It’s not exactly a big surprise. Riverbed was so excited about the integration and joint offering being announced with ZScaler today that they were posting openly on blogs a month ago. Now, however, the announcement is formal, and is being officially made public today at the Riverbed Disrupt event in New York City – which is sponsored by ZScaler. Riverbed’s SteelConnect SD-WAN cloud networking solution has been integrated with ZScaler’s Cloud Security platform to create what they are calling a truly secure, cloud-first architecture for networking.
“Legacy network infrastructure has been holding back companies from digital transformation, requiring a transition to a software-defined approach with more agility,” said Milind Bhise, senior director of product marketing at Riverbed. “SteelConnect allows connection of applications irrespective of where they reside, and enables simplified branch operations, because its SD-WAN centralized policy and orchestration allows sites to be stood up and orchestrated much more quickly.”
Adding ZScaler – a longtime Riverbed partner – to the SD-WAN equation is important because of the automation of its capabilities within the integrated solution, facilitating recognition of the ZScaler enforcement nodes [ZENs] from within the SteelConnect Manager and integrating them with one mouse click into SteelConnect’s application-defined policy and orchestration engine.
“By integrating the security piece, we automate the discovery and connection and dynamically choose the optimum ZScaler nodes,” Bhise said. “It shows a list of all the ZScaler nodes, in an extremely automated process. If a node comes up which is closer, and which would result in lower latency, SteelConnect Manager can automatically figure that out and configure it.”
Because of Riverbed’s history of working with ZScaler, this kind of integration would not have been that difficult for a customer to do previously – except for the automation aspect that the joint solution provides.
“It could have been done, but would have been done manually,” Bhise indicated. The customer would still have received the benefits of the solution with ZScaler — acting both as a next-gen firewall at the perimeter for inbound network traffic, while also routing outbound traffic for the appropriate applications. While SteelConnect has a perimeter firewall, ZScaler is more focused on security, and has an improved security posture, for all branches, users and applications. The addition of the automation is a game-changer, however, because of the way it makes things easier in terms of automatic failover and connectivity.
“The combined solution will automatically identify and segregate traffic based on the policy,” Bhise said.
He also indicated that Riverbed’s channel should love the integrated solution.
“The channel can address customers’ security pain points,” he said. “It addresses their concerns around security of the network, and lets them attain their business goals faster.