The Riverbed Blog (testing)

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Archive for January, 2011

LegalTech 2011 in New York City

Posted by riverbedtest on January 31, 2011

Badge-ny11 I spent the day today in New York City at the LegalTech 2011 show.  It is a huge 3-day show going on at the NY Hilton.  Primarily the products being promoted at the show were things targeted at lawyers rather than at IT people. 

Riverbed was there, of course, and we had a small booth where we were demonstrating what Steelhead Appliance WAN Optimization might be able to do for law offices.  Just like most IT organizations with multiple locations connected by WANs, networks are stretched beyond where they should be, and they P1080498 suffer from latency issues.  The result is poor user performance for the kind of applications (Exchange, SharePoint, etc.) that run in nearly every enterprise. 

Our booth demo compared file transfer times for a moderately-sized file between an optimized and an unoptimized connection.  The unoptimized connection completes in a couple of minutes, while the optimized transfer completes in just 5-8 seconds. 

We spoke with technically-oriented attorneys and law firm IT people, along with a lot of people who were just plain curious about what it was that we did and others who knew exactly what we did, and wanted to tell us how much they like our stuff.

If you're in town Tuesday or Wednesday and can get through the storm, please stop by and say hello.  We're in Booth #408.  And we have candy.

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Keeping your business going through a Snowpocalypse

Posted by riverbedtest on January 28, 2011

Pb-101215-snow-jw-8a.photoblog900 If you live in the eastern or midwestern US, you don't need those of us who work for a San Francisco-based company to tell you what a miserable winter it's been.  (Note that I am writing this from Northern New Jersey, where outside my window there are snow piles four and five feet high…)  There were reports earlier this week of normally-60-minute evening commutes taking six and eight hours in the metro Washington DC area, and snowstorms have shut things down as far south as Atlanta this winter.  And it's not even February yet! 

When I put on the local TV news lately, so much of what I see is Snowpocalypse "snowpocalypse" and "snowcatastrophe" wall-to-wall coverage of reporters standing on the side of the busy roads with their trusty yardsticks telling us how bad the conditions are and that we should all stay home.  (I always wonder how THEY got there…) 

Fog For some businesses, a bad snowstorm or other calamity means that their employees get a day off and stay home.  For other businesses, employees have laptop computers and internet access and can work from home.  The network connections that employees have at home are often slower than at work, and if employees are accustomed to having Riverbed Steelhead-optimized networks at the office, then working from home is a LOT slower, and may be totally impractical.

 Snow_trafficThat's one of the real strengths of Riverbed's Steelhead Mobile, a software-based version of our Steelhead Ice_road_truckers-500x333 Appliance that runs on laptop and portable computers (PCs and Macs) and gives mobile users the same kind of optimization (deduplication, application streamlining, and protocol streamlining) that they have come to expect when they're at the office.  We believe that Steelhead Mobile should be part of any organization's Business Continuity plans since it lets the business continue without interruption when an external situation interrupts business operations.

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Hello, Riverbed world!

Posted by riverbedtest on January 27, 2011

New-burst Good day, everyone. Following Evan’s recent announcement about adding more voices to the Riverbed blog, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Steve Riley, recently joining Riverbed’s Strategic Technology Group—the same team to which Josh Tseng, a regular blogger here, belongs. I came to Riverbed from Amazon Web Services, where as a technical evangelist I helped customers understand how to solve the sometimes confusing problems around security, privacy, and compliance in the cloud. Before that I was at Microsoft, where for a time I worked in the telecommunications and security practices of Microsoft Consulting Services and mostly in the Trustworthy Computing Group as public speaker, customer advisor, author of several articles, and co-author of a Windows security book.

I’m thrilled to join the community of Riverbed employees, customers, and partners. Riverbed isn’t a new name to me; when people would ask for my opinions of how to squeeze the most out of their expensive network connections, Riverbed was the obvious choice and I’d recommend Steelhead consistently. While I thoroughly enjoyed my years of working to help others protect their networks and fight the bad guys, it feels good to return to my networking roots and be a part of the company truly revolutionizing the foundation of the 21st century: constant connectivity.

Cloud-computing Among other fun and challenging things, part of my role at Riverbed is to assist you, our current (and future) customers, derive maximum value from virtualization and cloud computing. Enterprise adoption of the cloud will happen—indeed, for many enterprises, the verb should be is already happening. Cloud Steelhead, in conjunction with Steelhead appliances in regional offices and Steelhead Mobile for road warriors, enable businesses to fundamentally rebuild themselves. Location matters: if you can live and work closer to your customers yet still communicate with your colleagues as easily as if you were in the office, do you really need a massive central headquarters nowadays? (I have many ideas here and will share them with you over time.) Whitewater wipes out the drudgery of backups and gives you the assurance that all of your data is preserved multiple times in multiple distinct physical locations.


At Riverbed we love pushing networks to their limits. Let us take care of quickly and safely moving and storing your critical information so that you can concentrate on the business of your business. My role is customer-facing; I look forward to meeting many of you in person soon. In the meantime, or at any time, feel free to reach out to me directly at

Posted in Corporate, People, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Virtualization | Leave a Comment »

Creators of TCPDUMP, WinPcap, and Wireshark assemble together on stage

Posted by bobegilbert on January 27, 2011

What do the creator of TCPDUMP, the creator of Wireshark, and the creator of WinPcap have in common? In addition to pioneering packet capture and analysis, they also happen to work for Riverbed.

Riverbed co-founder and CTO Dr. Steve McCanne worked with TCP/IP pioneer Van Jacobson in 1988 during the days of Arpanet.  Van was working on the TCP/IP stack and needed a reliable way to capture and efficiently analyze enormous amounts of network traffic.  Steve came up with an innovative solution that took an elegant, filter approach to capturing only the traffic you need.  Steve's packet capture invention was released into open source as the Libpcap library and ultimately as the application TCPDUMP.

Several years later in the late 90's, Loris Degioganni was a student at Politecnico di Torino, Italy.  Loris was tasked to come up with a way to capture network traffic from student's windows machines.  Loris came across a paper co-authored by Steve McCanne and he leveraged Steve's work, taking Libpcap and building a windows capture library, which he released into open source under the name WinPCap.

Around the same time, a network guy by the name of Gerald Combs was working for an ISP and needed a more robust way of analyzing packet captures.  Gerald started a weekend project that exploded to much more and Ethereal/Wireshark was born.

Below is a video covering these three pioneers sharing their story together on stage.



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Riverbed can shed the “one trick pony” label

Posted by bobegilbert on January 26, 2011


Riverbed's Steelhead WAN optimization appliance has been arguably one of the most successful IT infrastructure products since it started shipping in May 2004.  While the overwhelming market success of Steelhead is undeniable, many industry followers continued to wonder if Riverbed would be able to expand our market reach beyond our core WAN optimization competency.

My initial response to the industry followers is that if you are going to have a single product and market focus, what better market to focus on than the WAN optimization market?  Riverbed's Steelhead family of WAN optimization products has a profound impact on a variety of IT initiatives ranging from application performance to infrastructure consolidation to disaster recovery and business continuity.  Not only is there huge value with our WAN optimization products (ask our customers), there is also a large untapped market with future customers that have yet to deploy WAN optimization.  

That being said, I am happy to say that the last 2 years has seen Riverbed expand beyond our core Steelhead family of WAN optimization products.  The result is new technology, capabilities, and value for markets that extend beyond the core WAN optimization market.

The Jan 2009 acquisition of Mazu Networks, and ultimately the release of Cascade, was a clear signal that Riverbed was serious about expanding our solution set beyond core WAN optimization.  Cascade combines advanced analytics with a powerful drill-down capability to deliver an awesome solution for obtaining visibility into network and application performance.  With the recent acquisition of CACE technologies, we have rounded out our network monitoring solution set with the addition of a robust suite of packet capture, and analysis technology. 

The recent launch of Whitewater, our groundbreaking solution for optimizing cloud storage, is yet another example of how Riverbed continues to innovate in areas adjacent to the WAN optimization market.  Whitewater enables customers to leverage public cloud storage provider environments to perform data backup and recovery.

While I am excited about our new products and new market potential, I am also happy to say that we continue to focus on our foundation Steelhead WAN optimization family of products with innovative features and capabilities delivered with every major software update.  Keep your eyes open for an upcoming announcement on this front.

Can we finally shed the one trick pony label? 


Posted in Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Visibility | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Forecast: Partly Cloudy

Posted by riverbedtest on January 25, 2011

As we discussed yesterday, what follows is the first blog entry from Eric Thacker, Riverbed's Director of Product Marketing for Whitewater (the cloud storage accelerator appliance which we announced in November 2010):

These days, everywhere you look in IT, people are talking about "the cloud." Advertising, financial   reports, panel discussions, even trade shows have sprung up to cover this phenomenon.  Now the stock market has caught cloud fever.  Is this another fad like 10 years ago when the path tCloudthingyo business success was thought to involve simply appending “.com” to the end of your business name?  Or is there real fire behind this cloud of smoke?

Just as the Internet has created a wholesale change in how companies and people conduct their  affairs, so has the cloud begun to exhibit a similar impact. The old standby of email, social networking, streaming video, and now remote access to core applications are visible examples of this change.  Some analysts estimate that the cloud will be more than a $50 billion opportunity in just a few years.  You might expect someone from Riverbed, a company that is firmly positioned to enable leveraging of the cloud, to respond that the cloud is here and all CIOs should push their entire infrastructure to it ASAP.  Well…sort of.

Like the move into the Internet frontier a decade ago,adopting a strategy to tap into the benefits of the cloud can create tremendous business and operational advantages.  Lower costs, greater information access, enhanced disaster recovery, and streamlined processes are all made possible Pets-com-sock-puppet by the cloud.  But like the move to the Internet, making the cloud the core of your IT strategy without some business rationale can be perilous.  Just ask the sock puppet.

To maximize the rewards while minimizing the risks of moving to the cloud, a rational strategy is a pre-requisite.  Like the adoption of virtualization, IT managers should map out a phased adoption of cloud-i-zation.  Start with the low hanging fruit in your IT infrastructure:  IT functions that are not mission critical but that will give you real benefits if moved to the cloud.  For example, you probably don’t want to move your customer credit card transaction data to the cloud given its sensitivity but shedding the shackles of tape and moving backups to thecloud bring the full benefits of the cloud to a universal IT process.  Similarly, taking common applications that are currently stored and managed at each of an enterprise’s sites to the cloud can streamline and reduce the cost of IT processes throughout the company.  

Analyzing your specific IT requirements, including SLAs, and thoughtfully mapping those to on-site vs. cloud hosting will help avoid a knee-jerk impulse to adopt that “cloud thingy” while bringing the benefits promised by the cloud to your entire IT infrastructure.  The keys to any successful strategy are balance and thorough consideration of alternatives.  The cloud represents a quantum change to how IT is to be managed.  Surviving and thriving from this change requires that IT administration not get lost in the fog of hype and hyperbole.

In my next blog, I'll discuss some of the concerns IT managers have regarding adopting the cloud as part of their infrastructure.

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More Different Voices

Posted by riverbedtest on January 24, 2011

If you've been reading the Riverbed "Think Fast" Blog over the last six to eight months, you may have noticed that one person has been responsible for the majority of the blogging.  That'd be me, Evan Marcus, Marketing Evangelist.

Effective this week, we're introducing a change to that approach.  We are inviting a variety of different  people around Riverbed, including executives, and experienced and knowledgeable Riverbed people from Product Cloud-in-blue-skyMarketing, the field and other parts of the company to write their own blog entries.  You can look for the first of these bloggers, Eric Thacker, the newest member of Riverbed Product Marketing and the Director of Product Marketing for Whitewater, and his first-ever Riverbed blog tomorrow. He'll have some very interesting observations about the Cloud.  (I hesitate to call Eric and everyone else who'll be participating "Guest Bloggers" because we expect that they'll make multiple appearances.)

The goal of our new approach is to have new Riverbed blog entries run three to four days per week, with five or more entries some weeks.  We hope to have two new bloggers Calendarincluded in the mix every week. Bloggers will repeat every 2 months or so.  If some turn out to be more popular, we may ask them to go more often.

We hope that this approach to blogging will provide our audience with a real variety of perspectives, approaches, and writing styles about Riverbed itself, as well as the industries, partners, and products that Riverbed touches.

As always, we look for your comments on whatever and whoever appears in our blog.  Please don't hesitate to add your comments below.

And thanks for reading!

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The December Performance Hall of Fame Winner

Posted by riverbedtest on January 14, 2011

Another month and another Performance Hall of Fame winner.  Our winner for December is kdepue whose entry, Holy Cow 6.5 TB of Snapmirror traffic eliminated, pulled in the most kudos (votes).  Untitled

As you can see from the diagram, he actually removed 6.8TB from his network, and saw a bandwidth reduction between 94 and 99%. 

Kdepue is a Senior Network Engineer for an international insurance company with operations in the US, Canada, Europe (London, Ireland, Italy, and Spain) and Australia.  They have deployed 13 Steelhead Appliances over the last two years, and are planning to deploy 9 more during the first quarter of 2011. 

As you can tell from the title, even though they use the Steelhead Appliances to improve performance for HTTP, HTTPS, ICA, Exchange, SRDF, and home grown applications, they have gotten the greatest benefit from the optimization of NetApp SnapMirror replication traffic because they replicate so much data.  They saw an effective bandwidth increase of nearly 17x.

The benefit was so great that they were able to relocate the DR site for their southern California location to their midwest-US data center, which allowed them to better use their MPLS network and retire their expensive point-to-point networks between sites, and without affecting other production network traffic.

Obviously kdepue and his whole organization are enthusiastic Riverbed users, and we thank them for letting us share their story.

By the way, we're extending the Performance Hall of Fame into 2011, so get your entries and your votes in today!  You can help choose the next winner… that winner could even be you!

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InfoWorld 2011 Technology of the Year

Posted by riverbedtest on January 12, 2011

We are extremely proud to announce that for the sixth straight time, Riverbed Steelhead 02SS-toy-2011-riverbed
Appliance has been selected as InfoWorld Magazine's Technology of the Year in the WAN Optimization Controller space.

In the article announcing the award, they said  that Riverbed Steelhead is the perennial leader in WAN optimization as it uses a variety of techniques to data transmission as much as possible, including application- and protocol-specific optimizations and a compression and data deduplication engine that adjusts on the fly. They also stated that Riverbed manages to deliver more optimization improvements with each passing year. Also add greater network transparency and traffic flow reporting than previous versions, and Steelhead with RiOS 6 is a compelling solution for virtually any distributed enterprise.

Award logo Riverbed has won this award previously, of course.  In fact, we've won it for six straight years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.  (InfoWorld did not award a winner in this category in 2010.)

The award is actually a follow-up to the review that InfoWorld published on Steelhead Appliances InfoWorld review- Riverbed Steelhead rules the WAN - Networking - InfoWorld and our RiOS 6 release back in May, 2010, where they gave us an impressive 9.1 out of 10.

The reviewer, Keith Schultz, said (among many other wonderful things) "Each time I get my hands on a new Steelhead appliance, I come away impressed by how Riverbed can still find ways to improve it. The new features in RiOS 6 add even more capacity, flexibility, and scalability to an already superb product, and the new chassis fits in well with midsize office needs, yet doesn't scrimp on any particular feature. All in all, Riverbed continues to define what a WAN optimization and acceleration appliance should be. No IT shop evaluating a WAN acceleration and optimization solution should pass up a chance to put a Steelhead appliance through its paces."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

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Four Brand New Whitewater Stories

Posted by riverbedtest on January 10, 2011

Riverbed Whitewater Appliance is a new product that we introduced back in November.  It optimizes backups into the cloud, using the same kinds of deduplication and optimization that Steelhead appliances use across the WAN.  It brings tremendous security (SSL, 256-bit AES), and a huge reduction in the amount of data that flows into the cloud, while keeping a local copy of the backed up data on the appliance.  And it works with most current backup applications (NetBackup, Backup Exec).

Below you'll find four brand new videos of Riverbed customers saying great things about how easy Whitewater is to implement, and the value they've received.

Check them all out.  Each speaker discusses different benefits that he and his organization have seen.

First up, Jeff Roundtree of Pump Solutions.


Next it's Mitchel Weinberger, IT Manager at GeoEngineers.


Third, we have Jeff Cummings from Lighthouse Document Technologies.


And finally, we've got Ben Bailey at Applied Voice and Speech Technology.


Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Disaster Recovery, People, Public Cloud | 1 Comment »