riverbed provides unified, cross-domain visibility into app performance. 

“We will also ensure superior app performance that depends on the edge,” he said adding that it’s where and how users actually access apps. The new platform provides a hyper-converged edge that enables secure, optimized access to apps while providing IT operational simplicity and the ability to guarantee app uptime, availability and security, he informed.

Venkaswamy added that these capabilities combined together, results in the most complete platform that provides visibility, optimization and control to enhance application performance and maximize business performance.

“In this regard, we have developed SteelFusion 4.3 to meet the specific needs and challenges faced by today’s hybrid enterprises with the rise of complexity in the IT environment and we will continue to lead the market. We are actively pushing this release out into our installed base and are getting very positive feedback already,” he informed. 

India roadmap

Venkaswamy said as far as India market is concerned, We see a significant opportunity for enterprises to benefit from a “Zero Branch IT” approach given, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Government’s focus towards inclusive growth and ease of doing business in the country will most certainly lead to business expansion. And in its wake, remote and branch offices will become more critical to business growth than ever.

Discussing the channel roadmap, Venkaswamy mentioned, “As a 100% Channel organization, our partners in India - like Dimension Data and Tata Consultancy Services for example - are central to our success, and we’ll continue to invest in enablement as a top priority. SteelFusion opens opportunity beyond the Network to Storage, Virtualization and Infrastructure.

Key alliances with players like EMC and IBM will also help us extend the partner base with end-to-end solutions from Branch to the Data Center,” he concluded.