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Riverbed delivers LAN-like performance for remote & mobile workers with Steelhead Mobile

  • 28 July, 2007 13:09

<p>Riverbed Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD), the performance leader in wide-area data services (WDS), announced today the upcoming release of its new Steelhead® Mobile product, a software client version of its award-winning WDS technology. The Steelhead Mobile software client is intended to deliver LAN-like application performance to any employee, whether on the road, working from home or connected wirelessly in the office. More than 40 Riverbed® customers and partners, including four of the Global 100, tested Steelhead Mobile. Among the other companies participating in the Steelhead Mobile beta program were AccuVal, Golder Associates, JEO Consulting, and LexisNexis. To learn more about Steelhead Mobile, visit www.riverbed.com/products/steelhead_mobile.</p>
<p>An IDC report predicts that there will be approximately 543.1 million mobile office workers by 2009 . The growth in mobile office workers is putting tremendous demands on IT as it struggles to deliver real-time performance to mobile staff and improve productivity. In addition, according to a BPM Forum report, 75 percent of businesses see increases in remote workers, while 50 percent of businesses have missed business opportunities because of slow communications. In the same report, the BPM Forum states that 84 percent of businesses see increasing IT challenges due to mobility. The convergence of these trends is driving the need for acceleration solutions, which must be simple to install and manage, and must integrate seamlessly into the existing infrastructure to facilitate the productivity of mobile workers.</p>
<p>With Steelhead Mobile, many file downloads that once took mobile or remote workers an hour can be completed in a couple of minutes or seconds. In addition to accelerating application performance, Steelhead Mobile often reduces bandwidth requirements. Riverbed has rigorously tested Steelhead Mobile with many of the most frequently used software applications to ensure compatibility. In addition, the Steelhead Mobile software is easy to install and manage and can be set up to be transparent to the user and the network. To learn more about the performance of Steelhead Mobile, visit www.riverbed.com/docs/PerformanceBrief-Riverbed-SHM.pdf.</p>
<p>“In this high-velocity global economy, the battle for productivity will be fought at the keyboards and touchpads of mobile workers collaborating across geographical and company boundaries,” said Joe Skorupa, research vice president, enterprise network services and infrastructure at Gartner. “Gartner forecasts the client-based WAN optimization (SoftWOC) market will exceed $200 million in 2008, while the hardware-based market will exceed $1 billion. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile and remote, the challenge of extending your Application Delivery Network to these individuals increases. SoftWOCs will be crucial to guaranteeing critical application performance to these users.”</p>
<p>The performance enabled by Steelhead Mobile eliminates many of the performance headaches and productivity barriers that remote workers often face. According to Bob Baron director of Web development at LexisNexis, “Addressing WAN performance is a critical element of our InterAction development efforts. Slow WAN performance can impact the productivity of high-value knowledge workers. With Steelhead Mobile deployed, we’ve seen the performance improvement firsthand."</p>
<p>Golder Associates is an international group of companies that provides ground engineering and consulting services in support of environmental, industrial, natural resources, health and civil engineering projects. The company has more than 150 offices worldwide and more than 5,000 employees. In 2006, the company managed projects in more than 150 countries. Golder Associates has deployed Steelhead appliances at more than 40 sites in the United States and is an early Steelhead Mobile beta customer.</p>
<p>“By the nature of our work, we travel a lot. Our colleagues are on the road all the time, working from client sites, at projects or anywhere in between. They can be out of the office anywhere from weeks to months,” said Mike Simpson, US IT manager at Golder. “Given that, we were very interested in trying Steelhead Mobile. We were delighted when we ran our tests: Steelhead Mobile delivered performance for my mobile workers that was actually comparable to the application performance we enjoy here at the office.”</p>
<p>“We’ve leveraged our experience with more than 2,500 Riverbed customers to build the mobile WDS solution that global enterprises need and want,” said Eric Wolford, senior vice president, marketing and business development at Riverbed. “Steelhead Mobile offers workers on the move, telecommuters and very small offices the same LAN-like performance that our Steelhead appliance customers enjoy today in an easy to install and manage package. IT managers will appreciate the investment made in deployment, monitoring, and management tools that make their jobs easier.”</p>
<p>Riverbed customer AccuVal, a global leader in valuation, advisory, and asset management services, has been a Riverbed customer for over a year and is an early user of Steelhead Mobile. After several months of experience with Steelhead Mobile, Padmini Dhulipala, vice president of IT, said, “We used to be so frustrated with the performance of file sharing. Steelhead appliances fixed that problem in our branch offices, and now Steelhead Mobile does the same for our employees when they are traveling. Steelhead Mobile will also enable us to greatly improve the productivity of people within our very small offices that did not have an appliance.”</p>
<p>Golder Associates also sees the value of deploying Steelhead Mobile on both laptops and in small offices. According to Mike Simpson, “Steelhead Mobile meets multiple needs for us: We clearly see the benefit for workers on the road, but it is also a benefit to our really small offices. With just two people in some offices, we couldn’t justify buying an appliance for them. But Steelhead Mobile software can provide them the acceleration benefits that they need to be productive.”</p>
<p>According to Travis Klasna at JEO Consulting, a full-service firm offering engineering, architecture, surveying and planning services to clients throughout the Midwest, “Steelhead Mobile has enabled us to deploy remote offices in a new way. We have some small offices such as Hastings, Nebraska that aren’t large enough to warrant an appliance deployment. But with Steelhead Mobile, we don’t need to put any IT infrastructure out there at all. The users simply have their laptops, a DSL connection, and Steelhead Mobile software. They get LAN-like access to company data, and we don’t have to manage any infrastructure. That’s pretty powerful for us.”</p>
<p>Steelhead Mobile Performance
Riverbed takes a multi-tiered approach to optimization to address the problems of bandwidth, latency and application protocol inefficiencies through a unified solution. Steelhead Mobile, running on the Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS™), utilizes industry-leading data streamlining and transport streamlining to provide data reduction, compression and transport protocol optimization. With RiOS, enterprises can reduce traffic on the wide area network (WAN) by as much as 95% and transport layer roundtrips by up to 98%, allowing organizations to successfully deliver faster application performance while avoiding bandwidth saturation.</p>
<p>In real-world customer deployments, Steelhead Mobile has delivered the following results for some of the applications most important to business:
· Accelerates Windows file sharing up to 95x with up to a 99 percent reduction in bandwidth utilization
· Improves Microsoft Exchange email attachment transmission up to 54x and reduces traffic by up to 97 percent
· Improves web-based application performance. For example, one customer has seen SharePoint performance improvements of up to 63x with up to a 99 percent reduction in traffic
· Speeds TCP-based application performance over a wide variety of wired and wireless networks</p>
<p>AccuVal had the following to say about their experience with Steelhead Mobile performance: “As an appraisal company, we typically work on Word and Excel documents that can be up to 50 megabytes in size,” said Dhulipala. “In the past, our users had a lot of pain working on those documents and storing them centrally, especially if they were on the road or at a client’s office. Because of these performance issues we might never have the final copy of the document stored in the data center. Also, if a laptop crashes, we might lose the file permanently. But with Steelhead Mobile, those problems go away. Any employee can store and retrieve data from the central repository with LAN-like performance. Not only that, but employees are happier because they can work faster and work from wherever they need to do so.”</p>
<p>Steelhead Mobile Deployment Requirements
A Steelhead Mobile deployment requires that software be deployed on the user’s laptop or desktop PC and that a Steelhead Mobile Controller (SMC) and Steelhead appliance be deployed in the data center.</p>
<p>Steelhead Mobile software: Easily deployed via an MSI package installer. No user configuration is required. The software can run in “invisible” or “visible” mode. Steelhead Mobile works transparently with many existing network configurations and VPNs.</p>
<p>Steelhead Mobile Controller: The SMC offers powerful centralized management and reporting for Riverbed’s Steelhead Mobile software and is required for any deployment of Steelhead Mobile software. With SMC, IT administrators can easily create MSI deployment and upgrade packages and centrally manage policies for all remote users through the SMC’s easy-to-use GUI.</p>
<p>SMC also includes extensive reporting and management that provides visibility and control for Steelhead Mobile clients. Notifications can be configured for performance-related events to help IT ensure acceleration services are running efficiently.</p>
<p>Each SMC can manage concurrent licensing for up to 2,000 Steelhead Mobile clients and can be clustered for larger deployments. The SMC comes out of the box with a license for up to 30 concurrent clients, and license packages can be added as needed. To learn more about the SMC, click http://www.riverbed.com/products/steelhead_mobile/shmc.php.</p>
<p>According to Mike Simpson at Golder, “Management of Steelhead Mobile clients is easy. We can use the reports on the Steelhead Mobile Controller to get the same kind of data as the Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC) gives us. In fact, we get detailed information on each and every user, making ongoing management and support easy. The two consoles look very similar, so it was simple for us to get up to speed with the Steelhead Mobile Controller.”</p>
<p>Steelhead appliance: The Steelhead appliance deployed in the data center works with Steelhead Mobile software to accelerate application performance. Riverbed customers may deploy any Steelhead appliance model running RiOS 4.x or greater.</p>
<p>According to Travis Klasna at JEO Consulting, “Overall, Riverbed has managed to deliver LAN-like performance to my users, no matter where they are, while making it easy for me to manage the whole system. That’s a winning combination.”</p>
<p>Pricing and Availability
Steelhead Mobile is scheduled for general availability by September 2007. Steelhead Mobile is available through a concurrent licensing model. The initial Steelhead Mobile investment includes the purchase of an SMC at $12,995, which includes 30 Steelhead Mobile concurrent user licenses. Customers can purchase additional licenses at the same time or add them later. Because of the concurrent licensing approach, enterprises can deploy Steelhead Mobile software to all laptops with no additional cost. Riverbed estimates that organizations will require one license per every three to five mobile workers, with a cost per mobile user of approximately $87. The price per mobile worker will vary due to the volume of licenses purchased, or the percentage of concurrent users in an organization.</p>
<p>Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the expected demand for Riverbed’s products and services, statements relating to the expected growth of the WDS market, and statements relating to Riverbed’s ability to meet the needs of distributed organizations, grow market share or grow the market as a whole. 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 27, 2007. 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
Riverbed Technology is the performance leader in wide-area data services (WDS) solutions for companies worldwide. By enabling application performance over the wide area network (WAN) that is orders of magnitude faster than what users experience today, Riverbed is changing the way people work, and enabling a distributed workforce that can collaborate as if they were local. Additional information about Riverbed (Nasdaq: RVBD) is available at www.riverbed.com.</p>
<p>Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead, RiOS, Interceptor, 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>

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