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  1. Technology
July 30, 2013

Riverbed delivers WAN optimisation solution

Market-leading WAN optimisation solution purpose-built for cloud infrastructures and hybrid networks.

By Claire Vanner

Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, has extended its range of market leading Steelhead wide area network (WAN) optimisation products with the addition of a new hardware appliance and upgrades to its Steelhead software.

Steelhead WAN optimisation solutions can now accelerate a broader range of enterprise infrastructures while expanding IT control and ease of management, including smaller branch offices, cloud infrastructures, SAAS applications, and locations served by hybrid networks.

Enhancements to the Steelhead product family include an upgraded Riverbed Optimisation System (RiOS) 8.5, the software that powers market-leading Riverbed Steelhead WAN optimisation solutions, and the addition of a new hardware appliance, the Steelhead CX 255 series appliance. Path selection, a new feature in RiOS 8.5, simplifies the management of hybrid MPLS and Internet networks while delivering maximum performance. New application optimisations extend the Steelhead appliance’s lead in delivering the broadest set of optimisations for applications important to business.

Integration with Riverbed Cascade Profiler, a leading application-aware network performance management solution, helps IT managers meet application SLAs. These enhancements and additions to the award-winning Steelhead product family allow IT organisations to more cost-effectively give end users across the organisation the performance they need while maintaining control and minimising complexity.

Ray Sirois, director of IT, at Wright-Pierce, a leading provider of water, wastewater and infrastructure engineering services, said: "It is critical for us to rapidly adopt new technologies that help us to reduce costs, boost productivity, and enhance collaboration.

"By delivering accelerated performance cost efficiently across our entire infrastructure, Riverbed WAN optimisation is at the heart of our ability to improve both the way and pace that our employees work."

IT organisations face demands from their end users for access and speed, regardless of device or location, yet must still manage the network efficiently and securely. With their broad set of application optimisations and deployment options, ease of installation and management, and now the ability to manage multiple access methods with path selection, Riverbed WAN optimisation solutions are uniquely positioned to allow businesses to manage these complex IT environments.

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Path Selection Delivers Enhanced Control for Acceleration Everywhere

Rapid adoption of cloud applications, rich media applications and distributed business-critical applications has complicated network traffic delivery. The network is evolving to a hybrid architecture combining the strengths of a highly reliable MPLS network with the ubiquity, price and speed of the Internet.

With the introduction of path selection in RiOS 8.5, IT organisations can cost effectively deploy and manage complex hybrid networks to deliver greater application reliability and performance to users anywhere. Path selection combined with application identification via deep packet inspection (DPI) enables IT and business units to understand usage and performance down to the specific application type and dynamically reroute application flows in case of performance degradation. Path selection ensures the right path and service level for each application with no impact to end users.

"As we are delivering a growing mix of centralised and cloud applications to our distributed employees, our WAN is becoming increasingly strained," added Sirois. "Riverbed WAN optimisation will allow us to successfully move to a hybrid architecture and take advantage of lower cost Internet networks. In the end, we will be able to deliver the performance our end users need, reduce the complexity and burden on the WAN and still maintain control of our IT infrastructure."

New Optimisations for Business-Critical Applications

With this release of RiOS 8.5, Riverbed further strengthens the strategic technology partnerships with Microsoft and NetApp for the benefit of mutual customers.

In RiOS 8.5, Riverbed is introducing new optimisations for business-critical Microsoft applications and environments including SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013, Office365® and file sharing applications that utilise the server message block 3 (SMB3) protocol in Windows® 8 and Server 2012 environments. As a result, mutual customers of Microsoft and Riverbed can increase productivity and efficiency, while enhancing business resilience.

Kurt Anderson, CIO at GeoEngineers, a multi-disciplined earth science and technology firm that offers a diverse suite of services, said: "Microsoft SharePoint is vital to our success and Riverbed WAN optimisation has played a critical role in enabling our distributed employees to be productive and collaborative.

"With the new SharePoint 2013 optimization that Riverbed is introducing, we will be able to take advantage of the new features in SharePoint, which is a strategic part of our continued success and growth."

With storage intelligent optimisation for NetApp SnapMirror, IT organisations can now efficiently prioritise and deliver data replication to ensure business continuity and rapid disaster recovery of critical data. Customers can obtain detailed insights into each storage volume and prioritise replication for the most important data sets while avoiding taxing resources on processing data that will see little benefit. Combined with previous optimisations for replication, data protection goals can be more easily met across the enterprise.

This year, Riverbed was positioned by Gartner in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2013 "Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimisation Controllers". Riverbed is now the only vendor in the Leader’s quadrant.

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