December 07, 2012, 1:40 PM — Bringing branch office servers and file shares back to the data center is generally easy to do, especially with the use of WAN optimization solutions. But sometimes -- for the sake of performance, practicality, or politics -- a server simply must remain in the branch. It was for these intransigent servers, and to satisfy the needs of both server-hugging branch offices and control-hungry IT, that Riverbed Granite was born.
By pairing appliances at the edge and at the core, Granite allows IT to "project" virtual machines and iSCSI storage volumes out to the branch office while keeping the actual assets in the data center. Through innovative technologies, Granite closes the gap between physical servers in the branch office and storage in the data center. As a result, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V servers running in the branch can launch virtual machines across the WAN, and the VMs can write back to storage located in the data center.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Review: Riverbed Steelhead closes the WAN gap | Use server virtualization to get highly reliable failover at a fraction of the usual cost. Find out how in InfoWorld's High Availability Virtualization Deep Dive PDF special report. ]
Granite is available as a stand-alone product or as a bundled component on a Steelhead EX appliance. When used in combination with Steelhead WAN acceleration, performance improves dramatically, especially on subsequent VM launches, to rival the speed of true local storage.