The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Archive for August, 2008

Riverbed at the Olympics

Posted by riverbedtest on August 28, 2008

The Olympics stand alone.  Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Liu Xiang, on any given Wednesday these names, even the sports/events that they compete in would be frotunate to garner a write up in the mainstream media approaching the size of the text used in perscription drug ad warnings. For two weeks every four years it is a very different story.Jg_w_mascot

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When accelerating secure traffic is not secure

Posted by riverbedtest on August 27, 2008

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) has become one of the most widely-used security protocols on the Internet.  SSL used just about everywhere, on the Public Internet as well as in the internal enterprise network.  You can use it for a variety of purposes, from purchasing merchandise on amazon.com, to accessing files securely from your sharepoint server, as well to access your enterprise applications such as Oracle Forms, SAP, Siebel, etc…  Ensuring that the SSL-encrypted data sent over the network stays secure is extremely important, as it may contain vitally-sensitive information such as credit card numbers, proprietary corporate data, and personal employee information.

Riverbed offers the ability to securely accelerate encrypted SSL traffic. Riverbed’s approach has been analyzed and validated by ICSA Labs as being secure.  On the other hand a few other WDS solutions also claim the ability to intercept and accelerate SSL traffic.  But while the vendor may claim their approach is secure, a closer examination reveals that their SSL acceleration solutions introduce serious security vulnerabilities.

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Sometimes the hardest problems are the simple ones

Posted by riverbedtest on August 20, 2008

It was some time in late 2004 when I received a call from a customer I had visited a few weeks earlier.  Back then, we were a small company with perhaps 80 employees, including a worldwide sales force of less than a dozen people.  As a startup company, I was a part-time systems engineer, rolling up my sleeves to help out with some customer deployments in addition to my Product Management responsibilities.

"Can you give me an RMA number?  I’m going to ship these Steelheads back to you.  I put them into the network, and nothing happened.  The WAN transfers are still slow."

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Wide-area Data Services playing an important role in 2008 Olympics

Posted by bobegilbert on August 12, 2008

A story recently surfaced about how Cisco is providing the IP video network infrastructure to a major network broadcast station during the network’s coverage of the 2008 Olympics.  This is a very cool story that demonstrates how silicon valley is once again strutting its stuff in the world spotlight.  While Cisco’s WAAS product was mentioned in this story as optimizing only a fraction of the Cisco network and providing 140Mbps performance out of 35Mbps of bandwidth, this 4X of relatively small improvement is not what I am writing about here.

Joe_ghoryThe story I am focusing on is the fact that the Riverbed product Marketing Manager Joe Ghory, is enroute to Beijing where he will be commentating and assisting with the coverage of rowing for one of the major American television networks and thanks to the Riverbed Steelhead Mobile software, he will be getting world-class acceleration while he is connected.

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Can you fool your users?

Posted by riverbedtest on August 11, 2008

For most companies, ‘user acceptance’ is the true litmus test of whether or not a new product will be purchased. But do you think you could deploy a new product that impacts the user without telling them? That’s exactly what CNP construction did.

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Sizing WAN Optimization Solutions

Posted by riverbedtest on August 4, 2008

Often my discussions with customers involve questions about identifying the right sized appliance for each remote site in the network.  Identifying the correct Steelhead appliance model is usually a routine process involving estimating the number of users at each site, and then multiplying that number by five in order to identify the number of TCP connections that would be needed at that site.  The right Steelhead model will support at least the calculated number of TCP connections. A secondary, though less important consideration, is matching the Steelhead to the amount of WAN bandwidth at that site.  However, occasionally I come across a customer who doesn’t know how many WAN users they have at each branch office.  Typically this is a large corporate customer where details on employee-count information are known by only a few people, or are details that are kept only by the facilities organization.  What usually happens in this case is that I get asked to propose a sizing based only on the amount of WAN bandwidth at each site.

This is a vexing exercise, as it basically involves proposing a solution without knowing what the requirements are.  In a similar way, it’s like ordering pizza for a meeting without knowing how many people will show up.  You can buy too much and end up wasting a lot of pizza.  Or you can buy too little and end up with hungry and angry meeting attendees.

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