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Riverbed Granite grows capacity, branch office support

Riverbed sees larger implementations for its Granite branch office storage appliances, and gives them more capacity and storage array support.

Riverbed Technology is expanding the capacity in its Granite appliances, as well as the number of branch offices and storage arrays the devices support.

Riverbed introduced new, higher-capacity Core Granite virtual appliances, which manage remote office storage and servers, to handle larger data sets and more branches. The company also enhanced its Granite software to support remote office snapshots for IBM Storwize V7000 in the data center.

Riverbed sells Granite as physical or virtual appliances, which consolidate and optimize block-level data traffic from remote offices. That allows customers to back up data at the data center rather than the branch offices. A Granite appliance presents itself as a target to applications and uses predictive algorithms to determine which blocks to deliver to the remote office from the data center in a non-sequential order.

The Virtual Granite Core (VGC) series now includes a 1500-L license model, which scales up 20 TBs and supports 30 branch offices, and the 1500-M license model, which scales up 35 TBs and also supports 30 remote offices. The previous largest virtual Granite core 1000-M appliance scales to 20 TB and supports 20 branches.

Riverbed Granite launched in 2012 with iSCSI support and Riverbed added Fibre Channel support in July 2013.

"We are seeing customers that want to expand their footprint for Granite," said Rob Whiteley, Riverbed's vice president of product marketing. "Some are looking to add more branches, more data and companies that are seeing more data in branches."

The Granite 2.6 software, which is loaded on physical devices and integrated in the virtual appliances, now also supports snapshots initiated in the remote offices and stored on an IBM Storwize V7000 in the data center. Riverbed added Storwize support to its previous Granite support for EMC VNX, Dell EqualLogic and NetApp FAS arrays.

Granite Core systems mount LUNs provisioned in the data center and share the storage resources with branch offices that run Granite Edge devices. The Edge appliance presents targets for branch locations, while the Granite Core inspects mounted LUNs and streams data to the branch locations. Riverbed had improved its snapshot scheduler for backup applications in Granite 2.5 with an interface for a single point of management for scheduling hourly, daily or weekly application snapshots. The snapshots are executed in the branch office, but are captured in the data center.

Riverbed also is making available a Snapshot Handoff Framework so customers can write scripts for snapshot operations for any vendors' storage array that currently does not natively support Granite-integrated snapshot control.

Whiteley said 70% of customers that use Riverbed's Steelhead WAN systems still have local server storage or backup equipment in branch offices and Granite allows those customers to eliminate backup infrastructure in remote offices.

"This allows us to create a more streamlined branch infrastructure," he said.

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