The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Riverbed Goes Into the Cloud [live blog now concluded]

Posted by riverbedtest on November 10, 2010

Photo Nov 10, 11 23 19 AM Riverbed_logo_with_tagline

We are interested in hearing from you: was this worthwhile?  Did you enjoy it?  Did you watch it live?   Did you stick around until the end?  Did you also watch the live stream?  Please feel free to post comments below. 

Room starting to fill up.  More than 150 people expected in person, and more than 40 watching our web stream live.  We'll get started in a couple of minutes… 

Photo Nov 10, 11 23 44 AM 1:07
More than 50 on the web stream. 

More than 80 people watching on the video stream right now.  Things get started with a brief video about Riverbed, briefly introducing Cloud Steelhead     and Whitewater (two new products).  Collaboration.  Security.  Speed.  Imagine a world where the network isn't the barrier.  Step into the cloud with Riverbed.  

Eric Wolford The presentation begins with Eric Wolford, Riverbed's Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming.  Eric will serve as the MC for the entire event.

Eric emphasizes the simultaneous launch going on in New York, London, and San Francisco.  Same event at the same time; a big event for Riverbed.  We have 6 different key players in delivering cloud services: AT&T, BT, Amazon, Orange, EMC, and Nirvanix.  And 6 customers and two industry analysts.  Runs through the complete agenda.

Safe Harbor Statement.   (best part of the day!)

Cutting thru the cloud hype.  60% in survey say that  cloud is part of their strategy.  But 40% are confused about how to use it well.  How do you sort through the morass and the hype? 

Promise of Cloud is very efficient.  Up to 300% more efficient, Elastic Capacity, Shift from CapEx to OpEx.  Lets the enterprise focus their attention on other things.  Like the business.  Riverbed has dozens of customers who have asked for WAN Optimization in the Cloud; the cloud does not work without it.  Large companies (including Fortune 50s) are moving all of their mail and collaborations into the cloud. 

Service providers are maturing and offering new and better services.  Analysts see a $40 to $70 billion market (Storage, Infrastructure, etc. as a Service). 

Top 5 Challenges: Performance, Security, Bottlenecks, Availability, Data Locking, Vendor Lockin.  These are all opportunities for service providers.   

Cloud Steelhead is targeted at applications that need to move into the cloud.  Whitewater is targeted at storage in the cloud.  These are not FUTURE products; we will deliver these two products this quarter. 

What is Cloud Steelhead?  Regular Steelheads sit at either end of a WAN and accelerate data and applications in the data center.   (84 watching the live stream right now)  Cloud Steelhead brings that technology to the Public Cloud.  How is that different from traditional Steelhead appliances and from Virtual Steelhead?  (Glad you asked!)  1) Simple portal-based management.  2) Seamless cloud integration.  3) Subscription pricing model.  4) Instant deployment.  5) Easy cloning.

Example of seamless integration.  Cloud vendors who have signed up will have Steelhead acceleration available.  We use a discovery agent that will be bundled into virtual servers that vendors will place into the cloud; essentially enables auto-discover between the client and the local Steelhead and remote Cloud Steelhead.  (Details available separately)  It means a minimum of "futzing around".  Makes it easy and seamless to implement Cloud Steelhead.

Bob Gilbert Bob (The Orange Haired Evangelist) Gilbert is introduced to show a demo of Cloud Steelhead.  Has Steelhead Mobile on his Mac laptop, and has a T1 link with 185ms of latency connecting him to Amazon EC2 Cloud Service.  He has two servers set up there.  First we ping, and see about 180ms of latency.  Bob will demo Microsoft Sharepoint.

Accessing the Sharepoint repository at Amazon.  Downloading the first document, a 10MB file; takes a couple of seconds on a LAN.  Windows estimates 3 minutes.   Bob continues to talk as the file downloads slowly.  How can you leverage the cloud with performance like this?  And since Amazon doesn't let you access the data center, it's hard to initialize storage devices from what's already there.

With just a couple of clicks of the mouse, you can turn on acceleration to the Amazon EC2 cloud in less than 5 minutes via the Riverbed Cloud Portal.  This boots up a Cloud Steelhead at Amazon.  Then you connect your servers and apps (via optimization groups) to the Cloud Steelhead via the simple GUI.

Photo Nov 10, 1 43 04 PM 1:43
Bob's local Steelhead Mobile client auto-discovered the Cloud Steelhead!   The same file transfer that took 3 minutes took less than 2 seconds via Cloud Steelhead.  (It was a warm transfer.)

Eric comes back up on stage.   Mentions and thanks some Beta customers Gensler, Razorfish, The International Justice Mission, and AVST.  Invites up Tom Marcello, Dir of IT Engineering from Razorfish

Tom Marcello Tom: Razorfish is an interactive marketing agency; 2nd largest according to Advertising Age.  Over 2000 professionals in 21 cities across 10 countries.  "Why are we here?  Because we have fish in our name, and Riverbed likes that…. :)" They've been a Riverbed customer for 5 years.   

When Razorfish was sold by Microsoft, they had to get out of the MSFT data centers, and decided to move into the cloud for their IT.  But they had serious concerns about Cloud Performance.  Their experience with Riverbed led them to believe that Riverbed could seriously help their concerns.    Their customers want high-quality and high-speed analytics about their advertising (50GB/night).  Amazon EC2 gives them the flexibility to upload lots of data, process it, and get it off.  Performance is still a big problem for them though.  When Riverbed approached them about Cloud Acceleration, they were immediately interested. 

They had 3 use scenarios: DB queries, HTTP, File transfers.  Cloud Steelhead gave them 300% faster performance, and 80% reduction in data traffic.  Transfers went from 220 seconds down to about 72 seconds (3x faster).   Result: Customers get data faster.  Big cost savings.  Very happy with the Cloud Steelhead. 

Eric is back.  Note that one Steelhead in the remote office can accelerate both  regular and Cloud Steelhead traffic.  No new hardware is required in the remote office.

Eric now introduces Whitewater (or the Cloud Storage Accelerator).  Essentially storage is geographically distributed; more flexible and elastic.  First time a WAN has come between a user and his data.  Analysts estimate a multi-billion dollar market here.

Eric shows a continuum of storage types, going from Tier 1 (critical local data) to Archival and Backup. We see a lot more interest in this from the Archival and Backup space then the critical local data.  We hope to evolve the product to Tier 1, 2, and 3 over time, but for now we'll start with Backup and Archive.  History lesson on the history of Backup. Backups to tape… backups to disk… backups via replication… etc.

Backups to the cloud… Good news: elastic, protection, low cost.  Bad news: security, performance, rewriting apps to work in cloud environment.  Riverbed had the opportunity to introduce something in the middle to address these concerns.

Whitewater is an appliance, available both in a physical box, and to a virtual appliance.  Can be deployed in the local DC or in the remote site. Whitewater is asymmetric.  There is only a box on one end.  This is Riverbed's first and only asymmetric solution.  It will make using the cloud for storage much easier because we'll take care of all of that.  Will be low cost, secure, and fast.

Whitewater accelerates, using some of what we've done before, and some that's new. Whitewater deduplicates data and leaves it deduplicated onto the cloud storage, making the storage utilization more efficient.  AES-256 encryption will make sure that data in transit, and at rest, is secure.  The key will be kept on YOUR premises.  Nobody else will have access to it.  Whitewater will easily integrate to your existing infrastructure.  All you'll need to do is point your apps to a new destination.  (Slide showing lots of backup type apps interfacing to a variety of cloud storage vendors.) 

Unlike most 1.0 products, we are reusing a lot of technology from our existing products.  The solution is proven.  there will be 3 models.  Whitewater is stateless; if a box blows up, a new Whitewater box in a new place can easily step in.  Whitewater appliances can also be clustered.  Eric now re-introduces Bob Gilbert to show a Whitewater demo.

To really show a Whitewater demo, it can take 10 hours or more.  So Bob took 25 hours of demo time and compressed it down to just 7 minutes in a video.  Demo has a 80ms T1 connection to a Cloud Storage provider (AT&T Synaptic, powered by EMC Atmos).  Bob also put a file server in the cloud for comparison.  First: integration.  How do you connect your existing backup app to the cloud when these apps want a filesystem destination.  Whitewater presents a CIFS or NFS filesystem to the backup app, solving that problem.  

Export the shares from Whitewater, and tell the backup app (Backup Exec) to point to the shares in Whitewater.  Unoptimized new backup operation via Backup Exec.  The 5GB Egger 2001 dataset. Performance is 8-9MB/minute.  At that rate, backing up 5GB will take 9+ hours.  With Whitewater in place, reported performance increases to 503MB/minute (60-70x faster), and time to completion drops from over 9 hours down to just 10 minutes.  Now we'll try a restore operation.   Whitewater restore was also 10 minutes.  This is LAN-type performance.

Security is the 2nd issue.  Customers are uncomfortable putting secure data in the cloud; how do you ensure that it's secure?  Bob did a sniff of the datastream without Whitewater; data is easily readable in plaintext.  Whitewater provides AES-256 encryption in transit and at rest, and the data is not readable.

Deduplication.  Weekly full backups and daily incrementals.  Deduping the Egger dataset the first time results in a 6x reduction in data via deduplication.  The followinng week (the second time) sees a dedupe ratio of 11 to 1.  On Day 14, the ratio improves to 16 to 1.   The Day 21 full backup is reduced 21x.  And since the data is stored in the public cloud, there is a HUGE reduction in cloud storage costs.  Some customers have seen 30x data reduction.  Back to Eric.

Ben Bailey Eric thanks customers: AVST (Applied Voice and Speech Technologies), GeoEngineers, SM Energy, and PEG Manufacturing.  And introduces Ben Bailey, Director of IT from AVST.  15 million users for their product, offices in Irvine CA, London, Seattle and others.  Uses Backup Exec 12.5 and ships tapes offsite.  Data totals 3-4TB/week.  They expect that to grow 5+ by the middle of next year; they will outgrow their weekend-long backup window.  Considered many solutions; disk to disk and shipping disks is painful and expensive… not workable.  

They decided to look at Whitewater.  Ben totally agrees with Bob's details and statistics.  They are seeing 10-15x data reduction and that's a huge savings in bandwidth and storage.  They are using AT&T Synaptic for cloud storage.  Reduced admin overhead, OpEx, and dependency on tape.  They hope to eliminate tape for backups.   Saves up to 5 hours/week in 120 employee company.  40%+ reduction in backup window.  Restore times improved by 25-30%.  No more new tape libraries or annual support. Super-easy streamlined deployment.  It's the next generation alternative to tape.  If you can back up to disk, you can backup to Whitewater.

Eric is back.  We know that customers will migrate slowly toward the cloud, and we support a hybrid implementation.  Reviewing two announcements: Cloud Steelhead and Whitewater.  We want to surround the WAN and remove it as a constraint.  We want acceleration available anywhere: remote, virtual, data center, DR, public cloud, private cloud, etc.

Dave Russell Eric introduces Dave Russell from Gartner.  He is a storage analyst (22 years) who is currently focusing on Cloud Storage.  Seen a lot of trends come and go, especially since IT is, by nature, very risk averse.   He has about 1000 conversations a year with end users.  Helps identify trends and hype vs hope. Discusses Cloud Storage Hype vs Hope.   

Cloud model requires a lot of trust in outside companies, resources, and people.  SLAs come into play.  Compliance comes into play, especially for some industries.  Proving that data is retained, and that only the right people have access to it.  Not that different from traditional storage, actually.  SMB and Enterprise Cloud Storage Concerns survey reveals that Security dramatically leads all other concerns (performance, vendor viability, unpredictable costs, and lock-in).

Top projects for cloud deployment over the next 3 years: Backup and recovery, storage, DR.  Data needs to be safe off in the cloud.  2005 was the year of Rolling Disasters; the hurricanes hit both Florida and the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast.  Some companies were not prepared to be hit in both places at once.  Some businesses lost their data for extended periods or permanently because trucks got stuck on the highway, not because of inadequate backup procedures and policies.

Deduplication.  Hasn't it been done?  Survey: only 30% are doing some sort of deduplication today (70% aren't).  Bob's 9 hour backup is using daily data.  In fact, backups need to be done multiple times per day; who wants to lose 23 hours of data?  Deduplication can provide exactly that.   Yet it's the fastest adopted storage technology since tape.

Survey of 400 CIOs, how do you plan to contain costs?  He highlighted #2 (Data reduction techniques) and #6 (cloud computing and cloud services).  #1 is Server Virtualization.  Nearly all of these items revolve around the WAN, and Riverbed can help optimize them.   Back to Eric.

Chris Costello Eric introduces Chris Costello, Asst VP of Product Management for Managed hosting and Cloud Services at AT&T.  AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service is fully integrated with Whitewater.  Customers are using it as a replacement for tape backups.   Costs can be reduced from dollars/GB down to cents/GB by putting storage into the cloud.  Security is an important component.  Is there redundancy?  SLAs?  How are charges computed?  Deduplication and encryption is a valuable piece, and Whitewater provides that.  AVST has been a wonderful joint customer for Riverbed and AT&T. 

Virtual public cloud.  It's a combination of traditional public and private clouds.   Combines benefits of private cloud (security, QoS, bandwidth and speed), with scale and flexibility of public cloud.  Back to Eric.

Mike Feinberg Eric introduces Mike Feinberg.  Mike had worked with Riverbed back in 2002 and 2003 before we even had a product.  Mike is GM and Sr VP for Cloud Infrastructure for EMC (and a former colleague of mine).   Cloud is creating an IT Revolution.  Cloud Computing is not a computing problem, it's a data problem.  It can be solved by storage AND network technologies (not one or the other; both).  The problem we're trying to solve is one of a scale that we've never really seen before.  For a service provider, you're talking about Petabytes or Exabytes, accessible worldwide.  Huge changes in capacity and proximity.

EMC Atmos was designed to solve these problems.  Designed for choice; enabling the architects that they need with the right technology.  EMC is enabling a series of service providers (enterprise, secure, etc) to provide cloud technologies.  Riverbed lets these providers address the distance problem.  The whole ecosystem is about enabling choice to help our customers to embrace cloud.  It's about  both private AND public cloud.  A lot of interest in Backup and Archive, but there is more.  There are content-rich applications from eBay and other vendors that also need Cloud Storage.   Ease of integration and deployment that Riverbed provides, with the choice of physical and virtual is incredibly valuable to their customers.   

Geoff Tudor Eric is back to introduce a co-founder of a Cloud Provider service.  Geoff Tudor, co-founder of Nirvanix, and SVP of Business Development.  Exponential storage growth is driving cloud storage in a big way.  5 Key questions about cloud storage:  1) Can I use cloud storage with my legacy apps?  2) Can I integrate it seamlessly with my IT processes?  3) Can I do it without overloading my networks?  4) Can I get it into production quickly an reliably?  5) How can I maximize my cloud ROI?  The right answers to these questions will lead customers to adopt Cloud Storage.

Riverbed provides a fast on-ramp to the Cloud.  Enables integration with legacy apps. Integrated dedupe minimizes cloud storage and bandwidth costs.  On board "cache" creates highly responsive and reliable customer experience.  Consider cost of 1TB in cloud: $1800/year.  Compare to cost of 1 new TB in data center: $3000-4000 just for storage. Add to that cost of cooling, power, maintenance, admin, support, etc.  And de-duping can turn that 1TB into 100GB, further reducing costs.  Whitewater is a truly disruptive technology that can really drive savings for IT organizations.  Geoff quickly discussed some Riverbed/Nirvanix Use Cases.  

Jerry Kennelly

Eric is back again.  This time he is introducing the final speaker Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO, Jerry Kennelly.  "40 years in data processing, and this is a really exciting time.  This is the ultimate vision for IT: a truly virtual world, where global computing for knowledge workers of the 21st century gives users real time LAN-speed access to everything.  A cloud *is* white water, literally, thus the name.  Thanks to everyone."

And the event is concluded.  Thanks to everyone for following along.  


One Response to “Riverbed Goes Into the Cloud [live blog now concluded]”

  1. anon said

    The whitewater product looks amazing. Is this similar the the Atlas product that never saw the light of day?

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