Riverbed Strengthens Technology Leadership in WAN Optimization with New Release of RIOS Software for Steelhead Appliances

Published November 17th, 2009 - 10:58 GMT

Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the IT infrastructure performance company for networks, applications and storage, today announced the upcoming release of version 6.0 of the Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS®), which powers Riverbed’s award-winning WAN optimization solutions.  With RiOS 6.0, Riverbed® continues to deliver industry-leading performance for the broadest range of applications and platforms being used in today’s distributed IT and cloud infrastructure environments.  Riverbed continues to enable organizations to support more users on more platforms, with RiOS 6.0 featuring new and improved support for Citrix XenApp, Mac clients, Oracle E-Business Suite 12 and many web applications, such as Microsoft SharePoint and SAP.  In addition, Riverbed is building upon its lead in delivering solutions to enhance disaster recovery (DR) scalability with new features and higher performance for data center-to-data center replication.  This enhanced version of Riverbed WAN optimization is the most comprehensive to date, providing organizations the best approach for their distributed IT and private cloud infrastructures.


The Need for Speed

Enabling Citrix success without having to upgrade the WAN

Many organizations using Citrix XenApp have struggled with the performance and feasibility of delivering desktop virtualization across the WAN, impacting employee productivity and usability as a result. To expand its current acceleration for Citrix XenApp applications, Riverbed has simplified configuration and enhanced QoS capabilities for Citrix, with RiOS 6.0 delivering up to 83% bandwidth reduction and up to 50% better response times in real world environments.  This reduction in bandwidth will allow organizations to deploy more than twice the number of XenApp clients without having to increase bandwidth at remote sites, while improving performance at the same time.


“As more client platforms become common in the workplace, Riverbed continues to enhance its products to support the enterprises ever-changing needs,” said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president at Yankee Group.  “In this release Riverbed is providing companies with more options to support cost-cutting initiatives like IT centralization, virtualization and data center consolidation. CIOs are continuing to look for tools that will help them solve the ongoing dilemma to cut costs while increasing performance.  WAN optimization is proving to be a viable solution to help them meet this challenge.”


Macs up to 60 times faster

Consumer-side momentum with Apple products has been slowly making inroads in the enterprise, with more employees pushing IT departments to support Macs.  As end users expand their options for accessing information, they expect the same performance no matter their location, platform or client.  In RiOS 6.0, Riverbed introduces the ability to accelerate Mac clients with CIFS application-specific optimization.  


According to Thai Tran, the infrastructure administrator at ESA, a Riverbed customer, “Our Apple Mac users working across the WAN were experiencing delays browsing and accessing files. After we applied the new Mac CIFS optimization feature, the delay was dramatically reduced.  For example, prior to RiOS 6.0 an ESA employee downloading a 6.37 MB PDF located in the San Francisco office would wait more than three minutes to open it from a remote location. Once the Mac CIFS optimization was implemented, the same file took on average only three seconds to open. By accessing information 60 times faster, we’re able to increase employee productivity and create a better end user experience.”


Web apps even faster than before

In RiOS 6.0, Riverbed extends its technological leadership by further enhancing web-based application optimizations.  The enhanced functionality within RiOS 6.0 works with both HTTP and HTTPS, and optimizes SAP Netweaver, SharePoint, Microsoft CRM, Agile, Pivotal CRM and additional web applications, in some cases up to 20 times faster. 


In this release Riverbed also introduces the ability to optimize Oracle 12 applications, making Riverbed the only vendor to provide this application-level optimization.  This capability extends Riverbed’s existing support for Oracle, as Riverbed had previously announced with its introduction of RiOS 5.0 that it was the only vendor to provide application-level optimization for Oracle11i.


Speed Up Data Center Operations, While Cutting Costs


Given the importance of data protection, DR and business continuity, Riverbed continues to invest in developing WAN optimization enhancements to support data center consolidation and strategic disaster recovery initiatives. Riverbed has forged partnerships with leading storage vendors, including NetApp, EMC and Hitachi Data Systems, and, with RiOS 6.0, the company has continued to enhance its solutions in order to provide customers with the best data center-to-data center performance and security.


Riverbed recognizes that data workloads vary significantly by application and environment, as do the goals of optimization. To adapt to the differing requirements of each organization, RiOS 6.0 recognizes DR traffic and applies additional optimizations to improve throughput and acceleration on a per-TCP connection basis.  RiOS 6.0 allows a Steelhead® appliance to automatically adjust compression and deduplication techniques to optimize throughput and bandwidth usage based on the customer scenario. These controls can also be manually adjusted by IT managers if needed. This enhancement gives organizations the flexibility and agility to protect more data in less time, and still reduce costs and complexity.


Installation and Management Made Easy


Ease of installation and management are some of the key reasons that customers experience cost savings from the Riverbed WAN optimization. According to one study conducted by IDC, customers experience a payback within approximately seven months when implementing Riverbed solutions.


“We’ve worked with Riverbed for over 3 years and have always been impressed with the ability to easily install and manage.  Again, and again, our administrators rave about the management capabilities,” said Jason Schroeder, senior solutions consultant at Net Direct Systems, a Riverbed Diamond partner.  “Our experience with RiOS 6.0 has been just as impressive.  For example, the difference in optimizing SMB signing is dramatic – literally from minutes down to a couple of seconds.  Simplifying the administration and management tasks increases productivity while reducing costs for our customers.”


In RiOS 6.0, Riverbed further improves the customer experience:

·        Consolidation Initiatives – Companies are leveraging the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP) to consolidate up to five branch services within the Steelhead appliances running on the VMware platform.  With RiOS 6.0, the RSP offers enhanced virtual disk support and enhanced virtual machine high availability. RSP makes it easier to further consolidate branch office services that organizations do not want moved to the data center.

·        Security – RiOS 6.0 continues to increase the simplicity and scalability of Riverbed’s industry-leading SSL acceleration functionality by adding server IP auto-discovery, which enables organizations to quickly and easily add a range of servers and also yields improved performance for secure connections.

·        Visibility and Manageability – RiOS 6.0 introduces a number of features that help tie the Steelhead appliance into the wider network operation and management tools that customers rely on. These features include support for Netflow v9, SNMP v3, pass-through traffic reporting, and easier setup of SMB signing compatibility. This integration with the broader IT environment creates additional insight and easier management for users, and ensures that Riverbed operates smoothly even in secure environments. 



RiOS 6.0 is expected to be generally available on November 23, 2009.

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