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Archive for the ‘Bandwidth Optimization’ Category

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.

 

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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.

 

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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 »

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 »

Riverbed 101 – An introduction video to Riverbed’s products

Posted by bobegilbert on October 19, 2011

Bob Gilbert gives a high level overview of Riverbed's products.

 

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Hybrid Cloud, Mobile, Packet Capture, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Site Consolidation, Visibility, Web Content Optimization | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed Technical Leader Steve Riley Q&A on Desktop Virtualization

Posted by riverbedtest on October 18, 2011

For this week's Federal IT Q&A with Steve Riley, we examine the considerations for agencies looking to deploy desktop virtualization, the associated considerations, the drivers, user behaviors, applications, as well as how Riverbed solutions play a critical role in ensuring the best possible user experience. 

To kick things off, Steve breaks it down about what are some of the drivers for VDI. Simply put, the consumerization of IT is high on the list. An agency can allow agents to bring in their own gear, or purchase — with a budget — gear, and then provide and manage a virtual desktop with applications securely. From an IT and budgetary perspective, desktop virtualization allows agencies to not have to purchase devices, manage and refresh them.

Virtual desktop is also truly enabling the dual use personal-professional device. And, as you may expect, iPads and Android-based tablets are the devices of choice. But, the beauty of VDI is it is device independent.

So, what is the Riverbed play? How is Riverbed accelerating virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)? Earlier this year, we announced continued and enhanced support for Citrix XenDesktop. At around the same time, we announced an optimization solution for Microsoft RemoteFX. And, at VMworld in the summer, we announced an upcoming partnership with Teradici, the innovator of the PC-over-IP protocol. Clearly a lot of developments around VDI with more to come.  

If you have been keeping count, then you'll know that we're approaching the end of the Federal IT Q&A series with Riverbed technical leader Steve Riley. Next week, tune in for a recap and finale discussion on how everything we discussed (data center consolidation, cloud computing, data protection, mobility and teleworking, and desktop virtualization) is tied together. 

But for now, watch the below video Q&A with Steve.

 

 

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

Riverbed in Orlando, Florida at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011

Posted by riverbedtest on October 12, 2011

Riverbed will demonstrate its IT performance leadership at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011, taking place October 16-20 at the Walt Disney Dolphin in Orlando, Florida. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the IT industry's largest and most strategic conference, providing business leaders with a look at the future of IT. Attendees can visit Riverbed® (booth# 309) to learn about the company’s IT performance solutions, which have been selected by more than 13,000 organizations to help consolidate IT infrastructure and reduce costs while increasing employee collaboration and productivity.

Conference attendees can learn about the Riverbed product families. In addition to its core WAN optimization solutions, Riverbed will showcase its wide range of IT performance solutions spanning application-aware network performance management (NPM), application delivery and web content optimization (WCO), and cloud data protection for back up, archive, and disaster recovery.

 

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Riverbed Technical Leader Steve Riley Q&A on Telework and Mobility

Posted by riverbedtest on October 11, 2011

Teleworking – that is this week’s federal IT initiatives topic. And, everyone who I have spoken with has an opinion on the subject. One point of debate is whether or not government agents or employees should or should not be allowed to work remotely. Regardless of your stance on the matter, I talked with Steve Riley, about how to enable a teleworking model with the user experience in mind, should the user be offered the option to work remotely.

As users work remotely or on the go, they are moving farther away from the data and applications. So naturally, the cloud seems like the perfect place to store data and application for access anywhere, from any device at any time. But, therein lies the challenge.

Data center consolidation (moving the data and application farther away from the user) + cloud first policy (mandate) + telework (remote and on the go users) = Challenges

What does Riverbed offer that enables telework models? Steelhead. It works in data centers, in the cloud, as well as on mobile devices. Steelhead Mobile is based on the same technology as our Steelhead appliances, as Cloud Steelhead, as Virtual Steelhead. Bottom line is federal IT leaders can help remote agents experience the best performance possible, as if they were working next door, even if they are located across the country.

Watch the video Q&A with Steve. As a heads up, Steve dropped a stat, citing an IDC report claiming that an Exabyte of new data is created every day. To put it into perspective, an Exabyte is 10 to the 18th power. That is one with 18 zeros (1,000,000,000,000,000,000). That is one billion gigabytes of new data every day.

Where is all that data coming from? Users like you and me. 

 

 

Posted in Bandwidth Optimization, Private Cloud, Public Cloud | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Riverbed in Austin, Texas at Dell World 2011

Posted by riverbedtest on October 10, 2011

If you plan to attend Dell World from October 12–14 in Austin, Texas, then come and visit the Riverbed booth to learn about Riverbed and Dell solutions that enable customers to optimize the performance of their IT infrastructure.

As businesses, from SMB to large enterprises, continue to innovate the way they do business and adopt leading solutions for virtualization and cloud, CIOs are examining cost-effective technologies to satisfy their requirements. Moving data and applications to the cloud, data center to data center replication and disaster recovery are all key initiatives affected by virtualization and cloud computing.

Riverbed and Dell have been collaborating as strategic partners to bring IT performance solutions to customers. Specifically, Riverbed Steelhead products with Dell EqualLogic storage help optimize WAN-based iSCCI data replication. Have a read at the solution brief here. And, Riverbed Steelhead with Dell Compellent storage, delivers accelerated disaster recovery operations and increased data protection. Read more in the Compellent and Riverbed solution brief.

How are have customers deployed Riverbed and Dell, together? Here are some customer examples, from Minnwest Bank and Constangy, Brooks, & Smith, LLP.

 

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

All Sharepoint. All the time.

Posted by riverbedtest on September 30, 2011

Sharepoint1

Recently, a lot of my work has been focusing on Microsoft SharePoint 2010.  I wanted to take a moment to blog about two recent related efforts:

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 interoperability testing in Redmond

Riverbed Steelhead appliances have been optimizing Microsoft applications since the beginning, but we are getting a fresh look at improving our protocol optimization by working directly with the Microsoft Interoperability Team at the Microsoft Partner Solutions Center in Redmond, WA.  Riverbed has a lab there that we use to work with customers, but now it's great to work with Microsoft directly to get both technical teams working together.

A special thanks goes out to HP, who provided the servers and network hardware for our interoperability lab.

Riverbed booth at Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011

From the lab, I go on the road to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 in Aneheim, CA.  Our booth will be showcasing Riverbed Steelheads and the Aptimize SharePoint Accelerator.  In and out of the cloud, from document management to complete searchable websites, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 redefines the collaborative environment.  Riverbed Technology enables that capability on the WAN.

Look for the Riverbed Technology booth at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 from Oct 3-6.  Conference information can be found at http://www.mssharepointconference.com .

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Web Content Optimization | Leave a Comment »