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Archive for the ‘Application Acceleration’ Category

Don’t miss us at Autodesk University 2011

Posted by riverbedtest on November 15, 2011

AuNovember 29 through December 1st I will be at Autodesk University at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas showcasing Riverbed's stellar results with Autodesk Vault. It has been an absolute pleasure collaborating with the Vault team.

Autodesk Vault is a data management tool which integrates with popular Autodesk products such as Inventor and AutoCAD. It provides a means for tracking files for management as well as version control for various Autodesk formats (dwg, revit) as well as non-Autodesk files (doc, xls). Vault server uses an SQL database backend and the client-server communication is done over HTTP.

Riverbed's HTTP optimization blade fits right into the Vault model providing huge benefits for client-server communication. In addition, we saw some great results in SQL performance over the WAN.

I highly encourage anyone attending the sessions to check out the 'Go Big or Go Home! Part3 – Extending Autodesk Vault to the Enterprise' class taught by Ross Tanner. Ross's class provides some great insights into:

  • Configuring Sharepoint for extending Vault data to the enterprise
  • Configuring Vault for the enterprise
  • Impact of WAN acceleration for Vault optimization
  • Describe what the new SharePoint integration can do for your organization
The schedule for Riverbed related talks are

Title

Date

Time

Presenter

Location

Riverbed Technologies – Breaking the WAN performance barrier 

Tuesday, Nov 29th 2011

8:10pm

Avinash Shetty

Theater

Go Big or Go Home! Part 3 – Extending Autodesk® Vault to the Enterprise

Wednesday, Nov 30th 2011

10:15am

Ross Tanner

TBA

Riverbed Technologies – Breaking the WAN performance barrier

Wednesday, Nov 30th 2011

8:10pm

Avinash Shetty

Theater

Riverbed is a proud sponsor of the Autodesk University, one of only a handful of companies to do so. Please come by the Presentation Theater where I will be presenting the results of our latest study and a live demo. See you there.

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Posted in Application Acceleration, Events, People, Technical | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What is this Stingray Traffic Manager, anyway? (Part 2)

Posted by bobegilbert on November 10, 2011

In this, our second in a series of videos on the Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager, Developer Alex Gosse talks about its ability to both balance traffic and monitor traffic loads per service or per user.


 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Load Balancing | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed at Akamai Government Forum; Steve Riley to Present on Hybrid Cloud

Posted by riverbedtest on November 9, 2011

With initiatives, mandates and reforms in place aimed at bringing efficiencies to government IT, it should be no surprise that over the last few months you’ve seen a lot of Riverbed at government IT conferences and events. After all, our IT performance solutions help government agencies meet initiatives, mandates and reforms – from enabling data center consolidation, to helping reduce costs for IT, and executing on the cloud first policy.

On November 16, Riverbed will be at the Akamai Government Forum, taking place at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. The second annual Akamai Government Forum will focus on the latest solutions for scaling the Internet infrastructure for local, state and federal government agencies. Visit the Riverbed station to see demos and learn about our cloud performance solutions, including Steelhead WAN optimization, Stingray application delivery and Web content optimization, Cascade application-aware network performance management for traffic visibility, and Whitewater cloud storage gateways for data protection.

And, because you can’t get enough of him, Riverbed technical leader, cloud expert and aficionado Steve Riley will deliver the cloud track discussion on hybrid cloud from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.

In his presentation, Steve will highlight how the performance problems associated with distance computing can be mitigated with optimization techniques designed for multiple layers: application, transport, network and storage.

Here is the teaser:

No longer just the fluff of airplane magazine articles, cloud computing is here to stay. The architectures envisioned for large public cloud providers are revolutionizing on-premises data centers, too. Hybrid clouds – clouds that utilize both public and private resources – allow agencies to spread workloads across multiple locations to satisfy distinct policy, regulatory, security and financial requirements. Hybrid clouds, like their individual counterparts, involve adding distance between users and their data. In most cases, the particular distance at any point in time is unpredictable, which will lead to inconsistent user experiences. Applications deployed in hybrid clouds often move large amounts of data across multiple internal and external providers; long waits for data transfer will affect productivity and availability.

Stop by; learn everything you need to know about optimization, acceleration and performance to meet the government IT mandates; and tell us what you thought of the conference.

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Data Protection, Events, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Visibility, Web Content Optimization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed Customer Video – Energy Future Holdings

Posted by bobegilbert on November 4, 2011

Michael Taccino, VP of IT & Infrastructure, Energy Future Holdings shares his experience with Riverbed's Steelhead WAN optimization and Cascade visibility products.

 

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

The importance of agility

Posted by riverbedtest on November 3, 2011

 An underappreciated aspect of the Steelhead product line is that it has a diverse set of form factors and – crucially – those different packages all use the same optimization architecture, and thus interoperate. What does that mean for a customer?  It gives tremendous flexibility to adapt to changes in how data and users are distributed, without needing to cause ripple effects elsewhere in the infrastructure.  Let’s consider a simple (and common) example first before we move on to looking at the larger implications. 

Organizations often have some branch offices that are very small.  For the very smallest offices and individual users, it’s usually not hard to decide that the right solution is to use Steelhead Mobile on a laptop or workstation.  And when you get to  10-12 people in an office, both the technology and the ROI arguments for a Steelhead appliance (physical or virtual) are pretty easy to make.  But there’s an area in the middle, around 5-6 users, where there’s enough overlap of capabilities that either approach could work.  Add to this that a given office may grow or shrink enough so that the original configuration in the office may need to be replaced with a different one.

 Using the Steelhead family, these choices and changes at the branch can be accommodated with no additional impact on the data center side.  For a given workload from a given set of users, it just doesn’t matter whether they’re coming from a Steelhead appliance or Steelhead Mobile. 

 Now, if you’re only familiar with Riverbed, at this point your reaction is probably something like “so what?  Big deal!”  But let’s look at just this one scenario with the #2 vendor: their mobile client doesn’t use the same technology as their appliance, so you have to have two separate data-center infrastructures to support the branches if you have a mixture of the technologies.  And as you migrate a given branch from appliance to mobile or vice-versa, you’re changing the load on the corresponding data-center pieces. 

 That divided-technology approach means that it’s easy with the #2 vendor to be in a situation where an apparently-straightforward change at a branch gets tripped up because it exceeds the capacity of some piece of data center infrastructure.  Another layer of complexity comes from the fact that these two different technologies have different network characteristics: their appliance uses an autodiscovery mechanism somewhat like the way that Steelheads work, while their mobile client needs an explicit connection set up to its data-center counterpart.  Their appliance marketing repeatedly insists on the necessity of transparency and the avoidance of tunnels, while the mobile client uses a tunnel-based system – so it’s possible that a particular branch network configuration that works with one of the technologies simply won’t work with the other.

 It’s tempting to say that the divided-technology problem of the #2 vendor is just a typical lapse by a very large company, and that smaller competitors would have a better approach. So we look at the #3 vendor in our space, which is a private company that prides itself on only doing WAN optimization.  But they don’t have any mobile client at all!  So their theory is that you should just pretend that you don’t need WAN optimization when you’re out on the road and dealing with networks in coffee shops and hotels – exactly the opposite of most real-world experience.  And apparently when your branch is too small to support an appliance or virtual appliance, you should just stop using WAN optimization.  (All of a sudden, the #2 vendor looks really good by comparison.)

Before we leave this topic, it’s worth noting that the preceding comparison actually understates the Riverbed advantage. A further advantage comes from the fact that Steelhead Mobile and a Steelhead appliance (physical or virtual) can cooperate via branch warming. In branch warming, Steelhead Mobile and a local Steelhead appliance work together: each time a piece of "optimization vocabulary" is used by the machine running Steelhead Mobile, the mobile client and the appliance coordinate so that both have a copy.  As the mobile client is used in the branch office, their vocabularies will tend to converge.

Without spending too much time on the details of how it works, let’s talk about where it’s useful:  Sometimes there are enough people in an office to justify an appliance, but the nature of the work means that some or all of them have a significant need for mobility – often because they are salespeople, hands-on repair technicians, or field supervisors.  They can use Steelhead Mobile when they are on the road, but they stop needing a mobile license when they’re in the office, and they take the benefits of their office work (newly learned optimizations) back on the road with them when they leave. 

 Now let’s talk about the bigger picture of why this matters.  After all, your organization may not have small branches or mobile users, so that set of examples might not impress you. But the same general principle of agility through a common architecture is more broadly useful, and almost certainly can make a difference to your organization now or in a future configuration.

 A way of getting a handle on this is to list out the different “packages” of Steelhead technology:

  • Physical appliance
  • Virtual appliance
  • Cluster of appliances (physical and/or virtual)
  • Software client
  • Cloud-integrated service
  • “Blade” for HP switch

 All of these interoperate with each other – so it’s easy to go “physical to virtual” or vice-versa without needing to disrupt the other side of the application.  Likewise it’s easy to have a set of services growing beyond the capacity of a single appliance, or migrating into (or out of) a cloud service, without prompting a redesign or redeployment of the client side.

 Again, a comparison with the #2 vendor is illuminating. A casual examination of their WAN optimization product line would suggest a similar kind of breadth and agility. They have a variety of packages of WAN optimization technology. But it turns out that the commonality is more marketecture than architecture.  That is, they use a common branding for what are actually 3 very-different classes of products: what we might call “main”, “mobile”, and “express.”  The “mobile” products can’t interoperate at all with “main” products or with “express” products.  The “main” products and “express” products can interoperate, but only at the lower level of function supported by the “express” products.  So actually trying to use the #2 vendor products for Riverbed-like agility can lead to all sorts of unpleasant surprises, as WAN optimization functionality either doesn’t work at all (mobile/main and mobile/express combinations) or works with sharply reduced functionality and performance (main/express combinations).

IT organizations need agility and flexibility to meet changing circumstances and demands.  The Riverbed single common architecture approach for WAN optimization helps ensure that Steelhead technology can help meet that need.

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Hybrid Cloud, Mobile, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Site Consolidation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Video: Application Performance in the Cloud

Posted by bobegilbert on November 2, 2011

Bob Gilbert sits down with Zeus Kerravala from the Yankee Group to discuss application performance in the cloud.

 

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Hybrid Cloud, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed Technical Leader Steve Riley Q&A on Distributed Recentralization

Posted by riverbedtest on November 1, 2011

Thank you for tuning in to the Federal IT Q&A series with Steve Riley, our friend for all things cloud. With this episode, we're wrapping up the series with one question and one answer. 

The question: what does the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, Cloud First policy, data protection, mobility and telework, and desktop virtualization, have in common?

The answer: Distributed recentralization. In the below video, Steve provides a history on the computing models we've experienced (i.e., mainframe, client-server and centralized computing), and talks about the direction we're moving towards – distributed recentralization. The trend is that we're moving to fewer but larger data centers. And, compared to centralized computing (creation, access and process happening in one place), with distributed decentralization, access and creation are happening in one place, and processing and storage are happening in another place. Also, with fewer data centers, these two activities are occurring at even greater distances in the past ten years. 

This is why adding a layer of intelligence to networks is critical.

 

Actually, there is one more question. What topics — within the realm of IT performance — would you like to see from us?  

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Data Protection, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Optimizing Your Global Infrastructure for SharePoint – Part 1

Posted by riverbedtest on October 28, 2011

SharePoint is an amazingly rich and robust solution that has taken off like a rocket.  However, SharePoint’s performance isn’t always perceived as rocket fast by remote users.  Many times organizations forget not everyone is at HQ sitting around the corner from the SharePoint servers…where they have virtually unlimited bandwidth and only 1 – 2 milliseconds of latency.  In most global organizations employees are at remote sites far away from the SharePoint servers…where they have limited bandwidth and much higher latency.  This limited bandwidth and higher latency correlates to a slower user experience and subsequently lower productivity.

In this multi-part blog post we will discuss how your organization can optimize your infrastructure to ensure your employees get a very fast SharePoint experience – no matter where they are.

Screenshot_cascade_profiler_discovery_service_mapOne of the first tasks most large global organizations will want to undertake is understanding how their SharePoint environment overlays the infrastructure.  Cascade’s dependency mapping, performance monitoring, multi-tier service maps, transaction analysis and other capabilities empower organizations to better understand, consolidate, support and troubleshoot global SharePoint environments.  For example it can help answer questions such as:

  • Where are my SharePoint Servers? > Are any of them unauthorized, or at remote sites and need to be consolidated?
  • Which sites/users connect to which servers? > How fast is their experience? > Which users are the most disadvantaged?
  • How many of my SharePoint users connect from the Internet/VPN versus internally?
  • How many objects make up specific web pages? > Which objects are the largest/slowest? > How much delay is on the server versus the network?
  • What backend servers do my SharePoint web servers connect to and depend upon?
  • Are the SharePoint/IIS servers authenticating to a local Domain Controller for all users, or are they unexpectedly hitting a remote Domain Controller for some users?
  • How much bandwidth does my crawling of regional SharePoint sites consume? > Is it impacting business applications?
  • How much backup traffic does SharePoint generate?  Which path does it take to the DR/COOP Site?

Now that we understand SharePoint globally it is time to start strategizing how to improve performance.  There are several ways to approach this and priorities will depend on your organization’s goals.  In this series we’ll take the approach that user productivity and application availability take priority over infrastructure optimization. 

The fastest and easiest way to optimize general user experience and productivity within SharePoint is to optimize the content being served up.  To accomplish this Stingray Aptimizer, formerly Aptimize, has consistently been found by SharePoint administrators to be the solution of choice. It makes web pages pages 30 – 75% faster, increases server throughput, and takes only a few hours to fully configure and start improving performance.  Plus you can kick the tires for free prior to making a decision. 

Stingray Aptimizer is loaded on the SharePoint web server as a Runtime Page Optimizer (RPO).  A_site_analyzer
It improves performance by file merging, dynamic layout, compression, caching and more so that users see the page significantly faster. This results in fewer objects, fewer authentication turns, more use of the browser’s cache, lower network utilization and less load on the server infrastructure.  It has a huge impact on productivity and encourages users to engage SharePoint even more.  For third-party validation read about how Microsoft uses Stingray Aptimizer on their own SharePoint site.  

For the uber-geek here are live reports from http://www.webpagetest.org so you can compare optimized and non-optimized performance of Microsoft's SharePoint site.

Homepage 
Customer page 

If you’re a visual person here are two great videos about Stingray Aptimizer:

1)    How It Works

2)    How to Install, Configure & Deploy

Wondering how much faster your SharePoint could be?  What are you waiting for? Give Stingray Aptimizer a try for free today.

In the next post of this series we’ll discuss how Stingray Traffic Manager and Application Firewall intelligently load balance, scale and protect global SharePoint environments.

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Visibility, Web Content Optimization | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Video: Riverbed is looking for SaaS acceleration beta customers

Posted by bobegilbert on October 27, 2011

Riverbed is looking for customers that are interested in extending their Steelhead WAN optimization to SaaS applications such as Office 365, Salesforce.com, and Google Apps.

This groundbreaking technology is a joint effort from both Riverbed and Akamai and for existing Steelhead customers, it requires no new hardware. If you are interested in participating in the SaaS acceleration beta, please email Bob Gilbert: bob@riverbed.com.

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Hybrid Cloud, Public Cloud | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stingray Traffic Manager Overview Video

Posted by bobegilbert on October 27, 2011

Owen Garrett, Director of Product Management for Riverbed's Stingray line of asymmetric optimization products, provides an overview of the Stingray Traffic Manager.

 

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Virtualization, Web Content Optimization | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »