The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Archive for June, 2010

Riverbed CEO and CFO making milkshakes

Posted by bobegilbert on June 30, 2010

Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly and CFO Randy Gottfried roll up their sleeves and prepare milkshakes for their hard-working employees.  John Chambers is doing a great job running Cisco, but does he take the time to make his employees milkshakes?

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Partner video demonstrating WAN optimization

Posted by bobegilbert on June 30, 2010

Nice video from one of our partners (Transcend United Technologies) as they use a clever method of demonstrating WAN optimization

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BT video spotlights WAN optimisation service based on Riverbed

Posted by bobegilbert on June 28, 2010


BT recently posted a Virtual Expert video on AAI WOS (WAN Optimisation Service).  This is a great intro video that describes the BT offering that is based exclusively on Riverbed.  Another interesting note is that BT is not only a Riverbed partner, but also a customer as they use Riverbed internally for their WAN optimization needs.

You can access the video here

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Disaster Recovery, Site Consolidation, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lots of new Riverbed customer stories

Posted by riverbedtest on June 25, 2010

We don't always blog about these, but we've got a whole bunch of recent Riverbed customer
stories that have appeared in industry and business publications, including Forbes Magazine.  Check 'em out and see the kinds of great things that our customers say about us.

private cloud computing infrastructure with WAN optimization
Jessica Scarpati
June 2010 |

a private cloud computing infrastructure gives enterprises more control than
they would have with a public cloud and allows them to get a greater return on
investment from their server virtualization efforts. But moving resources away
from users into a private cloud computing facility also attracts an enemy
familiar to WAN managers who have consolidated data centers — latency.


Up Today's Slower Internet
Gene Marks
June 2010 I

the days of dial-up Internet access? Of course you do. Seinfeld ruled the
airwaves and AOL was king of the Web. O.J. couldn't fit into his glove. The
Cowboys were still America's
team and Michael Keaton was–can you believe this?–Batman.


center consolidation demands WAN upgrade and optimization

By Shamus McGillicuddy
09 June 2010 | 

A global law firm wanted to enjoy the economies of scale that a large data
center consolidation project could bring. It found that upgrading its data
center infrastructure required upgrading its wide area network (WAN) as well,
executing an MPLS migration and deploying WAN optimization controllers
throughout the company.


acceleration allows law firm to share SAN data across distances
Dave Raffo
June 2010 |

director of engineering for an international law firm with NetApp storage in
seven sites around the world calls WAN acceleration the "key enabler"
that allows his firm to replicate data and share documents between offices and
data centers on three continents


find the secrets of WAN optimization

By Tim Greene
03 June 2010 I Network World

Similarly, Columbian Chemicals of Marietta, Ga., was doing server
consolidation, says Eric Mermelstein, the enterprise infrastructure architect
for Columbian Chemicals. After testing boxes from Cisco, Expand Networks and
Riverbed, company decided on Riverbed. The gear is now installed at 18 sites
over a meshed MPLS WAN from Verizon, allowing the elimination of 14 local
servers and their associated costs.  

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The rise of the ‘false cloud’

Posted by riverbedtest on June 23, 2010

I’m currently at the GigaOm Structure conference, listening to the CTO of Amazon. One of the more entertaining comments he made was that private clouds should be called false clouds. He certainly got a good chuckle from the audience , but what do you think?

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Cisco’s WAAS 4.2 release

Posted by riverbedtest on June 23, 2010

This week, Cisco released WAAS 4.2.  But unless you've been paying close attention to obscure postings on Cisco's community website, you probably haven't noticed.  Departing from their previous behavior in past WAAS releases, it now seems Cisco doesn't even care if their customers know about their newest WAAS software.  For whatever reason, Cisco seems to want to keep expectations low.

Normally, this would be a climatic event.  Back in August 2006 Cisco made every attempt to sensationalize the introduction of WAAS 4.0.  Actively encouraged by Cisco, a number of industry pundits even predicted WAAS 4.0 would be the "Riverbed killer."  But the numerous accounts of painful experiences from WAAS users clearly showed that Cisco's effort to catch up to Riverbed had failed.  All Cisco could do was to promise to fix the bugs and add the missing features in the next WAAS release.

Fast forward to June of 2008.  Again, Cisco actively encouraged and sponsored broad industry press coverage to herald the introduction of their new WAAS 4.1 release.  Cisco boldly declared that WAAS 4.1 had fixed the problems with their earlier WAAS 4.0 release, and had added the features needed to catch up to Riverbed.  Certainly, WAAS 4.1 did add some new features, but bugs and other issues surfaced with a vengeance, making WAAS painful to use, if not completely unusable in larger networks.  All Cisco could do was to again, promise to fix the bugs and add the missing features in the next upcoming WAAS release. 

So why isn't Cisco hyping their newest "major" WAAS release as they have in the past? WAAS 4.2 is supposedly the culmination of 2 years of intense development effort by Cisco's dedicated WAAS engineering team.  If Cisco is indeed committed to the WAN optimization market, and if they still have visions of one day dominating this market, then shouldn't they be ratcheting up their marketing?

A perusal of the WAAS 4.2 release notes seems to show why…the list of new features and capabilities in the new software is unimpressive.  This culmination of 2 years of development effort doesn't seem to have produced any major new capabilities. Of course, Cisco will try to spin and rationalize about the importance of each of these minor features (like how support for wildcard-matched domain names in SSL certs–a feature that Riverbed has had for more than two years–are supposedly important for Cloud environments).  But the bottom line remains that more than anything, this "major" software release is yet another attempt to fix bugs and other problems from earlier WAAS software releases.  

In the meantime, over the two-year period that Cisco has taken to engineer WAAS 4.2, Riverbed has introduced three major new RiOS software releases (RiOS 5.5, RiOS 6.0, and RiOS 6.1), each of which offer a number of truly significant new features and capabilites.  As Riverbed's offering continues to advance in its sophistication, WAAS lags further behind, missing an ever-growing list of features and capabilities that are available in the Riverbed solution, including SMB-signed CIFS, Macintosh CIFS (OSX 10.5 & 10.6), encrypted MAPI, MAPI pre-pop, Oracle Forms, Citrix ICA, FCIP, SRDF, Lotus Notes, solid state disks (SSD's), data store synch, etc. 

Given that it's taken Cisco 2 years to engineer what has turned out to be marginal changes and improvements, one has to wonder if future versons of WAAS will be much different from what WAAS customers have to live with today.  Certainly, Cisco's recent timid behavior seems to be an implicit admission that they've given up any hope of catching up to Riverbed.

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Branch Office Security and Acceleration with McAfee and Riverbed

Posted by bobegilbert on June 10, 2010

With the McAfee-Riverbed partnership announcement earlier this year, organizations looking to both secure and accelerate their branch office infrastructure now have a powerful option that combines McAfee's award-winning branch office security platform with Riverbed's market-leading WAN optimization.

The partnership recently took another step forward as McAfee announced some pretty significant partner incentives that award McAfee partners who sell Riverbed and partners addressing customers who
have already installed the Riverbed Steelhead appliance inside their

McAfee Firewall Enterprise is integrated into the Riverbed
Steelhead appliance by way of the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP), a
virtualized environment that runs on the appliance.  This integrated solution combines a single box platform containing Riverbed's WAN optimization and McAfee's multi-layer firewall.

Think best of breed branch office security combined with best of breed WAN optimization.  What's not to like?

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Steelhead spotted in the wild

Posted by bobegilbert on June 9, 2010

On my commute home today from San Francisco to the suburbs, I ran into this IT guy on his way to do an install. Notice the big smile on his face.

Steelhead spotted in the wild

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Does Riverbed reverse engineer? Does it matter?

Posted by riverbedtest on June 9, 2010

Today I had a customer tell me that Cisco was accusing Riverbed of "reverse engineering" IBM's Lotus Notes in order to deliver the fast performance that our customers enjoy.  To distract from the fact that their own WAAS product lacks layer-7 optimization capabilities for Lotus Notes, Cisco was attempting to discredit the Steelhead solution's Lotus Notes optimization feature by accusing Riverbed of the deadly sin of "reverse engineering."

I had to think for a bit on what Cisco meant by to "reverse engineer."  It's true that we have IBM's product in our labs, just like we do Microsoft's, Citrix's, and a host of other vendor products that our customers use.  It's also true that we  study and analyze how these products behave in order to deliver our layer-7 application-specific optimization capabilities.  So to try to figure out what Cisco was intending to say in their accusations, I looked up the term "reverse engineer" in the Webster dictionary, which says:

Main Entry: reverse engineer
Function: transitive verb
Date: 1973

: to disassemble and examine or analyze in detail (as a product or device) to discover the concepts involved in manufacture usually in order to produce something similar

reverse engineering noun

So let's see if what Riverbed does fits the definition of "reverse engineering".  Well, we're certainly not trying to create a product that is similar to Lotus Notes, but we do examine and study the Lotus Notes product in detail, in order to deliver application-specific optimization capabilities for it.  So without apology, we plead guilty ot the first charge–we are guilty of studying and analyzing IBM's Lotus Notes product in great detail.  We do this in order to understand how to deliver wickedly-fast performance over the WAN for for the Lotus Notes application. But as for the second charge, we plead innocent.  Obviously, Riverbed is not trying to copy IBM's product to create another messaging application, or to compete with IBM's Lotus Notes product in any way.

So if these pleas hold weight in a court of law, does that make Riverbed guilty of reverse engineering?  You know, I really don't know.  And even if it does, why does it matter?

To be honest, I'm confused as to why Cisco is making these "reverse engineering" accusations.  It's almost as if someone accused me of supporting the Republican political agenda, or of opposing nuclear disarmament.  Even if it were true, why is it relevant and why should you care?  And wouldn't Cisco's WAAS users be better-served if Cisco were to address problems that are affecting WAAS, instead of distracting them with confusing accusations about their competitor's products?  Wouldn't Cisco's customers be more interested in knowing if or when Cisco will finally introduce layer-7 optimization for Lotus Notes in their own WAAS product?  Or understanding why after so many years of selling WAAS why Cisco's product still has scaling issues and interoperability problems with Microsoft products?

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Riverbed Think Fast Demo – Microsoft Exchange

Posted by bobegilbert on June 7, 2010

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