The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Archive for July, 2010

71 out of the 100 largest corporations in the world are Riverbed customers

Posted by riverbedtest on July 29, 2010

WAN optimization is no longer a niche technology; it has entered the mainstream.  Nothing illustrates this more clearly than Riverbed CEO Jerry Kenelly's recent July 22 announcement that 71 of the Forbes Global 100 are now Riverbed customers.  Riverbed's remarkable presence within the IT infrastructures of the world's largest corporations facilitates some additional interesting observations about Riverbed and its market leadership in WAN optimization:

1)  Riverbed is the most scalable WAN optimization solution — Obviously, the largest corporations also have the greatest scalability requirements, and Riverbed's success in these environments demonstrate how Steelhead solution is the most scalable WAN optimization product available.  Only facts, no bluster here–nothing proves a product offering's scalability as much as a full-scale deployment in the IT environment of a Forbes Global 100 company.

2)  Riverbed delivers a very strong return-on-investment (ROI) — Would the majority of the largest enterprises in the world be deploying Riverbed if there were not a strong ROI?  The rapid adoption of Riverbed is easy to understand in light of an IDC study showing an average pay-back period of 6.9 months, and an overall ROI of 457% over a 3-year period.  With such a strong ROI, it is no wonder that the largest enterprises are rushing to deploy Riverbed, even during one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history.

3)  Riverbed is the lowest risk option — One of the worst nightmares for an IT director is to invest in a product that sucks up the time and resources of your staff, causes network disruptions, exhibits an inordinate number of bugs, and generally doesn't work as expected.  Fortunately, the Riverbed offering has been vetted and tested in the largest, most demanding networks in the world.  If the Riverbed solution works for the most difficult network environments imaginable, then it will almost certainly work for your own environment. 

4)  Riverbed offers strong worldwide support capabilities for global corporations — Riverbed has over 100 dedicated support engineers located in at least eight locations around the world (Amsterdam, London, new York, San Francisco, Singapore, Sunnyvale, Sydney, and Tokyo) who provide 24 x 7 global coverage for Riverbed's customers.  Riverbed's support engineers are focused on one thing only–supporting Riverbed WAN optimization and network management products.

5)  If you haven't deployed Riverbed, you may be missing out — Achieving the competitiveness necessary to weather difficult economic conditions requires that businesses have cost-effective IT infrastructure that maximizes the employee productivity.  If you haven't deployed Riverbed, it's likely that your competitors have, or are in the process of a Riverbed deployment.  For those who have deployed Riverbed, the additional 15.3 hours of annual productivity per employee (according to IDC's study) contributes to competitiveness needed to not only survive, but thrive in difficult economic conditions.

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The ultimate ruggedized Branch Office Box platform

Posted by bobegilbert on July 28, 2010

Bob

One of our partners CBO has taken Riverbed's Steelhead appliance to another level.  CBO's EDGE product is the ultimate ruggedized platform that delivers enterprise connectivity
anyplace, anywhere, anytime with LAN like speed and provides a platform
for consolidation of infrastructure at the edge.

You can learn more here

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A New Customer Testimonial

Posted by riverbedtest on July 28, 2010

We've added a new customer testimonial to our growing collection!  The latest one features Karl Fischer from Traffic Planning and Design, a civil engineering consulting firm headquartered in Pottstown, PA, with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Karl and TPD are long-time Riverbed customers, and Karl has some very nice things to say about Riverbed and about his Steelhead appliances.

Posted in Bandwidth Optimization | Leave a Comment »

Demo Video: How fast is Virtual Steelhead compared to the Steelhead appliance?

Posted by bobegilbert on July 22, 2010

Posted in Virtualization | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed Announces Virtual Steelhead

Posted by riverbedtest on July 22, 2010

We
at Riverbed are very excited to announce our new Virtual Steelhead product
today.
 

Contact_us2What
is a Virtual Steelhead?  It’s a
no-hardware version of a traditional Steelhead Appliance.  The functionality of the Virtual Steelhead
should be familiar to experienced Riverbed users; it’s exactly the same as a
traditional Steelhead appliance, with all of the current technology advantages
intact.  The Virtual Steelhead takes RiOS
(Riverbed Optimization Software) and runs it as a virtual machine on any
hardware that supports VMware ESX or ESXi 4.0.

Virtual
Steelhead allows our customers to get all the features and benefits of WAN
Optimization in places and situations where they could not get it before.  We’ve had inquiries from military
organizations who want to throw Steelhead appliances out of airplanes (they
could always do that) and have them work in combat or other high-pressure situations
once they hit the ground (that part was always a little trickier).   Now
you’ll be able to take that Virtual Steelhead and run it inside a ruggedized
server as just another virtual machine.

We’ve
had customers who want the advantages of WAN optimization in an environment
where they don’t have the physical space to fit a Steelhead appliance, such as
in a local TV news van, at a construction site, or in an Emergency Medical
Services vehicle.  Virtual Steelhead will
give them all the functionality of a physical Steelhead appliance without
consuming any valuable hardware space or taking up any additional network or
power ports.

Many
of our customers have data centers that are almost entirely virtualized, and
they are reluctant to deploy Steelhead appliances in those data centers.  The virtual machines in those data centers
are already being managed by tools like vSphere, RightScale, PlateSpin,
etc.  Virtual Steelhead fits right in; it
can be managed by those same tools.  The
end result with Virtual Steelhead is that WAN optimization becomes a viable
option for virtually deployed data centers, too.

We
also hear from MSPs and their customers quite often.  Many MSPs would like to be able offer WAN Optimization
as a premium service to their customers. 
The problem (before Virtual Steelhead) is that doing so requires
deploying individual Steelhead appliances for each customer, and having
sufficient network segregation between multiple customers.   With Virtual Steelhead, the MSP need only
deploy a VM for any customer who purchases WAN optimization, enabling the MSP
to spin up multiple customers faster and more efficiently.

Virtual
Steelhead is a very exciting addition to the Riverbed product set that will
permit users to have access to WAN optimization who have never had it before.   Plus you can throw it out of an airplane… and
it’ll still work when it hits the ground!

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Riverbed Think Fast Demo: Windows File Sharing & SharePoint

Posted by bobegilbert on July 20, 2010

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed Named Q1 2010 Global Market Share Leader in WAN Optimization

Posted by bobegilbert on July 19, 2010

Today Riverbed announced that it has been named by Gartner as the Q1 2010 market share leader in WAN optimization (the WOC Advanced Platform category).  In the same report, Riverbed was named the market share leader in the WOC category for 1Q 2010 based on revenue.

Q1 was a busy quarter for Riverbed from a product and technology standpoint as both consolidation and disaster recovery capabilities received a boost.

Riverbed enables additional IT consolidation opportunities by supporting branch office consolidation with the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP).

The RSP allows customers to create a branch office box (BOB) that can run up to five additional services or applications virtually in a protected partition on the Steelhead appliance. This approach allows customers to deploy a customized library of local services in all of their branch offices, without the need to deploy and maintain full-blown servers to run the applications. Riverbed has 14 qualified solutions on the RSP, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, and solutions from McAfee, Inc., Websense, Inc., Check Point® Software Technologies, Qumu, Infoblox Inc., and OPNET Technologies, Inc.

Whether an organization is focused on consolidating file servers, email servers, SAN or NAS devices, or remote tape backup libraries, Riverbed WAN optimization solutions will accelerate application performance, typically by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, over the WAN, and reduce WAN bandwidth utilization, typically by 60 to 95%.

Riverbed WAN Optimization Accelerates Disaster Recovery Initiatives

During Q1 2010, Riverbed introduced the Steelhead 7050 model appliance to meet the performance, reliability and flexibility requirements of large enterprises. The Steelhead 7050 more cost-effectively manages large-scale data center-to-data center replication, accelerates applications across many locations and users in an enterprise, and allows organizations to build large private cloud infrastructures. This model combines new levels of throughput and connection scalability with solid-state drives (SSD) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) connectivity.
 
Riverbed WAN optimization solutions have been verified by Brocade Communications Systems Inc. as compatible with the Brocade 7500/FR4-18i Blade, according to the testing requirements of the Brocade Data Center Ready Program. In addition, Riverbed has partnerships with a variety of leading storage vendors, including Dell EqualLogic, Double-Take Software, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, NetApp and Symantec.
 
Most recently, Riverbed announced that as part of the EMC Select Program the company has been awarded the 2009 EMC® Partner Solution Award: Offering of the Year – Symmetrix®.



Posted in Application Acceleration, Disaster Recovery, Private Cloud, Site Consolidation | 1 Comment »

A Solution to the Broadband Bind

Posted by riverbedtest on July 15, 2010

I still get print versions of some of the industry's best-known
weekly magazines.  I find that even though they've gotten a lot thinner in
recent times, holding a physical copy in my hand gives the contents a bit more
importance, and I find that I am more likely to read them.  I seldom make
the effort to visit the same magazines' web sites.

This week it worked just that way.  I received the June 12,
2010 issue of Information Week in
the mail, and saw the cover story.  The cover teaser reads, "Broadband Bind: Why every US
business has a stake in improved speeds, coverage, and competition.
"
 Right up our alley here at Riverbed.
 And definitely an article that I would have missed if it had only been
published on the web site.

It's a very interesting and important article that discusses how
applications such as video, voice, backups and disaster recovery require
ever-more and ever-larger chunks of bandwidth, and that small office and home
offices have a hard time getting adequate bandwidth that is reliable and
consistently fast to work with those applications.  And that corporations,
especially those with remote branch offices, have a difficult time getting
enough bandwidth to connect all of their locations.  The author,
 Jonathan Feldman, goes on to discuss governmental regulations, how barriers to entry keep
competitors out of the broadband market, and the extreme cost of bandwidth.

But it's not until the end of the second-to-last paragraph in the
article, on page 29 (the article starts on page 20) that the author writes
anything about the efficiency of the data traversing the network:

"Relief comes when you use the
available capacity in a more efficient manner," says Mark Butler director
of product marketing with Internet services company
 
Internap.

And then
he fails to comment on that important statement.

The truth
is that improved network efficiency is the
 best answer to
these problems, and not one that should be buried nine pages into the article.
 Thousands of companies, including more than half of the Global 100, have
already seen reductions in data traffic of 70%, 80% and even more through the
simple deployment of
Riverbed Steelhead Appliances,
 Steelhead Mobile, and application-specific
acceleration modules for video, backups, disaster recovery, and many other
applications.  These companies report that once Riverbed solutions have
been implemented they can put off upgrading their wide area networks for years,
and in many cases have been able to
 downgrade their wide area networks after they implement Steelhead
appliances because of the reduction in WAN traffic, often saving tens of
thousands of dollars per month, or more.

The right short-term answer to
these broadband bottlenecks is WAN Optimization, not overhauling the nation's
broadband infrastructure.

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Are you an RSP customer? McAfee has something for you…

Posted by riverbedtest on July 14, 2010

McAfee has created a downloadable 30-day evaluation package for
their McAfee Firewall Enterprise for RSP.  The joint solution enables
customers to consolidate comprehensive branch office security functionality and
WAN optimization on to a single platform. 

The free eval download can be obtained by visiting http://go.mcafee.com/firewallvirtualrb_eval.cfm  Any customer with RSP-ready
Steelheads can try out this best-of-breed security solution.

McAfee Firewall Enterprise provides the following capabilities:

Firewall

  •  Packet, stateful, and full application
    filtering

  •  Discover and control 1,000+
    applications among 31 application categories

  •  Network address translation (NAT)
  •  McAfee SecureOS® operating system
  •  Static and dynamic routing options

 VPN

  • Compatible with IPSec-compliant VPN
    clients

  • IKEv1 and IKEv2
  • DES, 3DES, AES-128, and
  • AES-256 encryption
  • SHA-1 and MD5 authentication
  • Diffie-Hellmann groups 1, 2, and 5
  • Policy-restricted tunnels

 Web Filtering

  • Integrated McAfee SmartFilter®
    filtering and management

  • Block Java, Active-X, JavaScript, SOAP

 Anti-Spam

  • McAfee TrustedSource global reputation
    service

 Global Threat Intelligence

  • McAfee TrustedSource™ global
    reputation service

  • Geo-location filtering
  • McAfee Lab          

Encrypted Application Filtering

  • SSH
  • SFTP
  • SCP
  • Bi-directional HTTPS decryption and
    re-encryption

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WAN optimization in a Cloud environment: Five important attributes to look for

Posted by riverbedtest on July 14, 2010

Cloud2 
Much has been said about the potential benefits of Cloud-based computing, including significant cost reductions and greater IT efficiency.  But as we migrate our IT applications and infrastructures into the "Cloud," we also incur greater dependence on the WAN to access our data.

With the various WAN optimization products from different vendors available on the market, how is one to determine the offering that is best suited for a Cloudy environment?  Here are five important clues–attributes to look for–that will help determine whether a given WAN optimization offering is suited for Cloud environments:

1)  Software client that peers with cloud-based WAN optimization devices - One of the neat things about Cloud environments is that with a web browser, you can access your SaaS applications from just about any location.  It doesn't matter if you're at work, at home, in the airport lounge, hotel room–your data is available to you regardless of where you are.  To provide fast LAN-like access to your Cloud data, Riverbed offers the Steelhead Mobile product that goes anywhere you take your computer.  But a particularly important attribute of Steelhead Mobile is that it is completely integrated with Steelhead appliances, thus avoiding the need for the Cloud provider to deploy and support two parallel redundant infrastructures–one for mobile software clients and another separate infrastructure to support client-side WAN optimization appliances.

2)  Layer-7 optimization mechanisms designed for Cloud-hosted apps – Riverbed offers application-specific optimizations for applications that are commonly used in Cloud environments, including layer-7 optimizations for Sharepoint, Exchange, Oracle E-Business Suite (both JInitiator and JRE clients), and HTTP-based applications.  Riverbed's application-specific optimizations go far beyond just simple compression–they also address latency, protocol chattiness, and data encoding issues that cannot be addressed through generic compression techniques.

3)  Universal data store for scalability – Cloud-based WAN optimization services must support even greater scale than privately-deployed WAN optimization.  This is not only because public Cloud infrastructures support multiple enterprises, but also because a Cloud-hosted application requires that all employees of an enterprise–even those located in the corporate HQ offices–need to use the WAN to access their Cloud-hosted data.  Previously the WAN was only used by those employees that were not physically co-located with the main data center.  Riverbed is the only top-tier WAN optimization vendor to use a unified data store.  The importance of a universal data store for scalability is explained in one of my earlier blogs.

4)  Optimize secure traffic – Security is a key concern in public Cloud environments.  The abity to optimize secure protocols such as encrypted MAPI, encrypted Lotus Notes, SMB-signed CIFS, and SSL traffic are especially important for deploying WAN optimization into the Cloud.  Riverbed is the only WAN optimization vendor that is able to optimize all of these secure traffic types; all other vendors require that you disable security for some or all of these protocols.

5)  Close relationship with Cloud providers – What good would it be if you deployed WAN optimization products from vendor A, only to find out that most Cloud providers have standardized on vendor B?  Because WAN optimization products all use proprietary algorithms and technologies, there would be no interoperability, and you would be forced to switch products.

There is a good reason why Cloud providers are gravitating to Riverbed.  Riverbed is the leader in WAN optimization.  Riverbed also has very strong relationships with a large number of different Cloud service providers, who know that only Riverbed's offering is truly capable of meeting scaling requirements for their service provider environments.  Riverbed is already being used by a number of enterprises to optimize production Cloud traffic for thousands of employees, including Exchange and Sharepoint traffic in Microsoft Online BPOS-D cloud services.  And virtual Steelheads have also been demonstrated in Amazon Web Services' Cloud infrastructure.  Cloud providers know without a doubt that the Steelhead solution will perform reliably at the scale required to deliver commercial Cloud services; the same cannot necessarily be said about offerings from other vendors.

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