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OpenEye Adopts SD-WAN Solution for Improved SaaS Connection

OpenEye adopts Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN solution to support the increased user base for its SaaS platform.

OpenEye adopts SD-WAN solution for better network connectivity.

Source: Thinkstock

- Riverbed Technology announced that OpenEye Scientific is using Riverbed’s software-defined networking in the WAN (SD-WAN) solution, SteelConnect, to offer users a better connection to OpenEye’s cloud-based drug discovery platform, Orion.

SteelConnect Is Riverbed’s SD-WAN and cloud networking solution and will help OpenEye quickly establish a new network connection. OpenEye’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provides organizations with toolkits and develops molecular modeling applications.

OpenEye required a stronger, more reliable way to connect customers to the SaaS solution and chose an SD-WAN provider to move away from costly legacy networking infrastructure. The company recently began delivering more of its technology as a SaaS offering with Orion, the cloud-native pharmaceutical design platform that resides on AWS.

OpenEye was challenged with how to quickly and affordably connect its growing user base to Orion.

OpenEye Scientific Software Developer Craig Bruce said that the company’s legacy hardware could not support the growing user base. The entity would need to buy much more expensive hardware that would take a long time to deploy and may not reach the level of scalability that was required.

Riverbed’s SteelConnect was already highly compatible with AWS, and OpenEye was able to install the solution in its AWS virtual private cloud within a day.

“We can now make network connections within minutes, and this was unthinkable before,” said Bruce. “The ability to enable a new connection so quickly, instead of the weeks or months it took in the past, is really important for the success of our SaaS offerings. SteelConnect enables us to be far more agile, which is critical to growing our business.”

Riverbed has been busy in the SD-WAN space. The company acquired Xirrus in April 2017 to expand SteelConnect. Riverbed absorbed the technology to offer customers unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration across the entire distributed network including WAN, LAN/WLAN, data center and the cloud.

“In today’s digital, cloud, and mobile world, enterprise networks are more complex and unpredictable than ever before and IT is struggling to manage all of this,” Riverbed Chairman and CEO Jerry Kennelly said in a statement. “A fundamental rethink to networking is required and with this acquisition, Riverbed and our partners are uniquely positioned to provide CIOs and businesses with a software-defined networking approach that delivers unified connectivity and orchestration across the entire network.”

The adoption of SD-WAN technology has grown in tandem with healthcare cloud deployments. Organizations are seeking better ways to access their cloud infrastructures. Legacy network management solutions are becoming more obsolete as they continue to struggle to scale with high enterprise level demands.

SDN uses abstraction to simplify the complexity of a computer system by arranging and suppressing the more complex features below the operation level. Programmers operate the SDN through a simplified interface, which automates the complex features and allows the programmer to focus on simpler functions.  

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) describes software-defined networking as the “physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, and where a control plane controls several devices.” SDN allows network admins to manage the network through abstraction which gives apps and programs a simplified platform to operate on.

SD-WAN centralizes the control function into a SDN controller. The controller abstracts the user’s private network services from the underlying IP network. This enables the user to operate their private network services through a centralized policy.

SD-WAN is flexible and can adapt more easily to changing network conditions and bandwidth demands during peak hours.

Removing much of the restrictive hardware of legacy networking solutions allows organizations to build future-proof networks. The continued adoption of cloud solutions and connected devices will continue to drive the need for flexible and scalable network infrastructure.