Riverbed made good on its plans to become more cloud focused.

The company on Wednesday rolled out new wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances designed for public cloud computing installations. The Cloud Steelhead appliance is designed to improve the performance of applications hosted in the public cloud. Riverbed executives hinted at the cloud launch during its most recent quarter.

According to Riverbed, its Cloud Steelhead (statement) will speed up the process of migrating data and software to the public cloud. The aim is to prevent a trade-off between a cloud computing provider and performance limitations.

At first, Riverbed’s appliance will integrate with Amazon’s EC2 service and its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The Cloud Steelhead will be available before the end of the year.

Separately, Riverbed launched a cloud storage accelerator called Whitewater (statement). This appliance aims to accelerate backup for active workloads.

Whitewater will work with EMC, Atmos, AT&T Synaptic Storage and Amazon S3. Riverbed said it is looking to enable pay-by-the-bit storage and off-site data storage. In testing, Riverbed is claiming that backups are 35 percent to 40 percent faster with Whitewater installed.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDNet, TechRepublic’s sister site. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines (or subscribe to the RSS feed).