The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Archive for May, 2009

Faster than a speeding rollout

Posted by riverbedtest on May 27, 2009

Well folks,

I thought we had seen it all when Bankwest, formerly part of HBOS Australia, was able to put 170 Steelhead appliances into production across Australia in only 45 days. The professionalism and dedication of Bankwest's IT staff, together with help and support from their VAR Dimension Data & the local Riverbed team helped them to achieve a very large-scale IT infrastructure rollout in a remarkably short period of time.

Of course, the Steelhead appliance's famed simple installation, product stability and ease of use, together with centralised configuration & management, including a fully automatic installation capability from the CMC probably also helped achieve this goal.  ; )

That being said however, another APAC banking customer has just recently blown this record away. A nation-wide bank in Malaysia has just deployed OVER 100 Steelhead Appliances all across the country in ONLY TEN DAYS.

Not bad for a country containing two separate regions, 11 states and about 28 million people.
Malays3

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Extending data security to Riverbed appliances

Posted by riverbedtest on May 21, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

Last night I had dinner with Ray Kruck from Websense, an essential information protection company with solutions to protect Web, e-mail, and data security needs. During dinner he told me all about his days as a car salesman for Hummer in Toronto, Canada. While amusing, I was more interested in the announcement they just made with Riverbed which was the announced extension of their security solutions, SAAS and on-premise Web filtering and Web security platforms, to Riverbed appliances.

We talked about that, plus their new acquistion, Defensio, which stops splogs (spam blogs) from stealing your Web traffic.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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The data center is more than the fabric that connects servers

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

I chatted with Mark Day, Chief Scientist of Riverbed who spoke on this morning’s keynote panel, “Reinventing the data center.” There was a series of agreements and dissent on the panel around this subject. Together, Day said they all agreed that the highest ROI thing you could do would be to consolidate the data center. Doing so delivers a multitude of savings, such as savings on power, licenses, and server maintenance.

Day was hoping that the conversation expanded to issues of how the changes in technology like cloud computing and storage duplication and WAN optimization affect the data center. They focused on the narrow issue of the fabric of one data center. You need to think about it more holistically.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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Networking challenges: Ideas and opinions from Interop Unconference

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

If
you’ve never been to an unconference, here’s the format – there is no
format. Or rather, it’s a very loose format. The one I sat in was
entitled, “Let’s talk about networks, WANs, and CDNs.” So it turns into
a giant geek rap session based on different topics.

The following are just some ideas and comments that came out of this discussion at the Interop ’09 unconference:

  • When asking, “Where should you invest in your network first,” you
    need to first ask yourself “What applications are you delivering over
    that network? What are the demands they have that you need?”
  • For one person’s client, each department has its own budget for IT
    and they need to justify their own applications when they make requests
    to IT.
  • Another person responded that he tested this budget flow with
    mobile devices. Whenever new cool smart phones came out, people always
    wanted one which became a budget and management nightmare. Now, people
    have to come with their own budget if they want a cool new phone.
  • CFOs are becoming aggressively more involved in the IT budget discussion.
  • Most people don’t split their costs up across all the businesses.
  • One woman didn’t believe Interop’s recent survey of 1,000 people
    that said 40% of companies are increasing spending. She did an informal
    survey of the group of 20 and none of us were increasing
    spending.
  • Before you offer the service to your client (e.g. hosted VoIP), try
    it yourself for your own business so you have real world experience.
  • The build it yourself or go for a hosted networking solution decision is based mostly on what expertise you have in house.
  • One guy who has a series of Web application clients, spoke for
    them as a loose proxy. He noticed in repeat cases that when they were
    small they outsourced everything to keep costs down. But as they
    started growing rapidly, the outsourcing company couldn’t keep up with their growing business demands. So they brought everything in house to their own data center.
  • Seeing a shift from CapEx to OpEx.

 

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Mobile WAN optimization: It isn’t just about employees who travel

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.


Just yesterday I learned about the category of mobile WAN optimization. I didn’t even know it existed. So Joe Ghory, product marketing manager for mobile products for Riverbed and I discussed the fact that mobile WAN optimization isn’t on most people’s radar. Many people may not consider it because they may think it’s only for employees who travel. But really it’s for employees that work in small groups (e.g. satellite offices with less than five employees) or SOHO employees.

Another issue we discussed is that when you’re trying to manage data with mobile workers you don’t have much control of the bandwidth they’re using. With mobile WAN optimization, you can optimize what little you’ve got.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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The most common tech support question at Riverbed

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

In just a couple of days, Riverbed will be hitting its seventh year anniversary. Steve Smoot, VP of technical operations, who was one of the first dozen employees. He’s been around all those eight years. I asked Smoot what WAN optimization was like eight years ago and how it’s evolved to today. Back then, Smoot was evangelizing the issue of latency is affecting your business operations. Today, people have finally figured that out and that’s why there’s such a big market for WAN optimization.

And since he deals with customer support issues, I asked him what was the most common support issue he has to answer. You’ll be amused at the answer. It’s a simple mistake a lot of us make.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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Watch data run faster from the U.S. to Indonesia than in your data center

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

Is it possible that data traveling from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Jakarta, Indonesia could be faster than data traveling within a data center in Philadelphia? Such was the unbelievable discovery by Karl Ciemniecki and Nick Fiekowsky of the pharmaceutical company Wyeth when they deployed Riverbed WAN optimization.

It’s all because the amount of traffic being transmitted between Riverbed’s WAN accelerators is only a fraction of what they’re actually sending. In one example, a 1.4 MB file being sent from their data center in Phliadelphia was crunched to only 497K of traffic once it began traveling between WAN accelerators. Once in Jakarta, that file expanded back to the 1.4 MB file, explained Wyeth’s Ciemniecki.

Wyeth has been working with WAN optimization since 2005. The issues that were driving the business decision for WAN optimization have been cost reduction, lower bits, fewer data centers, fewer servers in remote sites, and less applications instances.

In their tests, Wyeth copied applications, files, and replicated desktop images. They saw 27% to 47% improvement in traffic between Philadelphia and Japan. But with specific files, they would see file reductions as high as 97% (in one case for a 2 MB PowerPoint file).

The greatest test was to create a centralized Microsoft farm, allowing people to access and run SharePoint over the WAN from a central location. Doing so allowed for better collaboration and much easier support, thanks to centralized configuration.

In the end, Wyeth said that with Riverbed, they’ve deployed fewer remote site boxes and have had easier and lower cost support. Together, that all translates to a lot fewer problems.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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Accelerate consolidation of virtual machines with Riverbed

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

I hadn’t spent too much time talking about cloud computing and virtualization, which is a hot topic at Interop, so I stopped Milin Desai, product manager at Riverbed to explain Riverbed’s foothold in the spectrum of virtualization.

Desai talked about the ease of moving virtual machines through your WAN rather than moving physical boxes. Plus, we discussed the Riverbed Services Platform or RSP which allows you to bring virtual services onto the Steelhead appliance allowing them to run alongside WAN acceleration.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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Success is about three things: innovation, innovation, and innovation

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

To get the pulse of what’s going on at Interop this year, I spoke with Lenny Heymann, General Manager of Interop. He led by explaining that the focus of Interop has been about innovation, which is the same story I heard at CIO Boot Camp just a couple of days ago. And while cost cutting in IT is an initial desire by many businesses, the way companies are consolidating and cutting costs is actually making the IT infrastructure more flexible, and opening up more business opportunities.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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WAN optimization can eliminate a huge part of your IT infrastructure

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

After watching yesterday’s WAN optimization slugfest and the discussion that WAN optimization companies agree on goals, not strategies, I decided to talk to Alan Saldich, VP of Product Marketing at Riverbed regarding how people need to expand their view of WAN optimization.

Sure, WAN optimization will reduce bandwidth over your entire wide area network, but that has much larger implications, for your entire infrastructure and deploying applications.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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