Riverbed integrates Zscaler cloud security into SD-WAN platform SteelConnect

Riverbed Technology announced at its annual customer event in New York that it is working with cloud security vendor Zscaler to deliver a different type of network architecture. In particular, the company is melding its software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) solution SteelConnect with Zscaler’s cloud security platform to secure network traffic in branch and remote office business locations better.

Legacy architectures and security approaches are becoming outdated as more enterprises shift to the cloud. Using legacy infrastructure, traffic is either sent directly to the web or backhauled to headquarters, which can compromise the performance of data centers and end-user experience. Consequently, many companies are switching out their legacy infrastructure for a software-defined based infrastructure, which allows users to control direct traffic flows through a centralized console. According to IDC, the SD-WAN market is expected to grow to $6 billion in revenue by 2020.

Riverbed originally launched SteelConnect in April 2016. The purpose of bringing SteelConnect SD-WAN and Zscaler’s cloud security together is to help companies securely connect the correct user to the correct application on any device, anywhere. The companies have integrated Zscaler into the application-defined policy and orchestration engine through the SteelConnect graphical user interface (GUI). With the combined solutions, the companies claim it can enable businesses to launch SD-WAN solutions in the cloud, including cloud security. This allows new sites to go online quicker than legacy systems and prevent companies from having to invest, launch and oversee security appliances at every branch office.

“SteelConnect is the only SD-WAN solution that provides unified connectivity and orchestration spanning WAN, W/LAN, cloud and data centers, offering enterprises the ability to scale elastically to enable rapid deployment of configuration changes, updates or policy modifications without impacting performance or requiring appliance refreshes,” Milind Bhise, senior director of product marketing, Riverbed, told RCR Wireless News. “With one-click integration with Zscaler Cloud Security, it’s easier than ever for businesses to securely connect the right user to the right application on any device, from any location.”

Commenting on the hurdles customers ought to be aware of in setting up this kind of technology, Bhise said: “In developing the solution, we took the approach of simplicity to avoid any challenges for our customers. Specifically, with only a few clicks, businesses can now seamlessly deploy both SD-WAN and cloud security capabilities in the cloud, significantly decreasing the amount of time for new sites to be brought online (think minutes and hours versus days or weeks). As a result, they no longer need to worry about buying, deploying and managing security appliances across different branch locations.”

This isn’t the first time Riverbed has partnered with a company to promote SteelConnect. Earlier this year, for example, Riverbed announced it was partnering with Teneo, a specialist integrator of next-generation technology, to deliver a managed SD-WAN service supported by Riverbed SteelConnect. In addition, in May 2017, Orange Business Services announced it would integrate Riverbed SteelConnect into its hybrid network portfolio.

Occurring alongside the announcement, Riverbed also debuted the latest release of SteelCentral, a common network performance monitoring system, with enhancements to its digital experience manager (DEM) platform. The company said it is extending its holistic DEM capabilities and services to help customers better manage and troubleshoot the entire digital experience chain.

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