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Riverbed, 6connect, Ixia Unveil New Products, Services at Interop

A host of networking products and services were unveiled at Interop New York this week, including Riverbed's integration of VMware vSphere into its Steelhead EX appliances, 6connect's new ProVision Suite, which helps users provision and manage their IPv4 and IPv6 networks, and Ixia's Anue Advanced Feature Module 16, which optimizes network traffic.

Riverbed's VMware vSphere integration brings centralized management and easier configuration to all five models of the Steelhead EX appliances, says spokesman Miles Kelly. "Because we're bringing in vSphere, organizations can now manage their extended virtual machines out in branch locations from their data centers," says Kelly. "It's an all-in-one branch office box, the place where your virtual applications can run, from Windows server to DNS, print or whatever."

This marks the first time that VMware's vSphere vCenter Server has been built into the Steelhead EX appliances and the first time that the units can be managed from afar. The new Steelhead EX appliances will be on sale sometime during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the company. Pricing has not been announced.

Riverbed also unveiled several other new offerings, all set for release in the fourth quarter, including a new version of its Steelhead Mobile 4.0 software, which aims to make it easier for IT to manage and provision mobile devices for up to 120,000 mobile users. The latest release now includes Kerberos authentication support used by Microsoft applications and platforms including Active Directory and Windows Server, native optimization for SMBv2 traffic, and full-spectrum optimization for Outlook Anywhere, according to the company. The company also announced two new Steelhead WAN optimization appliances, the CX 5055 and the CX 7055, which provide up to 50% more connections and throughput than earlier models, according to the company. The new models include solid-state storage drives (SSDs).

6connect's new product, the 6connect ProVision Suite, is a SaaS platform aimed at helping users streamline the provisioning and management of today's integrated IPv4 and IPv6 networks, according to the company. The suite can help users automate the management of complex IP address zones, virtual machines, mobile devices and other corporate assets.

"A big part of this product suite are the APIs that we make available to every customer that allow them to integrate a lot of their existing software environments like CRM and ERP into our platform," says Peter Hewitt, VP of marketing for 6connect. The new suite marks the first time that it is available as a cloud-based service. Pricing starts at about $60,000 per year.

At Ixia's Interop booth, the company debuted its new Anue Advanced Feature Module 16 device, which uses advanced packet processing to eliminate redundant network traffic, secure sensitive data and enhance monitoring tool effectiveness, according to the company. The AFM16 works with Ixia's Anue Net Tool Optimizer 5288 to filter and eliminate redundant data packets generated by SPAN ports, TAPs and port-mirrored virtual traffic before they reach monitoring tools. Ixia says this will improve tool performance.