Riverbed Technology has announced availability of the Steelhead 7050 WAN optimization appliance with solid-state disk (SSD) drives, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) connectivity and better performance than previous models for disaster recovery environments.

The Steelhead 7050 series – the first WAN optimization appliances to incorporate SSD technology – stores persistent data on SSDs, minimizing disk access times and latency.

Riverbed is using the performance characteristics of the SSDs to improve the systems’ fault tolerance capabilities for disaster recovery. Steelhead datastore fault tolerance, which is a feature analogous to RAID for disks, allows the appliances to maintain throughput in the event of an SSD failure.

The appliances are capable of optimizing up to 100,000 concurrent TCP connections and up to1Gbps WAN-side throughput, and feature up to four 10GbE NICs.

Riverbed’s senior product marketing manager, Nik Rouda, says the Steelhead 7050 series is aimed primarily at disaster recovery applications, but is also designed for large enterprise data centers.

“In some cases, the 7050 series supports three times the throughput as our previous biggest box [the Steelhead 6050]. The ability to support 100,000 TCP connections, 20,000 users and the use of SSDs for faster read/write throughput all represent a massive jump in throughput scalability,” says Rouda.

The 7050 series includes two models – the Steelhead 7050L, which optimizes up to 75,000 concurrent TCP connections and is equipped with 14 SSDs, and the Steelhead 7050M, which optimizes up to 100,000 concurrent TCP connections and is equipped with 28 SSDs.

Rouda says pricing for the 7050L starts at approximately $180,000, while the higher capacity 7050M costs about $235,000.