Riverbed Technology has taken the wraps off a new storage appliance for data centers that adds a cloud component to the company's existing acceleration and deduplication offerings. The goal of the new Whitewater platform is to help enterprises leverage cloud storage as an inexpensive off-site backup facility without having to make complex changes to their existing IT infrastructures, Riverbed executives said.
Companies always experience more growth in their data than they can handle, and cloud storage is an attractive option because it's cheaper than the alternatives, noted Riverbed Senior Product Marketing Manager Naveen Prabhu. "With Whitewater, people looking for an alternative data-protection strategy can now leverage the public cloud without changing any of their existing systems," Prabhu said.
Slated to become commercially available later in the fourth quarter, the Whitewater appliance serves as a transparent interface between the public cloud and an enterprise's existing backup infrastructure. "Think of it as a translator between your existing software products today and what it takes to write this data into the cloud," Prabhu explained.
When deploying Whitewater, enterprises don't have to think about the addition of other new software technologies to interact with the cloud storage environment. Riverbed's single-box platform fully supports existing backup software for the enterprise, such as IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, Symantec Netbackup, and Symantec Backup Exec.
One key advantage of cloud storage is the savings that come from being able to securely move data off-site without having to invest in a secondary data center or handle tapes. Even better, cloud storage enables businesses to adopt a pay-as-you-go strategy under which they don't need to purchase additional storage until they actually need it, Prabhu noted.
According to Riverbed, enterprises completing their full weekly backups while testing the Whitewater appliance experienced backup windows that are 35 to 40 percent shorter than previously. Performance testing by the Enterprise Strategy Group also demonstrated that Whitewater enables highly compressed ZIP files to be restored from the cloud at a rate of about 13MB/sec, or at a rate of 47MB/sec for deduplication-friendly vmdk files, the company said.
A Free Disaster-Recovery Strategy
Enterprises that need to be able to restore data at a secondary location can install a second Whitewater box at the remote site, Prabhu noted. "It's almost like getting a free disaster-recovery strategy because now that your data is in the cloud, you can recover it anywhere you have a Whitewater appliance," Prabhu explained.
Whitewater is designed to secure data through the use of a dual layer of encryption -- regardless of whether the data is at rest on-site, in-flight or in the cloud. The data at rest in the data center is initially protected using 256-bit AES encryption, but when in flight to the cloud it becomes further protected by a second layer of SSL v3 security, Prabhu noted.
Initially, Riverbed's Whitewater appliance will enable organizations to take advantage of cloud-storage environments -- powered by EMC Atmos, AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service, and Amazon S3, noted Riverbed Vice President Apurva Davé. "Organizations will be able to leverage cloud storage in a way that was not previously possible by applying our core acceleration and deduplication capabilities in a cost-effective, secure and flexible manner," Davé said.