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Energy Company Eliminates WAN Bottleneck, Speeds File Transfers by up to 700 Percent and Improves Outlook for Consolidation Initiatives
  • 03 August, 2009 12:33

<p>August 3, 2009 – Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the IT infrastructure performance company for networks, applications and storage, today announced that it has installed a range of RiverbedÒ SteelheadÒ appliances at three of Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd’s sites across New Zealand. Solid Energy’s use of the Steelhead appliances has dramatically improved the performance of key applications and data transfers between distributed sites, which in turn has improved the ability of Solid Energy’s staff to share information and boosted user productivity. With the performance gains provided by Riverbed, Solid Energy is now able to consider moving to a more consolidated IT infrastructure model in the future.</p>
<p>Solid Energy is a major New Zealand energy company and a leading producer of high-quality coal. The company invests in research and commercialisation of new, sustainable forms of energy that use coal and renewable energy sources, such as biomass and biodiesel. Solid Energy has grown significantly over the past five years -- in some sites, such as its Stockton open-cast mine on New Zealand’s South Island, employee numbers have increased four-fold during that time -- and demands on the company’s IT infrastructure have multiplied.</p>
<p>Christine Dormaar, the Information Services manager at Solid Energy, says that because many of Solid Energy’s sites are located in remote areas of New Zealand, it can be difficult and expensive to get access to high-speed wide area network (WAN) connectivity at such sites.</p>
<p>“Over the last few years, our number of employees in remote locations has grown substantially and our IT systems have become more advanced,” said Dormaar. “Unfortunately, the telcos simply cannot supply any more bandwidth to us out at these remote sites.”</p>
<p>“We knew that we needed to find an alternative solution to boost application performance, without requiring additional bandwidth,” said Dormaar.</p>
<p>Solid Energy looked into WAN optimisation technology as a possible solution to this problem. Following a recommendation from its integration partner Gen-i, Solid Energy performed a production network test of the Riverbed Steelhead appliances between three of its sites – the Christchurch head office, the Stockton site and the Westport project office. These three sites run similar applications and exchange large amounts of data, so they were ideal locations to test the solution.</p>
<p>Dormaar says that the company ran a benchmark test using sample data and “file transfer” and “file copy” operations from its key IT applications. Solid Energy compared network performance and application response time both before and after the Steelhead appliances were installed. She says that the results for the “file copy” tests were staggering.</p>
<p>“All the results improved dramatically, but the “file copy” test results were particularly impressive - improving by up to 700 percent,” Dormaar recalls.</p>
<p>Following the production test, Solid Energy chose to purchase and install Steelhead appliances at the three test sites in December 2008, and has continued to see impressive results in its production network ever since.</p>
<p>“As an example of how things have improved since we installed Riverbed WAN optimisation, a 7MB file that used to take about four minutes to transfer now takes just three seconds – it’s great how we can do this with no extra bandwidth. Also, it’s very reassuring to see that the products work in production just as well as they did in testing.”</p>
<p>Dormaar says the Riverbed Steelhead appliances have been very simple to integrate into the company’s existing IT infrastructure. “We did harbour some initial concerns about the VoIP traffic that we run at our Stockton site, but it runs across the accelerated network with no problems at all,” she explains.</p>
<p>According to Dormaar, the implementation of Riverbed WAN optimisation technology has created an opportunity for IT consolidation. “If people can access information in seconds rather than minutes, it doesn’t matter where the information is physically located. This means we can take a serious look at consolidating some of our remote IT infrastructure, which could also benefit our data backup and disaster recovery plans.”</p>
<p>“We also appreciate the detailed reporting that the Steelhead appliances provide about our network traffic – this is very useful information that we didn’t have before. Additionally, we feel very comfortable with the technical support capabilities of both Riverbed and Gen-i, particularly for us with sites in such remote locations,” said Dormaar.</p>
<p>Forward Looking Statements</p>
<p>This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the expected demand for Riverbed's products and services and statements relating to Riverbed’s ability to meet the needs of distributed organizations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include our ability to react to trends and challenges in our business and the markets in which we operate; our ability to anticipate market needs or develop new or enhanced products to meet those needs; the adoption rate of our products; our ability to establish and maintain successful relationships with our distribution partners; our ability to compete in our industry; fluctuations in demand, sales cycles and prices for our products and services; shortages or price fluctuations in our supply chain; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; general political, economic and market conditions and events; and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. More information about these and other risks that may impact Riverbed’s business are set forth in our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on April 30, 2009. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Any future product, feature or related specification that may be referenced in this release are for information purposes only and are not commitments to deliver any technology or enhancement. Riverbed reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.</p>
<p>About Riverbed</p>
<p>Riverbed Technology is the IT infrastructure performance company. The Riverbed family of wide area network (WAN) optimization solutions liberates businesses from common IT constraints by increasing application performance, enabling consolidation, and providing enterprise-wide network and application visibility – all while eliminating the need to increase bandwidth, storage or servers. Thousands of companies with distributed operations use Riverbed to make their IT infrastructure faster, less expensive and more responsive. Additional information about Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at
Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead, RiOS, Interceptor, Think Fast, the Riverbed logo, Mazu, Profiler and Cascade are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.</p>

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