The Riverbed Blog (testing)

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Five reasons why Riverbed will retain product and market leadership well into the future

Posted by riverbedtest on October 21, 2011

A leading analyst firm recently reported Riverbed's market share in the AP Worldwide WAN optimization market has increased to about 52%.  This continues a longstanding trend where Riverbed has gained market share at the expense of competitors.  Today Riverbed's market and product leadership in WAN optimization is stronger than ever.  But despite their past failures in WAN optimization, some competitors such as Cisco are still claiming that they will catch up to Riverbed, even as they continue to lose market share. 

Here are the key reasons why I believe those competitors are wrong, and why Riverbed will continue to provide leadership in WAN optimization well into the forseeable future.

1)  Riverbed has more engineering resources dedicated to WAN optimization than any competitor.  Because Riverbed derives more revenue and profits from WAN optimization than any other vendor, we can afford to re-invest in the core business by retaining more WAN optimization-focused engineers than any competitor.  There is no need to subsidize development of WAN optimization products using revenues from unrelated product lines and businesses.  More engineering and development resources directly contributes to Riverbed's ability to maintain and extend product and technology leadership in WAN optimization.

2)  Riverbed has more technical support resources dedicated to WAN optimization than any competitor.  The professional expertise of Riverbed support personnel is a key reason why recent independent customer surveys performed on Riverbed customers by JD Power and Direct Opinions reported overwhelming satisfaction with Riverbed technical support services.  In addition to these independent surveys, Riverbed's own customer surveys show feedback ratings of 4.64 out of 5 (with 5 being the highest) for the most recent quarter.  Riverbed has also won a number of awards for outstanding customer support, including the 2011 "Support Center Excellence Award," and the 2010 "Best Emerging Company Support" and "Best Service Optimization Delivery" Award by the TSIA and ILS.

3)  Riverbed Steelhead is best-of-breed for any and all WAN optimization requirements.  Some competitors claim their WAN optimization products are best suited for high-speed data center replication requirements.  Others claim that they are better at optimizing virtual desktop (VDI) traffic.  Still others may claim they are appropriate optimizing traffic to branch offices, although they have discontinued their data center replication capabilities and have to OEM a software client from another vendor.  Some vendors believe their virtualized WAN optimization products somehow give them an edge.  In contrast, Riverbed offers best-in-class WAN optimization capabilities for any and all WAN optimization-related customer requirements.  This includes appliance-based Steelhead products for branch office, data center replication, and VDI requirements, or Steelhead Mobile software client for mobile users, or a virtual or cloud-based Steelhead for cloud computing environments.  With Riverbed there is no need to go to a different vendor and use a different product for your various WAN optimization needs.

4)  Riverbed has added tight integration with complementary products. There is strong integration between the Steelhead solution and other Riverbed offerings including Cascade and Shark.  Today, Steelhead appliances can feed data to Cascade in order to provide unprecedented visibility in to the network.  Shark capabilities have also been integrated to Steelhead and Cascade to allow detailed packet capture and analysis anywhere Steelhead products are deployed. Integration will only increase in the future for these and other Riverbed products.

5)  Riverbed is best positioned deliver WAN optimization for Cloud-hosted applications.  Steelhead Cloud-based WAN optimization capabilities make Riverbed relevant for all enterprises, including small businesses who may not have private WANs today but are contemplating use of Cloud-hosted applications in the future.  Riverbed has partnerships with key Cloud vendors such as Akamai, Amazon, VMware, Microsoft, and others.  More importantly, only Riverbed products have the scalability, technology, and sophistication necessary to fully integrate into the infrastructure of Cloud application providers.  But of course, Steelhead virtual instances deployed within the infrastructure of leading Cloud providers will not interoperate with WAN optimization products from other vendors.  This means that enterprises–including those who don't currently use WAN optimization, as well as those who use products from a different vendor–will need to consider using Riverbed if they wish to obtain fast optimized performance for their Cloud-hosted applications.

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