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Archive for the ‘Virtualization’ Category

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?  

 

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Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Data Protection, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud, Virtualization | 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 »

Introducing the Stingray Product Family

Posted by bobegilbert on October 25, 2011

Apurva Dave, Riverbed VP of Marketing, provides an introduction to Stingray, which is Riverbed's new line of asymmetric optimization products.
 
You can also read the press release here

Posted in Hybrid Cloud, Virtualization, Web Content Optimization | Tagged: , | 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 »

McAfee Focus 2011

Posted by riverbedtest on October 14, 2011

Fresh off a fun and successful Interop New York last week, I go back on the road next week to McAfee Focus 2011 in Las Vegas.  There we will be showcasing the latest in Riverbed Technology including your favorite McAfee products running seamlessly on the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP).  RSP allows you to run up five additional services and applications on your Steelhead Appliance, turning it into a true Branch Office in a Box. 

McAfee Web Gateway and McAfee Firewall Enterprise are two such applications that run on RSP.  With McAfee Web Gateway you get the #1 rated anti-malware solution for Web 2.0 threats.  With McAfee Firewall Enterprise you get a next-generation firewall designed to give you protection and control over your network.  And with RSP you can deploy these solutions on your Steelhead Appliance, no additonal hardware needed.

Look for the Riverbed Technology booth at the McAfee Focus 2011 conference from October 18-20, 2011.

Posted in Events, Virtualization | 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 »

The same, but different

Posted by riverbedtest on September 16, 2011

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."   With all of the challenges and the increasing pace of decisions that need to be made in corporate IT these days, I suspect there are a lot of geniuses running enterprise networks!

Many of our customers tell me they have a similar dilemma — "I have a lot of branch offices and sites, each with their own personality, requirements and expectations, yet I achieve a lot of benefit in IT by keeping things the same as much as possible, in terms of reducing complexity and costs."    For example, some sites may need an enterprise class firewall or a print server, while other more remote sites are not directly connected to the Internet or need fewer services.  Virtualization offers benefits here — by increasing the flexibility by which software and services can be deployed, branch offices can be deployed as a uniform framework across many sites, while enabling administrators to clearly define where customization can and cannot be deployed.

Riverbed has been shipping a technology called RSP, the Riverbed Services Platform, for quite some time now — I love to bring this up this solution with customers who are facing this problem of managing multiple heterogeneous sites.   One of Riverbed's strengths is that our technology can optimize almost anything that travels across a customer's WAN, so by standardizing on Riverbed Steelheads for their WAN performance needs, they keep costs and complexity low.

Now, enter RSP:  by adding additional services running virtually on Steelheads deployed at the branches, each site can be changed to suit the individual needs of that site, while still maintaining a consistent virtualized platform across the enterprise.   I like to think of RSP as the Swiss Army knife of the branch.  We have customers running everything from Windows Server 2008R2, to Linux, to one of our numerous technology partners on RSP, all to satisfy the specific requirements of each site.  Some examples are:

  • DNS, DHCP, Print, and other services on Windows Server.  This is a common use case that allows you to run lightweight services at the branch virtually, without additional hardware.  You can even add additional storage to the Windows VM with iSCSI, or enable Branch Cache on the VM to add one-way file caching.
  • Steelhead Mobile Controller Virtual Edition (SMC-VE) Sites that have mobile users that need acceleration can benefit by consolidating and simplifying deployment, management and reporting functions.
  • Cascade Sensor VE.   Often, Steelhead appliances sit near the branch gateway and have a bird's eye view of traffic entering and exiting the branch.  By adding a Cascade Sensor VE, this information can be visualized, analyzed and reported.
  • Firewalls and Security Technologies:  including McAfee Firewall Enterprise Virtual Edition and Check Point Secure Gateway.
  • Branch Office Routing:  by using Vyatta on RSP, you can easily turn your Steelhead into an OSPF or IS-IS router, for example, for sites that need more sophisticated routing needs.

All in all, you can run up to 5 virtual machine instances on each RSP platform, and manage all of them under one interface using the Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC).  This is an easy way by which you can make your branch offices the same, but different enough to fulfill the diverse requirements of the distributed enterprise.

Posted in Customers, Site Consolidation, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Challenges with Mobility and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Posted by riverbedtest on August 23, 2011

As a commuter heading into San Francisco on BART for the past several years,  I feel as though I have actually witnessed a revolution. 

Just a few years ago, the common commuter either slept, read (books, newspapers, magazines), or stared in the distance.  Occasionally someone might take or make a call, or possibly send a text or two (I loved my nokia 8210, so small!).  

Today, however, the most common pose is a near constant stare at our smart phones or connected device. Stare

I’m as guilty as the next person, pounding away updates on my Blackberry.  But the behavioral change is fascinating to me. Will it always  be like this?  Is this just a phase or are we forever committing to our screens?

Sidestepping the discussion about whether or not you think smartphones actually make us dumb, the proliferation of devices has got me thinking about the impact these devices have on IT. 

The challenge of mobile devices was particularly evident at an event I attended a few weeks ago, it was a customer advisory council meeting for a very successful regional value added reseller (VAR) in the Southeast.  The company had assembled 15 of their top customers to discuss best practices and new technologies.

By a show of hands, the greatest challenge the group faced was the explosion of end user devices and the impact the devices were having on corporate networks and on IT support.  One attendee discussed how their organization had gone so far to embrace end user choice that their company actually issues a hardware/device stipend to all new employees rather than supplying a laptop or desktop. The end user could buy the laptop, phone or pad of their choice, while IT focused on providing support and making sure their networks could handle surging amounts of traffic.

All this lead to a very lengthy discussion about Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – (you can find some very honest and comprehensive discussions about VDI here).  VDI is a topic near and dear to Riverbed customers since at the core of the VDI concept is the explicit separation of end users from their data. And as we’ve learned from client-server applications that run over wide area networks, any time you separate end users from their data, especially over great distances, performance can really suffer, and WAN optimization technology is required to deliver the level of performance users demand.

Based on some partner and customer research I conducted earlier this year, I found that today’s most successful VDI deployments take place on local area networks (LAN), often deployed in a single facility or campus.  Education, Government agencies, and various types of financial service companies are particularly attracted to VDI’s promise of controlled, single instance data.  And while early desktop virtualization pitches promoted the cost benefits of VDI, many studies have since shown the cost benefits are minimal.  The real primary attraction of VDI is the age-old IT attraction of centralized control.

However, the challenge of VDI is most evident is over wide area networks (WAN).  If you’ve ever been frustrated by a pause in sending an e-mail or opening an application in a traditional corporate office, try sitting across a WAN from your data on a dumb terminal when you begin to experience slow or inconsistent K..EY..S.T…ROKE..S, forget it, it’s the worst. VDI over the WAN is a real challenge, which is why Riverbed is spending so much time and energy on the subject.  Today, we already optimize the Citrix ICA protocol and we help our customers optimize VMware view deployments as well using RDP optimization. 

During his keynote at Citrix Synergy in May, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton discussed a future where users would enjoy device and network independence.  I think we’re still a ways off from that, but I’m certain Riverbed will help the world get there.  Citrix

And for all my fellow BART commuters staring at your phones, just be thankful there are companies like Riverbed hard at work optimizing your corporate and public networks so you don’t miss a post, tweet, blog, text, request e-mail, video….

Did you know Worldwide smart phone shipments increased 87% in the last 12 months

 

Posted in Application Acceleration, Bandwidth Optimization, Corporate, Mobile, Virtualization | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Riverbed’s Optimization Solutions for the Cloud

Posted by riverbedtest on August 11, 2011

Recently I saw a blog post on ReadWriteWeb / Cloud by David Strom where he described the roles that WAN Optimization can play in helping accelerate Cloud-based IT services.

This has long been an area of attention at Riverbed; for years now we have been helping Enterprises address and solve the challenges they've faced with business applications performing poorly across their private WANs. Riverbed's award-winning Steelhead family of WAN Optimization appliances have held a leading position in the global market for the last several years, according to several leading industry analyst firms.

Now, in the era of Cloud-based IT services, the performance problems created by the increased distance between users and their data, combined with the lack of QoS and un-guaranteed internet performance are significantly worse than those faced within a structured and well-known corporate IT environment. Thus the need for performance optimization in these cloud environments is even greater than in traditional, private corporate IT.

These requirements have prompted Riverbed to develop and offer a whole range of products and technologies, to address the vast majority of Cloud-based IT applications and environments. In his recent blog post,  David mentioned only one Riverbed product in this context, the Steelhead Appliance.   SH

In addition to this though Riverbed also has the following products available to address the Acceleration & Optimization needs of virtual and cloud environments :

  1. Virtual Steelhead – as the name suggests, a virtual version of the Steelhead product that can be run on VMWare ESX/ESXi platforms
  2. Cloud Steelhead – Steelhead WAN Optimization + simple portal-based management, On-demand instantiation, easy cloning, fliexible sizing and pricing
  3. Riverbed Whitewater – a single-ended Cloud Storage Gateway that delivers speed, security, cost-efficiency and ease of use for Cloud-based storage services Ww and of course
  4. Steelhead Mobile – PC and MAC client acceleration software, so you can enjoy accelerated cloud IT services from anywhere, over any connectivity medium.

Additionally with the recent acquisition of both Zeus and Aptimize, Riverbed now also has two new Single-Ended technologies – Application Delivery Controller and Web Content Optimization – to help accelerate  both public and private cloud-based web content and applications.

So in summary, Riverbed really should be your first port of call for any cloud IT service acceleration & optimization requirements.

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

Your 3AM friend

Posted by riverbedtest on July 26, 2011

3am It’s 3am, you are putting the finishing touches on your latest deployment of a virtual appliance via Riverbed Services Platform, and your shining glory is Checkpoint Firewall in a remote branch.  You’re going to sleep much better at night knowing that your little branch computers are sleeping safe at night with a big bad firewall protecting it.  You have the firewall running, you are able to ping the management interface, and you are preparing to put the device inline, but…. 

You think, “if I put the firewall inline, how am I going to put both interfaces in at the same time.  I sure am glad I thought about this because I was just about to blackhole this site.”  Now you think to yourself, how am I going to get this firewall inline, without being behind the firewall?

Well, your 3am friend is the job command.  Job is a CLI command that invokes the Scheduler within the Steelhead.  There isn’t a GUI equivalent for this, but don’t be scared, this is an easy command to master.  The syntax of the jobs command is as follows:

sh#(config)job number command number “command”

sh#(config)job number date-time hh:mm:ss

One of the biggest benefits of the job command is that it runs locally, and it will run multiple commands from a single command line entry.  So in our example we would have to run two commands to put a virtual server inline on RSP.  So the command sequence that we would execute would be:

sh#(config) job 1 command 1 “rsp dataflow inpath0_0 add opt-vni vniname_lan_interface_first vni-num end”

sh#(config)job 1 command 2 “rsp dataflow inpath0_0 add opt-vni vniname_wan_interface_last vni-num end”

sh#(config)job 1 enable

Let’s review what we just did.  The first job command inserts the LAN side interface into the virtual network data flow, and the second command inserts the WAN side interface, the third job enables the job for execution. 

To actually run the job we’ll issue:

sh#job 1 execute

One of my other favorite uses for the job command is to create time-based QoS.  In the particular instance that is coming to mind, I had a client that needed to limit replication traffic on a shared link during the day, but after 6pm, they wanted it to run full on.  At 7am they wanted to return bandwidth restrictions.  Using job, I was able to create a QoS rule that activated at 6pm and then returned back to a restricted state at the prescribed time.

So the next time you're up at 3am, get your friend to do the job, so you can get some sleep!

Posted in Application Acceleration, Fun, Virtualization | 3 Comments »