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Riverbed extends Steelhead appliance product family to meet the needs of small remote offices and large-scale deployments

  • 16 February, 2006 09:36

<p>Riverbed Technology, Inc., the performance leader in application acceleration on wide area networks (WANs), announced today the availability of two new Steelhead appliance models, and an enhanced Central Management Console (CMC) v2.1. The new Steelhead appliance models, the 100 and 200, are designed to provide distributed organisations with advanced application acceleration capabilities for even the smallest remote offices: they are cable-modem sized, operate silently, and are available at less than half the current price of Riverbed’s smallest model. The enhancements to the CMC allow larger organisations to deploy, remotely configure, and manage large numbers of Steelhead appliances with ‘touchless configuration’ while providing visibility into the underlying wide area network (WAN) and application infrastructures.</p>
<p>With the new Steelhead appliances and enhanced CMC, Riverbed offers large organisations with hundreds, or even thousands, of small remote offices a wide-area data services (WDS) solution that delivers unprecedented scale and product functionality at the industry’s best price/performance. At the same time, organisations with a small number of remote sites with fewer than five employees now have access to a fully-featured solution that delivers the best performance for the widest range of applications.</p>
<p>“Even the largest of the global companies often have hundreds of remote locations that have just a few employees,” said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst, Taneja Group. “WDS appliances that are optimized for larger offices are generally too expensive for these smaller locations. Yet their needs are often greater than the larger remote office. They require all the same functionality of the larger sites, but have no IT expertise. With Riverbed’s new CMC, the Steelhead models 100 and 200 can be configured and managed without anyone in the branch touching them, while the form factor and price point make them a perfect fit for the small remote office. These new appliances fit the needs of the remote location with just a few employees like a glove.”</p>
<p>“The Steelhead appliance models 100 and 200 allow us to offer customers with smaller remote offices the best price/performance application and WAN acceleration product on the market,” said John Martin, VP of product management at Riverbed. “Unlike competitors that offer restricted versions of their products to small remote offices, including limited bandwidth capabilities to less than 256kbps and memory-only based systems with no disk-based optimisation and no ability to accommodate growth, our Steelhead models 100 and 200 offer the full functionality found in our larger-scale appliances and even offer an upgrade path from the 100 to the 200.”</p>
<p>Steelhead Appliance Models 100 and 200</p>
<p>Riverbed’s Steelhead appliance models 100 and 200 are fully-featured Steelhead appliances that provide the same disk-based optimisations found in Riverbed’s current models, but packaged to address the small office market. Both new Steelhead appliances provide 1Mbps of optimised upstream WAN bandwidth, with the ability of front-end a higher capacity link and include a 36GB data store. The Steelhead 100 has a capacity of 25 simultaneous TCP connections, which is sufficient to support up to about five users and the Steelhead 200 supports up to 75 TCP connections and about 20 users.* The Steelhead 100 is software upgradeable to model 200 functionality.</p>
<p>“With the introduction of Riverbed’s models 100 and 200, we can now extend the benefits of the Steelhead appliances to our smallest branch offices where bandwidth is the most constrained and IT resources are scarce,” said Dennis Wong, manager of network engineering at NVIDIA. “We have more than 2000 employees located worldwide. Since we deployed the Steelheads in our larger remote offices earlier this year, users have noticed increased download speeds and server browsing of US-based systems is a lot faster. Users no longer get frustrated with the dreaded ‘slow network.’ We plan to deploy the Steelhead 100 to give this same quality experience to users in offices with few than ten employees.”</p>
<p>“We deployed the Steelhead appliances over a year ago to enable collaboration between our offices,” said Ron Maxwell, IT manager at Reno-based BJG. “As we move toward Building Information Modeling (BIM), the Steelhead appliance will become an even more critical piece of our infrastructure. The new Steelhead 100 allows us to continue to meet the demands of our clients by extending our operations to home offices where our architects and engineers can enjoy LAN-like performance when collaborating on centrally stored data.”</p>
<p>Central Management Console v2.1</p>
<p>Upgrades to Riverbed’s CMC v2.1 enable seamless deployment, configuration, and management of distributed Steelhead appliances, while providing visibility into underlying WAN and application infrastructures. CMC v2.1 central deployment and configuration upgrades include:</p>
<p>- “Touchless” Steelhead appliance configuration through auto-configuration­greatly simplifying the deployment of the appliances in remote offices that may have no IT staff on-site</p>
<p>- Robust group management and configuration profiles­allows IT to easily create groups of Steelhead appliances for management purposes and manage configurations using profiles, including real-time or scheduled pushing of configuration profiles from the CMC to groups of Steelhead appliances located at remote sites.</p>
<p>Upgrades to the CMC’s comprehensive global reporting capabilities, include the following capabilities:</p>
<p>- Aggregated reporting­allows IT to centrally view performance statistics for all Steelhead appliances network-wide, or for a specified group of Steelhead appliances</p>
<p>- Dynamic report generation­IT can select ports, applications and/or appliances and generate reports in real-time.</p>
<p>- Customisable report pages­Allows IT to customise home and summary pages to display statistics and groups important to the organisation</p>
<p>In addition, the CMC v2.1 includes new central health monitoring capabilities, including monitoring of health status across all registered Steelhead appliances. The monitoring provides a global view of all Steelhead appliances and their current status and gives IT the ability to select an appliance to view logs or open that device’s management console. The CMC-specific SNMP MIB allows IT departments to leverage existing enterprise management systems and provide aggregate statistics.</p>
<p>About Steelhead Appliances</p>
<p>Riverbed’s award-winning Steelhead appliances are a new generation of IT infrastructure products from Riverbed that accelerate enterprise applications by up to 100 times between enterprise data centres and remote offices. The Steelhead appliance’s intelligent optimisations give companies that share data and collaborate between distributed offices the best performance for the widest range of applications, completely changing the way distributed IT is designed, deployed, used and managed.</p>
<p>Unlike competing approaches that are built primarily on either a network-compression or storage (caching) philosophy (like many WAFS-only architectures), Steelhead appliances are based on Riverbed’s Universal Transport Acceleration (UTA) architecture that optimises bandwidth for all TCP-based applications, including common applications like Windows file sharing, MAPI, Microsoft SQL and DPM, NetApp’s SnapMirror, Symantec’s NetBackup and FTP, while adding incremental application-specific latency optimisations to minimise the impact of latency on key applications.</p>
<p>Riverbed’s intelligent optimisations also enable remote office IT consolidation, WAN bandwidth optimisation and acceleration of data replication and backup.</p>
<p>About Riverbed</p>
<p>Riverbed Technology is the pioneer in wide-area data services (WDS), a fast-growing product category that solves the problems of high latency and low bandwidth that plague a wide variety of applications over distributed networks. Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances provide the highest level of performance across the broadest range of applications over WANs, accelerating applications by up to 100 times, and reducing WAN traffic by up to 95%. By providing optimizations that are orders of magnitude greater than what users experience today, Riverbed is changing the way people work – and enabling, for the first time, a distributed workforce that can collaborate as if they were local. The Wall Street Journal named Riverbed the winner of its 2005 Technology Innovation Award in the Network/Broadband/Internet category. In addition, InfoWorld has named Steelhead a “Technology of the Year” in both 2005 and 2006, as the “Best WAN Accelerator”. Riverbed’s award-winning solutions are available worldwide from resellers who are members of the Riverbed Partner Network, from Riverbed OEM partners, or directly from Riverbed. Riverbed has received funding from Accel Partners, Goldman Sachs, Lightspeed Venture Partners and UV Partners. For more information about Riverbed, visit</p>
<p>Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead and the Riverbed logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.</p>
<p>* Assumes four or five TCP connections per user; TCP connections per user will vary based on customer use patterns.</p>

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