Riverbed Provides the WAN Optimization

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-16 Print this article Print

Riverbed Selected to Provide the WAN Optimization

Some of the European offices have DSL connections; some have cable modem connectivity, O'Brien said.

After doing its due diligence on vendor evaluation, GMF decided to go with Riverbed Technology, a San Francisco-based WAN optimization specialist whose data services accelerate business operations. 

Riverbed, which has about 4,500 customers, provides a comprehensive WDS hardware/software package to solve a host of common but often-severe problems that can effectively prevent enterprises from sharing applications and data across wide areas. In this context, "wide area" means anywhere in the world.

Riverbed's secret sauce is housed in its Steelhead WDS appliance, which addresses all the issues that affect application latency over the WAN. The appliance-which contains all the networking hardware and software in one plug-in-type package-is designed to improve the performance of file sharing, e-mail, backup, document management systems and IT tools, in addition to ERP and CRM applications.

Using Riverbed, these applications have been proven to be accelerated anywhere from five to 50 times faster, Riverbed Senior Vice President Eric Wolford told me.

"After we got them installed, not only did they work well, it was unbelievable how fast [the overall network performance] was," O'Brien said. "For example, to upgrade our Belgrade office in Serbia, where we pay about 50 euros a month for a DSL connection, the next possible upgrade would be to a Fibre Channel connection, which costs 600 euros per month.

"Consider that our Riverbed Steelhead WDS appliances cost us $3,000 or $4,000 apiece-that pays for itself very quickly."

Steelheads were integrated into every GMF office. The result was the creation of a GMF global network-the ability to work as a single organization-with significantly improved performance, O'Brien said.

GMF's IT department is now able to centrally manage the network as well as centrally control anti-spyware patch management for increased security, O'Brien said.

Because the grant documents are ingested and distributed faster across GMF's new world network, the system servers and storage arrays don't have to spin as long or as often as they used to, so electrical power saving is becoming a bottom-line savings factor.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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