Riverbed delivers acceleration everywhere with most comprehensive WAN Optimisation solution

Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, extended its market leading Steelhead wide area network (WAN) optimisation product family 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. These extensions make the Steelhead WAN optimisation product family an even more critical part of delivering application performance across the entire business and extends the commitment from Riverbed to deliver acceleration everywhere.

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 minimizing complexity.

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

“Network architects should revise WAN architectures to improve performance for external cloud applications and resources. While Internet VPNs and Ethernet services will play a greater role in the enterprise WAN over the next two to four years, it will largely be as part of a hybrid network, blended with MPLS service to ensure delivery of the performance, availability, and feature functionality that businesses desire,” noted Gartner analysts Andrew Lerner and Neil Rickard.

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. With integrated quality of service (QoS) and now path selection, Riverbed WAN optimisation solutions provides IT organisations with the ability to control network consumption, prioritizing mission-critical and latency-sensitive applications, while minimizing utilisation by recreational traffic.

"As we are delivering a growing mix of centralised and cloud applications to our distributed employees, our WAN is becoming increasingly strained. Riverbed WAN optimisation will allow us to successfully move to 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,” added Sirois.

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.

“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,” said Kurt Anderson, CIO at GeoEngineers, Inc.,  a multi-disciplined earth science and technology firm that offers a diverse suite of services. “With the new SharePoint 2013 optimisation 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 prioritize 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 prioritize 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.

Tightly Integrated WAN Optimisation Solution with Deep Application and Network Visibility

The integration of Cascade Profiler 10.0.7 with RiOS 8.5 extends application-aware network performance management capabilities by integrating DPI capabilities within CascadeFlow data from Steelhead WAN optimisation solution deployments. With detailed application level profiles, decision makers get accurate and deep application and network visibility to identify and characterise traffic flows across the network and among branch offices. This capability enables organisations to quickly identify, prioritize, fine tune QoS parameters and route business-critical applications and non-essential web traffic. The tightly integrated solution combines market-leading WAN optimisation with QoS, path selection and application-aware network performance management capabilities, resulting in unprecedented control.

Steelhead CX255 Series Appliance delivers enterprise WAN optimisation to small branch offices

With the introduction of Steelhead CX 255 series appliance, the infrastructure IT team can bring performance and enterprise-class WAN optimisation cost-effectively to every branch office, including small branch offices, while delivering the best experience. With up to six megabits per second bandwidth capacity, the Steelhead CX 255 series appliance has tripled the through-put capacity over the previous Steelhead CX 150 and CX 250 appliance series and provides organisations with a small branch office solution that offers the same benefits found in larger Steelhead WAN optimisation solutions, including decreasing bandwidth utilization by up to 98 percent and improving application acceleration up to 100 times faster. 

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