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Riverbed extends lead in WDS market with launch of RIOS 5.0 software platform

  • 26 February, 2008 15:53

<p>Riverbed Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD), the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS), today announced the launch of version 5.0 of the Riverbed Optimisation System (RiOS), which powers the award-winning Riverbed® Steelhead® product line. RiOS 5.0 extends the Riverbed lead in delivering to its customers the best speed for the broad range of applications important to businesses of every size and across all industries. With the introduction of RiOS 5.0, Riverbed is the first vendor to provide application-level protocol optimisation for Microsoft Exchange 2007. This makes Riverbed the first and the only vendor to accelerate Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007. In addition, Riverbed is building upon its lead in delivering solutions to enhance IT flexibility and capabilities with new scale, simplicity and security features, including the new RiOS Services Platform (RSP) for delivering virtualised edge services without the need to deploy additional branch office servers.</p>
<p>Make Everything Faster</p>
<p>In a recent survey of over 1,000 WDS customers, more than half said that application performance was their primary reason for purchasing a WDS solution. With RiOS 5.0, Riverbed extends its lead in meeting this demand by providing even faster performance for enterprise applications, including Exchange 2007 and enterprise Web applications.</p>
<p>"Improving application performance has become one of the top initiatives for IT departments," said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president, enterprise research at the Yankee Group. "Our survey data shows that users are 14 percent less productive because of poor performing applications. Organisations spend millions annually on new technology hoping to make users more productive, but would benefit most - likely obtaining a double-digit improvement in employee productivity - if they improve the performance of applications in which they have already invested. WAN optimisation has become a key initiative for the improvement of applications and Riverbed's continued leadership in speed and breadth of applications makes them a vendor that we recommend be on any evaluating company's short list."</p>
<p>Another First: Exchange (MAPI) 2007 Acceleration</p>
<p>Riverbed has expanded its support for Microsoft Exchange environments and is the first WDS vendor to deliver a protocol optimisation specifically for the Exchange 2007 protocol (MAPI 2K7) at the application layer. Riverbed is the only vendor that provides application-level optimisation for Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007.</p>
<p>More Application-Level Acceleration</p>
<p>In RiOS 5.0, Riverbed adds to its existing HTTP and HTTPS acceleration capabilities by further improving the performance of enterprise Web applications, including SAP NetWeaver, Oracle, PeopleSoft/JD Edwards, Microsoft and Siebel CRM, SharePoint, and Outlook Web Access (OWA). In RiOS 5.0, Riverbed can further reduce the chattiness and delay often associated with enterprise Web-based applications. Users of RiOS 5.0 will see additional performance improvements of up to 10X for their Web applications.</p>
<p>RiOS 5.0 also delivers acceleration capabilities for Oracle 11i applications running in HTTP mode. This acceleration builds on the existing RiOS support for Oracle 11i Jinitiator socket mode optimisation and targets the Oracle E-Business suite of applications, particularly Oracle forms traffic and reporting, as well as other application operations. Riverbed is the only vendor that provides application-level optimisation for Oracle 11i.</p>
<p>"At Golder Associates, we have 140 engineering offices worldwide, and are running a centralised SharePoint server as our main Intranet, "said Joe Potegal, senior network engineer, Golder Associates. "We were already running SharePoint with Steelhead appliances and saw a 2.5x increase in performance for our staff collaborating on projects. With RiOS 5.0, SharePoint runs even faster. Documents that used to take 30 seconds to access without Riverbed now take 2 to 3 seconds, and our staff can collaborate from wherever they're working. We also have plans to migrate from Exchange 2003 to 2007, and the new Riverbed Exchange 2007 acceleration feature has given us the ability to do that with no concerns about performance, functionality or our consolidated architecture."</p>
<p>Keep it Simple: Ease of Management</p>
<p>Ease of management is critical for organisations large and small. The ease of management delivered by Riverbed is one of the key reasons that, according to IDC, customers experience a payback within approximately seven months when implementing Riverbed solutions. With RiOS 5.0, Riverbed has expanded on its already strong management capabilities with features such as the RSP, an enhanced GUI and role-based administration. These new capabilities allow organisations of all sizes to greatly simplify the management of IT at their remote locations and are especially important in large-scale and centralised environments.</p>
<p>Virtualised Edge Services: RiOS Services Platform (RSP)
The RSP is an extensible data services platform that enables the delivery of virtualised edge services without the need to deploy additional physical servers at remote or branch offices. The game-changing RSP allows customers to deploy best-of-breed services from their choice of vendors on Steelhead appliances in a self-contained partition to minimise the hardware infrastructure footprint at the branch office. In a typical RSP deployment, IT infrastructure at the remote site is simplified to include the RSP and a router.</p>
<p>"Even in this economy, enterprises continue site consolidation and acceleration projects to drive business efficiency," said Eric Wolford, senior vice president, marketing and business development. "After working with hundreds of customers during the past 12 months, it is clear that in an effort to consolidate, they are looking at the wide variety of data services that complement their cornerstone acceleration efforts. It is a logical extension to now enable third-party vendors to leverage Steelhead appliance deployments and enable virtualised edge services. This approach allows IT organisations to deploy best-of-breed solutions and services, while reducing their costs, management headaches, and IT footprint." Existing services provided by Riverbed are print and proxy file services (PFS).</p>
<p>"With the RSP, Strand can run local branch services like print servers on the Steelhead appliance without the need for a dedicated server. Steelhead appliances already enabled consolidation for most of our services in small branch offices; now, running Steelhead appliances with the RSP we feel more comfortable setting up branch offices without a dedicated server," said Justin Marthaler, IT, Strand Associates, Inc. "This will save us $10,000 to $15,000 in equipment costs for new offices, and that doesn't include the continued cost of maintaining additional servers. The RSP gives us the flexibility to leverage our investment in Steelhead appliances even further, and we're excited about the capability to run additional applications and services in the future."</p>
<p>"While WDS is highly valued, customer demand is fragmented among the array of other edge services desired, without a concentration in any one. Offering an open WDS platform, architected to provide a variety of hooks and taps into the data flow with appropriate module, matches the customer need," concluded Wolford.</p>
<p>Manageability Enhancements</p>
<p>RiOS 5.0 introduces role-based administration capability to give customers more granular control in assigning tasks to administrators of different levels. In addition, RiOS 5.0 features a new GUI to revamp the Web-based management interface for Steelhead appliances. The new interface provides more intuitive menus and simplifies management and configuration.</p>
<p>"At NetDirect we use the Steelhead appliance management interface daily," said Jason Schroeder, a senior solutions consultant at NetDirect. "Our administrators have raved about the new management tools. They are very intuitive, which allows us to effortlessly manage, report and deploy Steelhead appliances."</p>
<p>Improved Deployment Flexibility and Control</p>
<p>Deployment flexibility and control are critical for large-scale deployments. RiOS 5.0 builds on existing Riverbed integration and control features with hierarchical QoS and new WAN visibility modes.</p>
<p>Have it Your Way: Three WAN Visibility Modes</p>
<p>Riverbed now provides flexibility for organisations that want to enable end-to-end transparency of WAN traffic by IP address and port or by port only. Steelhead appliances enable full IP or port-only address visibility on the WAN for optimised connections in addition to their default correct addressing mode. With three visibility modes to choose from, IT organisations and managed service providers can select the appropriate mode of operation for their network without making sweeping architectural design changes to implement WDS. Riverbed is the only vendor to offer customers this type of flexibility for their WDS deployment.</p>
<p>"With over 3,500 customers and many deployments of multiple hundreds of sites, Riverbed has learned that flexibility and control are critical for large-scale enterprise deployments," said Wolford. "With three WAN visibility modes that recognise the deployment needs of different organisations, Riverbed is the only WDS vendor that gives customers this level of flexibility rather than forcing a specific transparency mode onto the customer's network."</p>
<p>"We've been Riverbed customers for over three years, and were using Steelhead appliance service port mapping to work with our service provider's QoS guarantees," said Jean-Christophe Mazoyer, European infrastructure manager at Avid Technology. "That was working well enough for us, but with the new Riverbed transparency feature we can integrate much easier with the WAN-side management capabilities from our provider."</p>
<p>"Zycko is both a Riverbed distributor and customer," said Paul Bonner, head of technical services at Zycko LTD. "We have tested the Riverbed transparency feature and it has given us a lot more flexibility to implement the WDS technology. The fact that we can deploy using multiple visibility modes in our environment for different use cases is an absolute bonus."</p>
<p>More Granular QoS Made Easy</p>
<p>In RiOS 5.0, Riverbed is adding to its QoS classification of traffic based on both bandwidth and priority with the launch of hierarchical QoS. Hierarchical QoS allows customers to assign different QoS specifications on a per site basis in addition to setting application or protocol priorities. Riverbed's QoS capability not only provides granularity, but also simplified management for complex environments. Riverbed Steelhead appliances have always worked with existing customer QoS implementations to seamlessly prioritise mission-critical traffic over the WAN, such as VoIP, video conferencing and other real-time traffic.</p>
<p>Enhanced Security Across the Board</p>
<p>The security functionality in RiOS 5.0 builds on Riverbed's extensive work in building solutions that ensure the security and integrity of enterprise data. With RiOS 5.0, Riverbed has enhanced the implementation of SSL acceleration, with new functionality for ease-of-setup and management. Other security enhancements include new IPSEC functionality. Riverbed's set of security features provides its customers with the industry's only WDS solution that preserves end-to-end security, while delivering ease-of-use and management, for data in motion and data at rest.</p>
<p>"We are ecstatic with the enhanced ability to accelerate SharePoint SSL traffic; we were evaluating SharePoint for internal collaboration between sales engineers and wouldn't have been able to evaluate SharePoint without the SSL optimisation," said Schroeder at NetDirect. "Riverbed is the only company to really accelerate SSL without requiring the distribution of certificates or private keys. With the enhanced SSL and web application acceleration features in 5.0, it's incredibly easy to configure the Steelhead appliances to optimise SharePoint SSL traffic."</p>
<p>When Can You Get It?</p>
<p>RiOS 5.0 will be generally available in March 2008.</p>
<p>To learn more about the performance of RiOS 5.0, visit: http://www.riverbed.com/docs/FeatureBrief-Riverbed-RiOS_5.0.pdf.</p>
<p>For an in-depth technical overview, please visit: http://www.riverbed.com/docs/TechOverview-Riverbed-RiOS.pdf.
Steelhead Products</p>
<p>Riverbed's WDS solutions enable organizations of all sizes to overcome a host of severe problems, including poor application performance and insufficient bandwidth at remote sites. By speeding the performance of applications between data centres, remote offices and mobile workers by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, Riverbed's award-winning Steelhead WDS products enable companies to consolidate IT, improve backup and replication processes to ensure data integrity, and improve staff productivity and collaboration. Steelhead products have been deployed in organizations ranging from the world's largest corporations with offices around the globe to small companies with a couple of sites that are just miles apart. To learn more, view Riverbed's demo: www.riverbed.com/pr/jack.</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, statements regarding the likelihood that enterprises will continue site consolidation and WAN acceleration projects in the current or changing economic environment, statements relating to Riverbed's plans regarding product development and the introduction of new functionality, applications and services, statements regarding customer payback following implementation of Riverbed solutions that may suggest likely or certain outcomes, 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-K filed with the SEC on February 15, 2008. 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 technology and market 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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