Riverbed Technology is set to tackle the issue of ensuring optimal network performance for applications hosted within a public cloud.  Riverbed Cloud Steelhead is WAN optimisation software designed to help organisations improve performance whether they’re using private, public and hybrid platforms – providing that they’re already Steelhead users of course.

The company has incorporated software that it calls Steelhead Discovery Agent to simplify the  way in which WAN optimisation can be integrated into the cloud environments, the company said that this would ensure that customers could optimise their WAN performance, even in situations where the physical location of the customer’s servers has changed.  The software ensures that servers will automatically redirect connections to the appropriate Cloud Steelhead, even if server IP addresses or subnets change.

According to Mark Lewis, Riverbed’s EMEA marketing director said that the new software had built on the existing Steelhead technology. “Cloud Steelhead optimises bandwidth like all previous Steelhead appliances. Cloud steelhead also has the extra flexibility to enable it to be provisioned, accessed and leased in a cloud services model.”

One limitation of the software, however, is that currently it only works with Amazon EC2 and Virtual Private Cloud, although Lewis said that there were plans to work with other cloud providers.  The dedicated WAN optimisation approach is a very different one from the one adopted by the likes of Virtela, which offers optimisation from a multiple platform approach thus allowing organisation to use a mixture of cloud providers.

The Cloud Steelhead pricing has been designed for cloud deployment offering customers a monthly subscription fee, with a minimum period of six months.