BT and Riverbed will embed the service at global business hubs in Europe, North America and Asia. Installations are to be made at any location where BT has direct links to major cloud providers and high-capacity internet breakout. The service will be globally available from early 2016 and accessible through BT’s IP Connect VPN from 198 countries and territories.
Steelhead is designed to boost application performance and optimise bandwidth use. As a result customers should get faster responses from BT’s own cloud services and other vendors’ Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings. This partnership is the first time Riverbed technology has been installed into the core of a global telecoms network.
App acceleration and bandwidth efficiencies aside, customers using the new service will have greater control over their applications, a more commanding view of performance across the network and significantly more reliability and security from applications delivered over the internet, says BT.
The new service uses network function virtualisation (NFV) to help customers get a broader range of virtualised functions, such as application performance management and fast access to private and public clouds.
The inclusion of Riverbed helps BT tackle the performance and reliability of applications in the cloud, which have become a big issue for clients, according to Keith Langridge, VP of network services at BT Global Services. “This joint offering with Riverbed is a milestone on the journey to software-defined networks and creates an additional differentiator against our competitors,” said Langridge.
CIOs want the benefits of a hybrid enterprise without the challenges of application delivery that this complex environment creates, according to Paul O’Farrell, General Manager for SteelHead at Riverbed. “Riverbed invented WAN optimization in 2004 with SteelHead and now it’s the leader in application performance infrastructure,” said O’Farrell, “we’re offering an easier on-ramp to cloud computing with BT’s Cloud Connect service.”