Riverbed looks ahead of trend, launches virtual appliance for WAN optimization

Riverbed Technology is announcing a virtual appliance for WAN optimization.

Riverbed Technology, maker of the Steelhead appliance for WAN optimization, today is announcing a virtual version of the appliance, which it says will extend its offerings into environments where a physical appliance didn't fit into some environments, such as a virtual data center.

The appliance is a bit ahead of its time, considering that virtualization is just starting to gain some traction. But there are early adopters to full-scale virtualization, company execs said, that have the need for a virtual appliance, noting specifically those who work in "rugged" or mobile environments. In a statement, the company said:

More than 8,300 customers, across a wide range of markets, have implemented Riverbed WAN optimization solutions to improve remote and mobile employee productivity, enable private clouds, and provide enterprise-wide network and application visibility. As enterprises and government organizations have demanded more deployment options, Riverbed has developed innovative WAN optimization solutions with mobile, physical and now virtual form factors.

The company recognizes that tirtualization market for WAN optimization is still in the very early stages so widespread adoption anytime soon is unlikely. But, as the execs said, it feels like a turning point of sorts and the push into virtualization "adds validity to a market that didn't exist before."

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