Next time you walk into your local Mega Lo Mart take a look around and try to think about the sheer volume of data potentially created. Shoppers have rewards cards, items have barcodes, cash registers keep track of money, and countless other things that could be recorded. In thousands of stores like this companies place small data centers to manage and analyze all that data, but for the average enterprise remote offices as much smaller.
These enterprise IT remote offices typically have a very specific need: file shares. File shares don’t have the scale that warrants spending much money building a cluster or a small virtualization farms, but they are critical to the remote users. They depend on them as part of their daily work lives, so building a remote office solution can be more complicated than plugging in Windows server. The solution needs to think about disaster recovery, traveling employees, network bandwidth, data protection, data locality, and so much more.
At Tech Field Day 15 I had the chance to talk to Riverbed about their SteelFusion appliance. If you’re like me, you think of Riverbed as a WAN accelerator, but in reality, they do much more. So what is a Riverbed SteelFusion anyways? At its essence Steelfusion is branch offce solution that accelerates access to centralized corporate data. It does this by combing a remote appliance with an appliance in a datacenter that fuses the local and remote resources into a sort of virtual datacenter.
SteelFusion is more than a cache or WAN acceleration. You can run a VM or access files locally in a remote office that are protected by the appliance in the datacenter. That means you remote files are also local to your datacenter. Your remote VM also exists in the central datacenter. You get the local performance in the remote office but with all the benefits of centralizing management and data.
If the remote office appliance dies or the building has some disaster, the files/VMs are very quickly be brought up in the datacenter. All in all Riverbed SteelFusion looks like a unique solution that can really provide business value.