Riverbed Extends WAN Optimization

riverbed_logo_x_large.gifRiverbed Technology, the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS), today announced the upcoming release of enhanced versions of its Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS®), Steelhead Mobile and Riverbed Services Platform (RSP), which together will provide enterprises with the most comprehensive solution for application acceleration and cost savings across the data center, branch office, and mobile worker. With these releases, Riverbed enables enterprises to further consolidate IT infrastructure, enhance worker productivity and accelerate data protection, helping CIOs support a more efficient workforce and IT environment while reducing operational and financial investment.
Riverbed® continues to innovate in areas that directly impact bottom lines. To help customers make the most of their existing infrastructure, Riverbed has focused beyond its core product offerings with enhancements to its Riverbed Services Platform (RSP), the industry™s first integrated platform for third-party software modules, built on enterprise-class virtualization technology from VMware. Riverbed also introduces a set of industry firsts for WAN optimization, accelerating Lotus Notes and MAPI encrypted traffic at the application layer, as well as MAPI 2007 and Oracle Forms for mobile workers. Each of these enhancements is a direct result of the ongoing, in-depth relationships Riverbed has with key partners, including VMware and Microsoft. In addition, Riverbed broadens its solutions to provide faster, more cost-effective replication and backup among data centers.
“Riverbed focuses on providing tools to our customers that help them save money immediately, while meeting the strategic requirements of their businesses. Our development priorities come directly from ongoing dialogue with customers to better understand their needs as they are forced to do more with less,” said John Martin, vice president of product management at Riverbed. “We anticipate that customers will continue to look to Riverbed to deliver industry firsts such as the RSP, which help drive infrastructure costs down, enhance the productivity of the workforce, and enable business to be more resilient in times of change.”
The Branch Office of Tomorrow: Steelhead Mobile 2.0
Organizations depend on smart people–not offices–for competitive advantage. They want to hire the best talent and let them work wherever they happen to be, while minimizing the real estate and energy costs associated with on-site employees. At the same time, IT is expected to keep up as mobile and remote users demand applications that are always on and instantly available. To address this need, Riverbed introduces Steelhead Mobile 2.0, which offers the performance and security of the office without the IT infrastructure costs associated with a physical location.
With the extension of Riverbed’s SSL acceleration to Steelhead Mobile, workers at home, on the road, or in small offices can now experience LAN-like application performance with the security that IT professionals demand. Riverbed offers the only WAN optimization products with SSL encryption that maintain the preferred trust model, providing end-to-end security for mobile workers and their data. This level of protection enables businesses to reduce branch office costs and let people work anywhere while ensuring that sensitive company data is protected.
Branch Office Consolidation: Enhanced Riverbed Services Platform (RSP)
Companies with branch offices continually seek more functionality with lower capital investment. Riverbed has already helped many of its more than five thousand customers consolidate file servers and application servers back to the data center, but many services continue to operate in the branch.
With today’s launch, Riverbed has enhanced its RSP offering with virtualization based on VMware. The RSP allows customers to virtualize essential third-party software modules into Steelhead® appliances, allowing further consolidation of their IT infrastructure at the branch and even greater ROI on their Steelhead appliance investment. The enhanced RSP is an enterprise-class platform that enables a drastic reduction in the branch office IT footprint by running up to five remote office third-party software modules–without the need for separate dedicated servers.
Unlike alternative offerings, Riverbed allows branch office partner software to leverage the RiOS acceleration pathway, providing greater flexibility and intelligence. The RSP is available across a range of existing Steelhead appliances, so existing customers do not need a “fork-lift” upgrade to take advantage of this new functionality. This approach will allow IT managers to improve asset utilization, operational efficiency and business agility; control IT costs and ensure end-user satisfaction; and ultimately make the server-less branch office a reality.
“The new version of the Riverbed RSP platform enables consolidation of equipment from the edge to the data center, while still allowing a virtualized platform at the edge to run required local services,” said Jeff Wilhelm, vice president, Information Technology, AccuData Integrated Marketing.
Riverbed has forged partnerships with best-of-breed vendors to host third-party applications and services qualified on the new VMware-powered RSP, including:
• Secure Computing for Unified Threat Management (UTM)
• Infoblox for DNS/DHCP
• Wowza Media Systems and Qumu for streaming media
• NetDialog and OPNET for application monitoring and analysis
In addition, customers will be able to run other software, such as Microsoft Windows, on the RSP as a virtual machine.
“At Strand Associates, we have been early adopters of the RSP. Over the last couple of months we’ve tested the enhanced RSP and experienced additional consolidation benefits by hosting an entire virtual platform on the Steelhead appliance. Now, we are able to provide print services, Active Directory logon services, and IP address management, all with a standard Windows server. As Strand grows and opens remote offices, deploying the Riverbed Steelhead appliance and running RSP will be the preferred solution,” adds Justin Marthaler, IT at Strand Associates, Inc.
Faster Data Protection at a Lower Cost: RiOS 5.5 Disaster Recovery Features
Data protection poses a severe challenge for all organizations. The large information footprint of data centers, combined with large, expensive, long distance WAN connections between primary and secondary data centers, often requires large IT investments that cannot deliver the required recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) that businesses need. To support these requirements, Riverbed continues to develop additional software capabilities within the same hardware platform that address datacenter-to-datacenter environments.
With RiOS 5.5, IT managers are provided faster replication that utilizes less WAN bandwidth. Customers can now use one-quarter the bandwidth while completing the same replication task in a smaller window of time, immediately saving money for the business while providing the necessary data protection. Riverbed achieves this by intelligently increasing LAN-speed throughput on large-scale transfers, reaching speeds of up to 1 Gigabit on a single device, and even more in clustered deployments.
Enabling Employees to do More with Less
By accelerating the performance of applications, Riverbed helps companies defer investments in desktop and WAN infrastructure while allowing employees to accomplish more and achieve high productivity.
Enhanced Support for Lotus Notes Acceleration
Riverbed is the first vendor to provide support for Lotus Notes acceleration at the application layer, which improves the speed at which employees can access large email attachments and manage calendaring, resulting in increased collaboration across distant offices.
“Lotus Notes is an essential application for collaboration across our distributed workforce. Recently, we tested the enhanced acceleration feature for Lotus Notes and experienced 10 – 25x faster performance for certain Lotus Notes operations. This type of performance gain allows our employees to collaborate more effectively everywhere,” said David Hogan, network engineer at Greene Tweed. “In addition, Riverbed has enabled us to consolidate 20 Lotus Notes servers from 20 locations to five. With Riverbed, our Lotus Notes infrastructure is more powerful and costs less to operate.”
Accelerating Windows-Based Applications
Riverbed also expands its expertise and success accelerating and optimizing Microsoft Windows-based applications over the WAN. With RiOS 5.5, Riverbed is the first vendor to offer protocol optimization for encrypted Exchange 2007 (MAPI) at the application layer. Riverbed is the only vendor that provides application-level optimization for Exchange 2000, 2003, and 2007 with or without encryption. RiOS 5.5 also introduces enhanced support for secure Microsoft Office environments, such as SMB signing. New Steelhead Mobile enhancements include application layer acceleration of Oracle Forms and Exchange 2007 (MAPI).
“Enabling the workforce with timely access to critical business information has become a strategic and competitive differentiator for businesses over the last five years. Solutions that support cost cutting initiatives like IT consolidation and help to simplify data management are in high demand,” said Bob Laliberte, analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. “Enterprises will continue to implement solutions that maximize return on investment. Companies like Riverbed that have offerings that scale for mobile users, remote offices and data centers will be well positioned to capitalize on available investments, even in an economic downturn.”
New Hardware Appliances
New Steelhead appliances (xx50 models) provide simpler, more flexible upgrade paths that provide greater investment protection to Riverbed customers. This ensures that an appliance can grow with the needs of the business and a given office. The new appliances also include greater connection counts, enhanced resiliency features, and now provide customers with a greater choice of options for price and scalability requirements. To learn more about the new appliances, please visit: http://www.riverbed.com/products/appliances/upgrades.php.
Steelhead Products
Riverbed WDS solutions enable organizations of all sizes to overcome a host of severe problems, including poor application performance and insufficient bandwidth at remote sites. By speeding the performance of applications between data centers, remote offices and mobile workers by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, the Riverbed award-winning Steelhead WDS products enable companies to consolidate IT, improve backup and replication processes to ensure data integrity, and improve staff productivity and collaboration. Steelhead products have been deployed in organizations ranging from the world’s largest corporations with offices around the globe to small companies with a couple of sites that are just miles apart. To learn more, view Riverbed’s demo: www.riverbed.com/pr/jack.