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Riverbed Jumps Into Data Storage

Paul Korzeniowski, September 15, 2008, 4:30 PM

Riverbed no longer wants to be viewed as only a WAN optimization appliance supplier. The companys desire for expansion is prompting it to move into data storage and data de-duplication, a change that is filled with great risks and great rewards.

Riverbed has been one of the industry’s hottest suppliers. The company has 4,500 customers who have deployed 50,000 of its systems. In 2007, the corporation’s revenue reached $236.4 million, a 162 percent increase from $90.2 million in the prior year -- and it was the vendor’s first profitable year. As a reward, Wall Street demanded that the firm find ways to maintain its skyrocketing growth.

That search led Riverbed into the storage market. Riverbed now plans to deliver Atlas, a de-duplication system, in the first half of 2009. Initially, the product will work with Microsoft Windows data and eventually will be enhanced to support Unix and structured information as well. Outside of those broad parameters, the company is offering little in the way of capabilities, features, pricing, and availability of the new product line.

A synergy between its WAN optimization techniques and corporations’ rising storage requirements was the reason for this move. “By using our data de-duplication techniques, companies can cut their storage requirements by as much as 90 percent,” claims Alan Saldich, Riverbed's vice president of product marketing and alliances. The vendor thinks that its approach is more efficient than the file- or block-based de-duplication techniques that storage suppliers have relied on.

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