Faster, Safer Access

By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2004-04-12 Print this article Print

Faster, Safer Access

The results have been impressive: With "warm" (that is, populated with working data) Steelhead appliances in place, Wright-Pierce workers can now get nearly instantaneous access to files stored at the home office and update them quickly, Sirois said.

With the major files stored at one site, it has become easier for Sirois to protect his companys data while providing a single place for his users to search for data.

With data centralization at a single site, user productivity will likely increase because there will be a single, master data repository from which to retrieve data, eliminating the need to search for documents in several places.

The company is performing trend analysis to figure out which Steelhead appliances will be used at Wright-Pierces other branches.

Case file

  • Company Wright-Pierce
  • Location Topsham, Maine
  • The issue Recent expansion from one office to five was causing problems when users sought to share large documents, while maintaining revision control
  • The solution Deploy a caching appliance on a trial basis that links the Portland, Maine, branch office to headquarters to speed access to files.
  • Tools Riverbed Technologys Steelhead appliances
  • Whats next Beta project is complete, and Wright-Pierce is doing trend analysis to determine which Steelhead appliances it will install at other branches Source: eWEEK reporting

  • Sirois said that users have been happy with the solution so far and that he believes the other branches will be quick to adopt the Riverbed Technology solution when they see how much easier it makes their work process. However, it was too early to estimate a return on investment for the product, he said.

    Steelhead appliances range from $5,995 for the Steelhead 500 device, which has a capacity of 40GB, to $39,995 for the Steelhead 5000, with a capacity of 512GB.

    Looking into the future, Wright-Pierces need for the Steelhead appliances will likely increase as the company expands its use of aerial photography in planning its engineering projects. Aerial photographs, which can range in size from 10MB to 30MB, offer a wealth of useful information but are difficult to move around on a WAN.

    "We wanted to make sure that our CAD files worked well over the network," Sirois said. "We are working aggressively to try to solve the WAN problems that come with having large file types."

    Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be contacted at

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