Infoblox and Riverbed Technology have announced the first virtualised core network services appliances for the branch office. The solution, which will include a virtual instance of Infoblox’s core network services software running on the Riverbed Steelhead WDS appliance, will be deployed at remote and branch offices and improve core network services performance and management, while enabling the consolidation of servers and lowering costs.

The Infoblox Virtual Appliance software will work in conjunction with the new Riverbed RiOS Services Platform (RSP), offering a powerful, cost-effective means to deploy at the network edge best-of-breed core network services, such as domain name resolution (DNS), IP address assignment and management (DHCP and IPAM), authentication (RADIUS) and file distribution (FTP/TFTP/HTTP) in conjunction with Riverbed WDS.
Riverbed WDS solutions have seen rapid adoption in the enterprise because they increase the speed and performance of branch office applications delivered over wide area networks (WANs), while enabling the consolidation of IT infrastructure by reducing the need for application servers in remote offices. Concurrently, organisations are seeking to improve their core network services infrastructure, which provides the essential foundation for all network applications, including email, VoIP, wireless and Web-based applications.
To deploy, secure, and manage core network services today, many organisations rely on software or freeware on general-purpose servers and manual processes, including primitive tools such as spreadsheets and custom scripts.
But as the number of IP devices and applications continues to grow, today’s server-based solutions are being replaced with core network services appliances in order to increase resiliency and security and automate time-consuming and error-prone management tasks.
Further advantages to deploying core network services appliances at the branch include local survivability and non-stop operation should a WAN link or remote device fail; and increased performance due to the elimination of WAN latency often produced when services are deployed and delivered from the data centre, which can adversely impact application performance.
Now, with the Infoblox Virtual Appliance, organisations will be able to realise these advantages at the branch without increasing their infrastructure footprint.
"IT is increasingly consolidated, while at the same time workers are becoming more distributed. The need to reconcile these competing demands has driven broad adoption of our WDS solutions," says Christo Briedenhann, country manager: South Africa, Riverbed. "Many of our customers recognise the benefits of deploying DNS, DHCP and IPAM at the network edge for improved performance and availability. With our new RSP offering and Infoblox’s Virtual Appliance, customers will get the best of both worlds: best-of-breed core network services for branch offices and extended value in the Riverbed Steelhead appliances."
Customers deploying the joint solution will install Infoblox Virtual Appliance software on Riverbed Steelhead appliances equipped with the Riverbed RSP module. Infoblox Virtual Appliances provide the same DNS, DHCP, RADIUS, IPAM and other services available on standard Infoblox hardware platforms, and participate as full members in Infoblox grids. As a result, Infoblox Virtual Appliances and the services they provide will be as robust and easy to manage as native Infoblox appliances.
In a typical deployment, native Infoblox hardware platforms are deployed at headquarters, data centres and/or regional sites and Infoblox Virtual Appliance software will be installed on Riverbed Steelhead appliances at branch locations. Infoblox’s grid technology links the hardware and virtual appliances into a unified, centrally managed system.
The combination of Riverbed and Infoblox capabilities will allow enterprises to remove the conventional servers hosting DNS, DHCP and other core network services at branch locations, dramatically reducing capital and administrative costs.
"Thousands of organisations, including many of the world’s largest, have migrated from software on servers to appliances for their core network services infrastructure and have gained the benefits of resilience and automation in the process," says Richard Kagan, vice president of marketing at Infoblox. "Now, with the Riverbed RSP and Infoblox Virtual Appliances, customers can extend these benefits to the edge of their networks and actually reduce hardware footprint and management costs at the same time."