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Riverbed SteelHead EX 560 Series
Complete branch office WAN optimization in one box

Riverbed SteelHead EX 560 Series

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The Riverbed SteelHead EX series combines WAN optimization, virtualization, and storage consolidation. As such, it enables organizations to meet the needs of the active branch office with an enterpriseclass branch office box.

Every SteelHead EX appliance features the Riverbed Virtual Services Platform (VSP), a dedicated platform that runs virtual services and enables greater consolidation in branch offices.

The SteelHead EX series (with the Riverbed VSP) helps you consolidate previously orphaned services onto a highperformance branch office box. Specifications include ample dedicated memory and disk to ensure virtual machine performance without compromise.

Using this revolutionary approach, you can run edge services virtually in all of your branch offices — without having to deploy and manage standalone servers. Consolidating and virtualizing with the SteelHead EX series streamlines operations, cuts costs, simplifies management, and enables more agile service delivery.

SteelHead DX Series

Key Benefits

Reduce Costs By Consolidating And Virtualizing Branch Servers

  • Reduce bandwidth utilization
  • Eliminate the need to buy and deploy stand-alone branch office servers
  • Reduce IT infrastructure complexity

Streamline Branch Office Operations

  • Simplify management
  • Enable more agile service delivery

Accelerate Applications Up To 100 Times

Reduce Bandwidth Demands Up To 99 Percent

Key Features

Enterprise-class branch office box

  • Combines VMware vSphere virtualization technology with the award-winning Riverbed Optimization Series (RiOS ) into a single, purpose-built appliance
High-performance appliances for the active branch
  • Includes ample memory, disk, and processing power to move data more quickly, reduce traffic volume, and minimize bandwidth requirements
  • Combines data reduction, TCP and UDP optimization, and application-level protocol optimization to provide the highest performing and most scalable WAN optimization solution available

Next-generation consolidation

  • Consolidates across the data center and within the branch
  • Combines the flexibility offered by VMware vSphere Hypervisor with WAN optimization to lower your operational and capital expenses
  • Seamlessly integrates to enable you to fine-tune and control performance to increase operational agility

Storage delivery integration

  • Integrates with the Riverbed Granite storage delivery module to consolidate remote office servers, storage, and backup to the data center, while still delivering a local experience to edge users
  • Creates a single office box solution to consolidate local office infrastructure, simplify management, reduce costs, and increase operational agility

Built-in visibility and packet capture

  • Acts as a Riverbed Cascade probe, making it easy to gather packet data and receive flow data from the branch
  • Provides remotesite troubleshooting and application-level visibility without affecting core WAN optimization — at no additional cost
  • Eliminates the need to deploy a dedicated probe — or even a remote site technician — to extend Cascade application-aware network performance management to the WAN optimized environment

SteelHead Series:

Centralize And Reduce Operational Overhead While Improving End-user Satisfaction

Our award winning SteelHead WAN optimization products have been proven to dramatically speed up applications in some of the most demanding customer environments. Companies of all sizes depend on Riverbed to help meet end-user expectations regardless of device, location, or application all while enhancing control and visibility over their entire networks.

Key Benefits

  • Increase performance on the WAN for TCP applications up to 100 times, and, for specific apps, 100 times or more
  • Select the best path for application acceleration everywhere, using deep packet inspection (DPI)-based application awareness to distinguish between business- critical and recreational traffic
  • Cut complexity and improve end- user experience by consolidating files, email and application servers, and storage across branches
  • Defer costly network bandwidth upgrades by reducing bandwidth utilization up to 99%
  • Reduce risk by enabling speedy, resilient, and secure replication and backup over the WAN (often reducing replication times from hours to minutes)
  • Comply with regulations, such as SOX, HIPAA, and PCI by optimizing SSL traffic without compromising the end-to-end trust model
  • Gain visibility and control by determining where problems exist, what is causing the problems, and how best to solve those problems
  • Deliver local-quality performance to remote workers regardless of their location

SteelHead Series Features:

An Integrated Approach To Delivering Optimized Performance

Our SteelHead solutions help organizations run faster and more efficiently, ensuring consistent service levels while cutting IT infrastructure costs.

IT consolidation: LAN-like performance over the WAN

Boomerang Email: 6.4 MB email attachment over T1 WAN – Time to Complete (in seconds)

Virtualization: The “serverless” branch office

MS Excel, Word, PPT, and EXE File Transfer (25.9 MB Total) over T1 WAN - Time to Complete (in seconds)

Boomerang Email

Boomerang Email — 63 times faster with SteelHead WAN optimization.

File Transfers in Seconds Using SMB3

File Transfers in Seconds Using SMB3 - 60 times faster performance for for subsequent SteelHead transfers with SteelHead WAN Optimization.

Consolidated IT infrastructure can simplify management, increase resource utilization, and reduce costs. But it can often result in diminished application performance and user productivity, which offsets any cost savings.

With SteelHead, users can access consolidated IT resources without compromising performance.

Moving servers and storage out of the branch and into data centers — where they can be more efficiently aggregated, managed, and secure — allows you to deliver more cost-effective access back to end users across the WAN and Internet.

Putting SteelHead appliances in place also can help optimize your VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V edge services, such as printing or security.

In these scenarios, with no more complex build-outs or remote servers to buy, install, and manage, you can set up your branches more quickly and efficiently while also lowering overhead and increasing user productivity.

Cloud computing: Moving into the cloud

Whether you are creating a private cloud infrastructure or outsourcing to Software-as-a Service providers such as or Office 365, the limitations on network bandwidth and latency still remain. End users are far away from the data and applications they are trying to access, resulting in poor user response and inefficient application and data delivery. Deploying SteelHead appliances is a great way to defeat both these problems, while also saving money on costly bandwidth upgrades. In short, they can be the driving force to enable consolidation to private or public cloud architectures and a faster path from end users to applications.

Riverbed SteelHead CX 555 Series
SteelHead Cloud WAN optimization regardless of location – you decide where the data lives. We’ll make sure it’s optimized.

Mobility And Disaster Recovery

Our mobile WAN optimization solution can help you address the inherent problems of a distributed workforce, such as high-latency and inconsistent connectivity from changing locations. This enables you to increase employee productivity wherever employees work. SteelHead appliances will also help your organization optimize continuity and recovery across a range of backup, replication, and cloud storage mechanisms without disrupting your current infrastructure — ensuring the protection of existing investments.

Mobility and BYOD: Enabling a remote workforce

SharePoint HTTP File Save: 6.14 MB file via Verizon Wireless v620 Broadband Card (788Kbps with ~200ms RTT latency) – Time to Complete (in seconds)

SharePoint HTTP File Save — 63 times faster with SteelHead Mobile.
SharePoint HTTP File Save — 63 times faster with SteelHead Mobile.

It can be a struggle to support mobile users who need access to corporate data and applications. In fact, mobile users often have to accept sub-optimal performance.

Riverbed SteelHead Mobile software extends our award-winning technology to any PC or laptop to deliver acceleration wherever users connect. With SteelHead Mobile, applications run faster, and remote workers have the applications they need anytime, anywhere. Now, bring your own device (BYOD), mobility initiatives, and desktop virtualization solutions can be optimized for use on the WAN.

Business continuity and disaster recovery: Enhanced data protection

NetApp SnapMirror Network Compression and Riverbed SteelHead WAN Optimization over 155 Mbps WAN – Time to Complete (in minutes)

NetApp SnapMirror Data Replication – LAN-like performance with SteelHead WAN Optimization.
NetApp SnapMirror Data Replication – LAN-like performance with SteelHead WAN Optimization.

With SteelHead, you can perform WAN-based backups or data replication without struggling to finish jobs in a tight backup window. It supports leading enterprise storage solutions, including EMC 2 , Hitachi Data Systems , as well as NetApp SnapMirror data replication and disaster recovery solutions.

With accelerated replication — up to 45 times — you can take more frequent snapshots and dramatically improve your recovery time in the event of a failure. We have advanced features for high-end, data-center-to-data-center disaster recovery, including enhancements for optimized throughput, tunable compression, and clustering for high availability and scalability. You also can use SteelHead appliances to dynamically adapt to “fill the pipe” for high-bandwidth environments, or to adopt higher compression, deduplication, QoS, traffic identification, and path selection to limit the impact on bandwidth for other applications on a shared WAN.

RiOS: The Power Behind the Family:

All SteelHead products are built on the Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS), which powers the product family through a combination of TCP optimization, application-level protocol optimizations, path selection, and patent-pending data reduction. These technologies, along with the RiOS management capabilities, provide a comprehensive solution for enterprise WAN optimization.

Hybrid networks: Greater application reliability and performance

With path selection technology in the latest version of RiOS (8.5), IT organizations can deploy and manage hybrid networks that combine the strengths of a highly reliable MPLS network with the benefits of the Internet — ubiquity, price, and speed. This delivers greater application reliability, performance, and cost savings in data centers, branch offices, and, private or public clouds while retaining IT control and minimizing complexity.

Path selection identifies the applications using deep packet inspection (DPI)-based application awareness to distinguish between business-critical and recreational traffic. You can use it to map applications to the appropriate paths available across the WAN and, in the case of performance issues, dynamically reroute applications to ensure no impact to users. It is simple to configure and can be used with other performance management tools that we provide without complex and tightly coupled router configurations.

Riverbed Path Selection Technology enables IT organizations to deploy and manage hybrid networks to deliver greater applications reliability, performance, and cost-savings in data centers, branch offices, and clouds while retaining control and minimizing complexity.
Riverbed Path Selection Technology enables IT organizations to deploy and manage hybrid networks to deliver greater applications reliability, performance, and cost-savings in data centers, branch offices, and clouds while retaining control and minimizing complexity.

RiOS: Four streamlining technologies

  • Data streamlining
    • Reduces bandwidth utilization by up to 99%
    • Industry leading scalability and patented de-duplication
    • Works with TCP-based protocols and applications including: file sharing (Windows and NFS), email (Exchange and Lotus Notes), CAD, web-based HTTP and HTTPS applications, databases (Oracle), virtual desktops (Citrix and VMware) and collaboration software (SharePoint).
    • Works with UDP-based file transfer applications, including Signiant, Aspera and Symantec’s Veritas Volume replicator
  • Transport streamlining
    • Reduces the number of TCP packets required to transfer data by 65 to 98%
    • Enables the acceleration of SSL-encrypted traffic throughout the enterprise to eliminate the security and performance trade-off
    • Enables greater utilization of high bandwidth links (long fat networks, such as OC3, OC12, and metrofiber) for HS-TCP and MX-TCP
    • Supports satellite optimization for TCP links (based on SCPS extensions) over satellite connections that tend to be high latency, dynamic bandwidth, or lossy due to signal-to-noise ratio
  • Application streamlining
    • Offers the broadest support for application-specific modules to provide performance improvements on top of the data and transport streamlining optimization performed on all TCP traffic
    • Reduces application protocol chattiness up to 98%
    • Minimizes application overhead to provide massive throughput increases to such applications as file sharing (CIFS, SMB2/3, and NFS), collaboration software (Sharepoint), email (Exchange, including Office 365 and MAPI, and Lotus Notes), web (HTTP and HTTPS), database (MS-SQL and Oracle), and storage and disaster recovery (NetApp SnapMirror)
  • Management streamlining
    • Enables easy deployment through auto-discovery of peers and auto- interception of traffic — with no reconfiguration of clients, servers, or routers
    • Simplifies ongoing management by providing simple, but powerful, web-based and command-line interfaces, in-depth reporting, and real-time NetFlow export
    • Supports a vast array of network environments and topologies, including but not limited to MPLS, VoIP, video conferencing, QoS, VPN, satellite infrastructure, ATM, frame relay, microwave, and wireless

SteelHead for Any Environment and Organization:

SteelHead Appliances

Accelerate application performance and data transfer over the WAN, overcoming bandwidth and geographical limitations to improve productivity and enable global collaboration.

  • Scalable for the deployment needs of any size
  • Riverbed Granite and VSP capable for full branch office consolidation
  • Deploy in minutes without changes to the existing IT infrastructure
  • Support thousands of users with a device


Easily load balance and scale your network- wide throughput with the Riverbed Interceptor appliance. Cluster up to 25 SteelHead appliances to manage 40 GBps of throughput.

Central Management Console (CMC)

Easily configure, monitor, upgrade, and report on groups of SteelHead, Virtual SteelHead, and Interceptor appliances — all through one easy-to-use web interface. Available as a standalone appliance or CMC virtual edition for deployment flexibility.

Virtual SteelHead

Extend WAN optimization and performance to VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 based virtual environments.

  • Same application performance and data transfer benefits in a virtual appliance
  • Increase capacity on demand

Cloud SteelHead

Extend subscription-based WAN optimization to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds. Authorized servers redirect connections to the appropriate cloud appliance to accelerate performance.

  • Supported on Amazon Web Services and VMware ESX-based clouds
  • Accelerate migration and access to the cloud
  • Elastic sizing and easy cloning for the scale-as- you-go infrastructure

SteelHead Cloud Accelerator

Simplify WAN optimization integration into cloud environments in order to more efficiently manage the delivery of business-critical data and content from a public cloud infrastructure.

  • Extend WAN optimization to cloud services/ Software as a Service (SaaS) to manage business- critical data and content delivery and ensure peak application performance
  • Improve the performance of SaaS applications, such as and Office 365 by up to 100x
  • Benefit from the Akamai deployment footprint and Akamai SureRoute technology to reduce distance, latency and packet loss

SteelHead Mobile

Improve mobile and remote user productivity and experience with WAN optimization designed for Windows and Mac based laptops.

  • Improve remote employee access to files and applications more than 19 times faster
  • Easily scale network performance to hundreds of thousands of remote users
  • Manage the policies that determine what optimizations take place per user or groups of users

SteelHead Mobile Controller

Manage SteelHead Mobile licenses and control the deployment, management, and reporting of SteelHead Mobile client software. Available in SMC standalone appliance or SMC virtual edition for deployment flexibility.

  • Gain real-time visibility into application and WAN performance
  • Access a single source for monitoring and license management
  • Receive one-touch software upgrades and health alerts

Technical Specifications:

SteelHead EX: Model Specifications

Small Office SteelHead Mid-Size Office SteelHead
Model EX560 Series EX760 Series
Configurations G L M H L M H
Profile 1U
Upgradeable To 560-L/M/H 560-M/H 560-H - 760-M/H 760-H -
Optimized WAN Capacity 6 Mbps 6 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps
Optimized TCP & UDP flows N/A 250 400 650 900 1500 2300
QoS Bandwidth(a) 12 Mbps 12 Mbps 20 Mbps 20 Mbps 45 Mbps 45 Mbps 45 Mbps
QoS Rules/Classes(b) 500 500 500 500 1000 1,000 1,000
Data Store Capacity (SSD) 40 GB 40 GB 70 GB 70 GB 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB
VSP partition (no granite license)(f) 300 GB 300 GB
Granite block store(g) 380 GB(g)  380 GB(g)
Storage Fault Tolerance -
Hot Swappable Drives -
RAM (without Granite license) N/A 8 GB 16 GB
 Available for VSP (EX version 2) (h)
4 GB 8 GB
RAM (with Granite license)(e) 16 GB 16 GB
Available for VSP (EX version 2)(h,i) 9GB(l) 9 GB 8 GB
Expansion Slots (PCI-e)(j) -
Included Bypass Ports (Copper) 4
Max. # of Bypass Ports 4

Large Office SteelHead   
Model EX1160 Series EX1260 Series (2 TB)
Configurations G L M H VH G L M H VH
Profile 1U 2U
Upgradeable To 1160-L/M/H 1160-M/H 1160-H - - 1260-L/M/H 1260-M/H 1260-H - -
Optimized WAN Capacity 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps 50/100 Mbps(k) 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps 50/100 Mbps(k)
Optimized TCP & UDP flows N/A 900 1,500 2,300 6,000 N/A 900 1,500 2,300 6,000
QoS Bandwidth(a) 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps
QoS Rules/Classes(b) 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Data Store Capacity (SSD) 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 280 GB 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 280 GB
VSP partition (no granite license)(f) 415 GB 860 GB
Granite block store(g) 760 GB (g) 1580 GB (g)
Storage Fault Tolerance RAID(c) RAID(d)
Hot Swappable Drives 4 6 8
RAM (without Granite license) N/A 20 GB 24 GB N/A
Available for VSP (EX version 2) (h) 10 GB 12 GB
RAM (with Granite license)(e)
20 GB 24GB 24 / 32(i) GB 24 / 32(i) GB
Available for VSP (EX version 2)(h,i)  10GB(l) 10 GB 12 GB 11 / 19(i)
11 / 19(i) GB 7 / 15(i) GB
Expansion Slots (PCI-e)(j) 2 4
Included Bypass Ports (Copper) 4 4
Max. # of Bypass Ports 8(m) 8(m)

Large Office SteelHead   
Model EX1260 Series (4 TB) EX1360 Series (10 TB)
Configurations G L M H VH G L M
Profile 2U 2U
Upgradeable To 1260-L/M/H 1260-M/H 1260-H - - 1360-L/M 1360-M -
Optimized WAN Capacity 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps 50/100 Mbps(k) 50 Mbps 50 Mbps 100 Mbps
Optimized TCP & UDP flows N/A 900 1,500 2,300 6,000 N/A 4,500 6,000
QoS Bandwidth(a) 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps 100 Mbps
QoS Rules/Classes(b) 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Data Store Capacity (SSD) 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 140 GB 280 GB 320 GB
VSP partition (no granite license)(f) 1850 GB 4000 GB
Granite block store(g) 3574 GB (g) 9400 GB (g)
Storage Fault Tolerance RAID(d) RAID(d)
Hot Swappable Drives 10 12 24
RAM (without Granite license) N/A
Available for VSP (EX version 2) (h) N/A
RAM (with Granite license)(e) 32 / 64(i) GB 32 / 64(i) GB 128 GB
Available for VSP (EX version 2)(h,i) 14 / 45(i) GB(l) 14 / 45(i) GB 10 / 41(i) GB 64 GB 64 GB
Expansion Slots (PCI-e)(j) 4 4
Included Bypass Ports (Copper) 4 4
Max. # of Bypass Ports 8(m) 8(m)

NOTE: All WAN Capacity / Bandwidth, TCP Connections and UDP flows, and QoS specifications listed are maximums and may not be achieved in all environments. The WAN capacity limit is enforced on outbound optimized traffic. Inbound optimized WAN traffic is not capped
(a)Recommended maximum outbound QoS shaping capacity
(b)Total of classes plus rules
(c)RAID 1 configuration for HDD, Data store uses fault tolerant striped (FTS) configuration for SSD
(d)RAID 10 configuration for HDD, Data store uses fault tolerant striped (FTS) configuration for SSD
(e)Granite requires extra memory. In some models - EX760, EX1160 and EX1260 - the memory is always included. On other models (EX560), extra memory is needed to support Granite. EX560 requires 16GB of RAM when configured for Granite.
(f)The VSP partition can be larger with the Granite license. For more details, see the "SteelHead EX Installation and Configuration Guide". These numbers require SteelHead EX v2.1 or higher
(g)This is the maximum Granite space. Depending on the disk setup, this may be shared with VSP.
(h)The RAM available to VSP differs between EX version 1 and EX version 2. In EX version 1, the RAM noted here is given to the VMs. In EX version 2, the RAM noted here is the Host Physical Memory to VSphere. The memory available to guests will be lower than this number.
(i)EX1260 memory can be upgraded to 32GB (2TB model) and 64GB (4TB model)
(j)Optional Network Bypass cards: Quad copper GbE, Dual & Quad LX/SX Fiber GigE (1X4 port or 2X2 port NIC's)
(k)100 Mbps WAN B/W license available on the EX1160 VH/1260 VH only.
(l)VSP version 2 requires EX v2.1 or higher
(m)The 1160, 1260 and 1360 support 1 add-on 4 port card that can be used either for 4 bypass ports or as 4 data ports

Granite Core: Model Specifications

      Granite Core    
Model   VGC1000   VGC1500   GC2000    
Configurations U L M L M L M H VH
Profile   Virtual   Virtual     2U    
Upgradeable To VGC1000 L/M VGC1000 M - VGC 1500 M - GC2000 M/H/VH GC2000 H/VH GC2000 VH -
Front Swappable Drives N/A N/A 2
Expansion Slots (PCI-e) 4
Included Ports (Copper) 6
Max. # of Ports 10
Branches 5 10 20 30 30 10 20 40 80
Data set size(1) 2 TB 5 TB 10 TB 20 TB 35 TB 5 TB 10 TB 20 TB 35 TB

(1) Recommended size depending on data type

SteelHead EX: Power & Physical Specifications

   Small Office SteelHead  Mid-Size Office SteelHead Large Office or Data Center SteelHead Data Center 
Model EX560/760 Series 1160 Series EX1260 Series EX1360 Series GC2000
Dual Power Supplies -    
Power [Watts] (Typical) 85 175 355 505 330
BTU 295  605  1215  1726 1130
Temperature(ii) 10 - 40 deg C / 50 - 104 deg F (Operating)
-40 - 65 deg C / -40 - 149 deg F (Storage) 
Relative Humidity(i)  20% - 80% non-condensing (Operating)
5% - 95% non-condensing (Storage)
Operating Acoustic noise (Typical) 57 dBA 62 dBA 65 dBA 65 dBA 65dBA
System Dimensions (LxWxH)(iii) 15.52 x 17.09 x 1.66 in 25.4 x 17.2 x 1.71 in  25.4 x 17.2 x 3.43 in 
394.3 x 434.0 x 42.4 mm 645.4 x 436 x 43.5 mm  645.4 x 436 x 87.1 mm 
Packaging Dimensions 36.25 x 23.38 x 12.5 in
920.8 x 593.7 x 317.5 mm
Max Weight (without packaging) 17.76 Lbs 36 Lbs 58 Lbs 60 Lbs 58 Lbs
8.06 Kg 16.36 Kg 23.36 Kg 27.2 Kg 23.36 Kg
Rail Information  Orderable spare part RMK-005  Mounting rail kit included. Orderable spare part RMK-002A 
(i)Operating altitude up to 10,000 feet except in China 6,562 feet (2,000m) (ii)In China- for use in non-tropical locations (iii)Length is without bezel The availability, export or re-export of these products or specific features are subject to the export laws and regulations of the U.S., EU, Singapore, and the laws and regulations of any applicable foreign agency or authority.


Download the Riverbed SteelHead Product Family Spec Sheet (.PDF)

Download the Riverbed SteelHead EX Data Sheet (.PDF)

Download the Riverbed SteelHead Family Brochure (.PDF)

Pricing Notes: