The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Archive for the ‘Disaster Recovery’ Category

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 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 »

Is Cloud Reality Beginning to Take Hold?

Posted by riverbedtest on September 28, 2011

6a00e5508a3ca78834014e8bb51a30970d-800wi As I’ve been out talking to people about using the public cloud as a target for data protection, I continue to be surprised by how much pain many organizations regularly go through for backup and recovery, as well as the variety of methods used to protect company data. Of course, the old standby is tape, and even in my days at Data Domain, where the mantra “Tape Sucks” was like a religion, everyone was predicting the rapid demise of that 1928 invention’s role in IT. And yes, tape has lost some if its place in the market for data protection, but it continues to hang around, despite all of the pain that I hear from IT professionals about it.

Why? There are probably as many theories about that as who shot Kennedy but I think it is safe to say that tape holds on for a couple of reasons:

• Disk is still relatively expensive, even if deduped, and still complex to manage
• Some (not the majority of) regulatory requirements can best be filled by tape
• Tape is a known quantity, familiar, “better the devil you know” and all that

So people seem to make do, kludging together a patchwork of solutions to keep ahead of that dreaded backup window, often at the expense of any kind of DR planning. In fact, for most SMBs and SMEs, data protection is only a secondary part of someone’s IT job. So it doesn’t always get attacked with the same vigor and focus as other IT issues. Like I said, people make do.

But that is changing. I’ve been seeing people start to take a look at the potential of doing away with all the cost and hassle of standard data protection solutions and replacing it with the public cloud. I know about all the hype about “The Cloud” but over the course of this year, the view of the cloud I’ve seen has become more measured, with people asking deeper questions about the implications of using the cloud. For storage in particular, professionals are starting to see that not all storage lends itself as easily to the cloud. The performance implications and management difficulties of moving primary storage to the cloud has tripped up both trial customers and solution providers and has strengthened the focus for cloud storage on functions such as backup and archiving, which are much better suited for the cloud in terms of performance requirements and storage methodologies. And the majority of people in that camp are looking to jettison the shackles of tape backup and adopt cloud storage.

Mainstream backup solutions are also promoting the extension of data protection to the public cloud. Last week, I wrote about IBM recently releasing a video showing how the Riverbed® Whitewater® cloud storage gateway enables Tivoli Storage Manger users to deploy a drop-in Whitewater appliance and essentially convert all the headaches of managing a backup infrastructure into freed up capital and hours that can be spent on more pressing IT needs.

Humerdeinck_8_Track I’m sure there will be some data protection issues for which tape is a compelling solution, at least for the near future. But there’s a reason you don’t find 8-track or cassette players in cars anymore, nor video tapes available from movie rental outfits. It’s also getting more difficult to find outfits that rent hard copies of movies, and even Netflix is separating off its DVD business and applying its golden brand name to its business based on cloud streaming of videos (BTW, Netflix uses Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) for its own business).

Trends are unmistakably toward more and more use of cloud storage. As technologies like Whitewater address the difficulties and/or concerns about using the cloud, this trend can only accelerate. Will tape and disk disappear? No. But if a TSM user can drop a small box in their datacenter and essentially get access to fast, secure, infinitely scalable storage, the rules of the game have undoubtedly changed and cloud storage will command a big seat at the data protection table.  

Posted in Disaster Recovery, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

IBM TSM Users Get Fast Track to the Cloud

Posted by riverbedtest on September 23, 2011

IBM recently highlighted new options for data protection using Tivoli Storage Manager in a company Flash video about the benefits of cloud storage. 

The video describes how to think through a cloud strategy and how Riverbed's Whitewater cloud storage gateway enables TSM users to replace tape and disk backup with cloud storage at significant cost and management savings, all without any changes to their TSM environment.  Whitewater maximizes data transfer performance and secures data both locally and in the cloud while minimizing capacity requirements with deduplication and compression.  Essentially, Whitewater looks and acts like you have the cloud as a backup disk target right in your datacenter.

If you are one of the many TSM users that are tired of struggling with cumbersome tape or expensive disk backup systems, take a look at the video and see if Whitewater and the cloud can help address your data protection headaches.

Posted in Disaster Recovery, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud | Leave a Comment »

Meet Riverbed at EMC Americas Forum 2011 – Performance Data Protection for the Cloud

Posted by riverbedtest on July 19, 2011

Riverbed and EMC are coming to a city near you! Starting today, in Chicago, you can meet with WAN optimization and data protection experts from Riverbed at EMC Forum events, and learn how to effectively and efficiently protect your data in private, public and hybrid clouds environments. At these day-long events, you will experience keynotes, breakouts and exhibits – all focused on addressing performance for managing your data in the cloud. Riverbed executives will discuss how WAN optimization plays a critical role in a data backup cloud infrastructure, off-site data security, lowered data protection costs, optimized storage utilization and lowered TCO from automation, as well as demonstrate integrated Riverbed and EMC solutions for data protection and backup to the cloud. 

Join Riverbed at the following EMC Forum events:

  • Chicago, IL – July 19
  • Long Beach, CA – August 10
  • Mexico City, Mexico – August 24
  • New York City, N.Y. – October 6
  • Boston, MA – October 20
  • Toronto, Canada – November 3
  • Dallas, TX – November 15

For additional information on the EMC Forum events, including event locations and registration, visit

Also, learn more about how Riverbed and EMC work together — for your data protection needs — at

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

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – Happy Birthday United States of America

Posted by riverbedtest on July 4, 2011

The 4th of July, The Glorious Fourth,  Independence Day or the birthday of the United States of America  are all names that are used to recognize the day the declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. This day marked the legal separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain and opened new opportunities for the people of the United States to have certain unalienable rights.

 Second sentence from the Declaration of Independence states “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that amongst these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

 Much like the 13 colonies that declared their independence in July 4, 1776, knowledge workers should also have unalienable rights including the liberty to access data anywhere, any time without having to deal with bandwidth and latency issues which we would all agree, if not addressed, would dampen our pursuit of happiness!

 So in tribute to the 4th let me suggest 4 ways to gain independence and performance happiness.

 1.       Know your applications and make sure to choose a WAN optimization vendor that can give you application specific acceleration.  Riverbed prides ourselves in supporting the broadest range of layer-7 application-specific optimizations of any WAN optimization vendor.  Chances are that we can improve the performance of the applications you are running

2.       Make sure that your choice supports all environments – data center, branch office, mobile workers, VDI, private cloud, public cloud, etc.  Riverbed offers WAN optimization technology that delivers best-of-breed performance for all environments eliminating the need to have different vendor interfaces, integration, and performance standards.

3.       Know where your performance issues are and have the right tools to quickly drill down to the root cause.  Riverbed’s application-aware Network Performance Management (NPM) integrated architecture gives customers robust real-time network and application performance analytics, resulting in complete top-down visibility into their network and applications. Cascade is the only NPM solution on the market that fully consolidates real-time business-level performance views with packet-level analysis all in a single data set that users can seamlessly navigate in order to quickly and accurately diagnose and troubleshoot network and application performance problems.

4.       Chose a vendor that has industry leading support. In April of this year Riverbed was recognized and certified by J.D. Power and Associates and TSIA for excellence in Global Customer Service and Support. These certifications acknowledge excellence in delivering outstanding service and support on a worldwide basis to Riverbed customers. Riverbed is one of a select few companies to receive this distinction for global certification under both the J.D. Power and Associates CTSS and the TSIA Excellence in Service Operations program in the same year.

 Typical 4th of July tradition is to celebrate by hosting a barbeque, watching fireworks or by decorating in the colors of the American flag – red, white, and blue. For our Riverbed customer’s we encourage you to celebrate your performance independence by celebrating in the spirit of the 4th.

 So whether you enjoy a nice steak and Steelhead, have some Cascade and cocktails, or decide to parade the streets decorated in Riverbed orange, we wish you a very happy Independence day!

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Corporate, Disaster Recovery, Fun, Site Consolidation, Storage Cloud, Virtualization, Visibility | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s official – businesses are doing less for disaster recovery

Posted by riverbedtest on May 25, 2011

At Riverbed, we spend so much time along with our partners like EMC, NetApp, HP, and others talking about disaster recovery that we assume everyone has heard us by now. I've even had those awkward cocktail party moments where I start rattling off some DR story and someone says, "Yeah, you've told me that one before." Oops.

Thankfully, the folks at Forrester are refilling my cocktail story trough with new data in their report, "State Of Enterprise Disaster Recovery Preparedness, Q2 2011."

I found two trends from this report really interesting:

  • Companies are reducing the number of DR sites they manage. It's no surprise that the recession has had something to do with this. And it's not a question of ROI (Companies noted on average $350,000 per hour as the cost of downtime), it's cold hard cash that's driving companies to fewer sites.
  • A whopping 65% of enterprises are interested or already implementing some sort of cloud/service based DR strategy. It's driven by the instant-on, elastic capacity nature of cloud and the desire to eliminate management of additional sites.

I think that these dynamics are certainly aligned with what's been driving the interest in DR-oriented performance solutions. Customers are looking to solutions like Steelhead to cut the cost of backing up or replicating data within their private environments; they look to solutions like Whitewater to accelerate and deduplicate cloud storage environments, and finally Cloud Steelhead to accelerate compute and applications in the cloud.

Customers tend to like the idea that Riverbed has a multi-pronged approach to optimizing disaster recovery, as we have to all recognize that priorities change, budgets change, but the need to protect your business doesn't.

I'd be interested in hearing from you – has your business been investing more or less in disaster recovery this year than in the past? And are you considering cloud as a DR strategy?

Posted in Disaster Recovery, Storage Cloud | 1 Comment »

What is the real value of my stored documents?

Posted by riverbedtest on March 22, 2011

Today's guest blogger is Mark Lewis.  Mark is the Senior Director of Marketing and Alliances for Riverbed in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) for Riverbed.  He is based in London, England.

ManDrawerI was talking with a customer recently about his storage needs, how they had grown over the years Solid-brass-radiator-bleed-key-016142M and how they were likely to grow in to the future. Truth is, he said, “It’s difficult to know what to keep and what to dispose of, so we keep everything, just in case”!

It reminded me of the ‘man drawer’ sketch by comedian Michael McIntyre. A ‘man drawer’ is the kind of place you store batteries, even old ones you haven’t had a chance to throw away yet. You’ll store instruction manuals for appliances you no longer own, new and old light bulbs, keys from homes you don’t live in any more and, of course the most masculine device key of all, the radiator bleeding key.


Why do we keep all this? I have asked this question of many customers and they all agree they know they are keeping more than they need to, but the reasons are very convincing. For some it’s regulatory needs, though they admit not all documents are regulated but it’s ‘too complicated to separate them’. For others the argument of falling disk prices means the cost of storing is always coming down, excluding management of storage of course.

071108batteries01 But how are we going to protect all that data? Even with deduplication storage technologies, the rate of growth is going to continue at a tremendous rate and more importantly what happens at the point of recovery? There are going to be a lot of old batteries, bulbs and keys to sift through or rather their business document equivalents. Old Keys 3

One assuring bit of news are the new services being launched by various organizations such as Amazon and AT&T with many more to follow, offering backup options in a multi-tenanted environment. Some call this ‘cloud storage’.

The great news is your back up really can be someone else’s problem and with technology from organizations like Riverbed with its Whitewater appliances these third party solutions can seamlessly integrate in to any IT environment. If you want to learn more look out for a number of online seminars and trade shows taking place. Or you can read more about these solutions here


Posted in Disaster Recovery, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud | 2 Comments »

International Metaphor Day

Posted by riverbedtest on March 10, 2011

Today's guest blogger is Nik Rouda.  Nik is Riverbed's Director of Marketing, Solutions and Verticals, and he writes a pretty nifty blog entry.

Though I frequently get asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” I have a hard time with this question.  Baby I’ve found that a generic brush-off like “I work in IT” never seems to satisfy, only prompting more questions.  A more precise answer generally goes “I do product and solutions marketing on how globally connected enterprises can optimize their wide area networks, gain visibility into … Hey, where are you going?”

Priceline_shatner What’s a guy to do?  How do I answer this question without getting too nerdy or being too vague?  The best efforts seem to involve metaphors: “I’m like William Shatner in all those Priceline commercials” or “I’m a televangelist,  but I promote go-fast networking gear and I don’t use much hair gel.”  If followed quickly enough with “want another drink?” then the moment passes pretty acceptably.

NDippitydoow, sometimes I’m actually talking to someone who works in technology, such as a storage administrator.  What metaphors can I use about Riverbed to get a storage guy thinking about the value of Riverbed?

Here are a few favorites:

“Companies trying to replicate all their data between data centers may find it’s like trying to force Cow-straw_design a cow through a drinking straw: everything isn’t going to fit.  Steelhead appliances greatly reduce the bandwidth requirements, just sending the fresh milk across the WAN since we’ve seen the rest of the cow before.”

“Tiering your storage for DR purposes is like picking which of your possessions to save from a burning house, a really horrible compromise that doesn’t solve the problem.  Riverbed allows you to protect everything at once, so it’s safe in the event of a disaster.”

“Buying more bandwidth to make room for replication is like building a completely new national highway system right next to the one we already have.  It would be extremely difficult to do, insanely expensive, and instantly double the cost of ongoing maintenance.  The real solution is to more efficiently use what you already have, prioritizing and reducing traffic, and minimizing congestion and collisions.”

 Vcr“The challenge of backing up data in each branch is like the pain of having to purchase a VCR for every house in America, and making everyone drive to a video store, hoping it’s easy to findMartini the movie they had in mind, and also hoping it doesn’t get lost or damaged in the hot car.  High-speed streaming, on-demand video services like Netflix are the future, reducing cost, hassle, complexity, and risk.  Whitewater is like the Netflix of enterprise cloud backup and archive.”

 So, enough about me, what do you do for a living?  Want another drink?

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Disaster Recovery, Fun, Storage Cloud | Leave a Comment »

Taneja Group asks, “Is cloud-enabled DR is ready for prime time?” Riverbed says YES!

Posted by riverbedtest on February 25, 2011

(by Steve Riley and Evan Marcus)

Yes Last month, in an article at, Jeff Byrne and Jeff Boles of The Taneja Group wondered aloud, Is cloud-enabled DR ready for prime time?  Here at Riverbed, we can confidently answer yes, indeed it is.

Implementing processes and technology for disaster recovery is like going to the dentist: no one enjoys it (well, perhaps dentists and this kid do) but if you don’t do it, eventually your organization will be in a world of hurt and you might be out of a job. Jeff and Jeff quote an Dentist-horrorinformal statistic that 25% of their readers have experienced unplanned outages. We hope you’ll never be part of that. If, however, someday happens to you, then with a little planning, your trip to the DR dentist will go much easier.

We agree with the claim that cloud-based DR eliminates much of the pain traditional approaches impose. While the authors correctly state that cloud-based DR is “a recipe matched to SME needs,” large enterprises, too, can derive the same benefits. In their article, Jeff and Jeff enumerate six challenges that cloud-based DR brings. We’ll briefly discuss how Riverbed’s new Whitewater Cloud Storage Accelerator Appliance (or just "Whitewater") addresses each of them.

  1. Ease of Use: One of the biggest challenges that IT organizations face as they migrate DR to the cloud is that they have to change their infrastructure. They need backup utilities that speak cloud protocols. And then they still have to maintain the old stuff so that they can recover data from the existing DR infrastructure. With Whitewater you don’t have to change your existing backup product at all. You just point your current backup tool at the Whitewater’s NFS or CIFS front-end, and send the backups there just as you always have. 100% compatibility. No need to change technologies. What could be easier?
  2. Security: Whitewater protects your data in transit with SSL and in storage (local and cloud) with 256-bit AES encryption. The data is never stored or transported in cleartext after it leaves its original location. The encryption key is stored in the Whitewater appliance and if something happens to the appliance, you just need to enter the key into a new appliance. And only you have the key. Not Riverbed and not the cloud provider.
  3. Access: Whitewater does something very unusual in the way it handles data that has passed through it into the cloud. It keeps a local copy of the data (encrypted, of course) so that the data can be accessed locally without touching the remote cloud. The result is dramatic improvements in speed and performance when restoring cloud-based backup data. Whitewater also uses the local data store to deduplicate data that’s going out onto the cloud, reducing your cloud costs.
  4. Recovery Time: Since a copy of the most recently backed up data is stored locally within Whitewater, there’s no need to perform most data restores across the cloud. When data does need to be pulled in from across the cloud, it is pulled into Whitewater deduplicated, vastly reducing the time and amount of data that must be moved. The data is reconstituted inside Whitewater and returned to the requesting application in its original form. Apart from the decrease in recovery time, users can’t tell that anything has happened to their data.
  5. Recovery Effort: Administrators don’t need to change the tools that they use to recover data through a Whitewater appliance. They can use the same backup and restore utilities that they use today. The Whitewater appliance will translate between the backup protocol and the cloud protocol and retrieve the backed up data with no changes to procedures and no learning curve.
  6. Provider Lock-In: Whitewater supports two cloud storage APIs today: Amazon S3 and EMC Atmos. You can easily move from one cloud to another simply by changing Whitewater’s destination.

When evaluating cloud-based DR, a question equally important to “how do I get my stuff backed up?” is “how do I get my stuff back after an outage?” This is where Whitewater really shines because of the constant movement and near-instant recovery capabilities of the cloud-via-DR-gateway architecture. How so? The authors allude to it at the end of their article:

Emerging cloud gateway vendors, when enabled by primary storage support and the ability to serve up storage from a virtual appliance, can in effect pre-stage data automatically and make it available to virtual servers in the cloud. Not all cloud gateway solutions can do this, but when they can they will further simplify the recovery process.

Whitewater can do this today. Let’s walk through a hypothetical.

Cloud-data Six months ago you deployed a Whitewater appliance on your network, pointed it to an Amazon S3 bucket, and retargeted your backup software to the appliance. All of your data is securely backed up offsite. Now the Bad Day happens: your phone rings incessantly, bloggers are griping about you, people paid more than you are mobbing your office. Now what? Well, since your data is already in Amazon Web Services, perhaps the AWS cloud can become your temporary data center? With Whitewater Virtual Edition you can start a compute instance that runs a virtualized appliance, import your encryption key, and obtain access to your data. Then you can start some application compute instances, extract your backed up data into live disk volumes, remap your DNS entries, and get back online.

No, it isn’t exactly point-and-click, at least not yet. But with some planning—mostly defining your compute instance types, understanding scale-out requirements, and testing application behavior—you can bring mission critical (read: revenue generating) applications into service in a matter of a few hours. With that out of the way, then, you can begin work on returning to normal.

There…that wasn’t so bad now, was it? Polish your smile—learn more about Riverbed’s cloud-based disaster recovery solutions today.

Posted in Disaster Recovery, Storage Cloud | 1 Comment »