Storage Soup

Feb 3 2009   11:12PM GMT

Riverbed pushes Atlas dedupe box until 2010

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Riverbed Technology won’t be deduplicating primary data this year as planned.

The scheduled launch of its Atlas device has been delayed from this year into 2010, Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly disclosed today on the WAN optimization vendors’ earnings report conference call.

Riverbed did a round of pre-briefings for Atlas last September when it began alpha testing, forecasting its release this year. But Kennelly said today that Atlas will require adjustments before it is ready to bring to market. “We’ve had three months of alpha testing,” he said. “We’ve seen that our original approach can be better addressed to meet customer needs, so we will be delaying shipments.”

Riverbed’s SVP of marketing Eric Wolford said the changes will make Atlas easier to deploy and manage. “We’re disappointed in the delay to market, but we learned a lot from customers and found changes would be necessary,” he said. Wolford says the adjustments may mean Atlas can be used without Riverbed’s flagship Steelhead WAN appliances.

Kennelly said the original plans was to launch what he today called a “bare-bones release” this year followed by a more robust product in late 2010. Now he said there will be one rollout instead of two, although he would not say when in 2010 that would happen.

“Although we hate to announce a delay, we think it’s smarter for us and we’ll get more money earlier,” he said. We won’t be trying to shoot bullets in the economic market in 2009.”

The rest of the news was good on Riverbed’s call. Its fourth-quarter revenue of $92.2 million increased 21% over last year despite the down economy, and executives forecast a 14% to 18% year-over-year increase in revenue ($83 million to $86 million) this quarter. Riverbed also said today EMC qualified Steelhead appliances to work with EMC’s SRDF/Asynchronous replication software for its Symmetrix enterprise storage systems.

Wolford said the qualification was “a prerequisite” to getting Steelhead boxes installed by shops replicating data between Symmetrix systems in multiple sites. He said there were about 30 to 40 potential customers holding up deals pending qualification.

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