Riverbed 9.1: Step on the Gas to Accelerate Cloud Adoption in the Hybrid Enterprise


The cloud, which has been a consideration, a distant dream or even dismissed as hype, is now being taken far more seriously, particularly due to software as a service (SaaS) applications. Office365, Salesforce, YouTube and other cloud applications have become mainstays in many enterprises. These applications are relatively low cost for enterprises to try before they buy, pilot in phases and be consumed as an OPEX without upfront investments.

Once they are in, enterprises enjoy the flexibility, economies of scale and the scalability of the cloud. Cloud applications, especially SaaS, relieve the enterprise from complexity of deployment, administration, security, and other operational overhead associated with on-premise enterprise distributions. As one SaaS app begins to take hold, lines of businesses and IT feel that they have a powerful option to consider for their business needs and very soon many more SaaS applications find their way into the enterprise. At Riverbed, we consume well over ten SaaS applications to get our jobs done and we are helped by the close collaboration between our business units and savvy IT teams.  

As enterprises get into production with SaaS, and as SaaS becomes available outside of the pilot group in headquarters, to all their global locations and branches, they begin consuming more and more SaaS and before they know it, there are issues with end user experience or productivity for reasons pretty unknown or well… cloudy! Network administrators realize that the networks they built for enterprise applications have to be rethought. SaaS applications are served dynamically by SaaS vendors, leveraging their assets across the globe to get within proximity to the user. So, unlike an enterprise app that gets served deterministically, a SaaS app can be far more dynamic in its delivery across the globe. 

Riverbed has had a front row drivers’ seat in this transition of the enterprise to a hybrid enterprise. We have helped ease some of our customers’ concerns with moving to the cloud, and in particular SaaS, which in the spectrum of cloud applications is the most turnkey and offers the least options for an enterprise to customize, control, configure or deploy. SteelHead SaaS has long been the industry leading dynamic solution that offers end-to-end optimization over a known good intelligent network for Office 365 and Salesforce. In SteelHead 9.1, we are revving up SteelHead SaaS to top gear. We are unleashing the true potential of this product by offering optimization for many more SaaS applications—Box, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, SAP SuccessFactors and ServiceNow. 

Enterprises are getting much more out of their businesses from these applications, making them far more agile, collaborating on a much deeper level within the enterprise and with customers, managing perhaps the most precious human capital most effectively. Riverbed empowers these enterprises by relieving them of the burden placed on their networks by additional SaaS traffic, giving them a better user experience over the Internet as well as getting more out of their assets. Riverbed reduces data transfers to a small fraction of what needs to traverse the Internet and routes SaaS traffic through an intelligent network to get to their destination, no matter where the app is served from, taking the best possible route, much like your Waze app that takes into account current traffic conditions.  

There is more! We are introducing this capability with an easy to consume single Universal SaaS subscription that gives optimization for all apps with one low price—nothing more to buy. As we introduce more applications throughout the year, subscribers can get optimization for all applications with a flick of a switch—SaaS is simple and performance optimization should be simpler, that’s what Riverbed 9.1 introduces. 

As enterprises embrace SaaS, they leverage other web technologies to complement the enterprise collaboration experience. Video has been projected to dominate as a single largest source of network traffic by Cisco’s VNI and other analyst projections. This is beginning to emerge, especially in utilization of video as a collaboration and learning tool—employee onboarding, training courses and executive messaging have all begun to use video as a form of rich visual experiences to collaboration. LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda.com for $1.5B shows this growing trend. Lynda has almost 200,000 video tutorials, YouTube has millions and Khan Academy is disrupting education. Delivering video takes an order of magnitude of higher bandwidth for enterprises and powerful underlying platforms to deliver them over HTTPS, which secures video flows. 

Riverbed 9.1 introduces a Single Ended Transparent Internet Proxy that caches not just HTTP but also HTTPS objects. Since it terminates connections locally, it saves time to set up connections and immense amount of bandwidth over the WAN for video. It is fully programmable and exports audit logs for compliance and troubleshooting purposes. Riverbed’s CX xx70 appliances introduced earlier this year plays the perfect host for the single ended proxy which coexists with the optimization, visibility and control provided by SteelHead. With its boosted performance, it can keep up with the demands of SSL, which is increasing its share in the enterprise traffic pie chart. 

Both the Universal SaaS and Single Ended Internet Proxy are value additions that can be activated on existing investments in Riverbed SteelHead, giving an enterprise customer more value for their money while easing their concerns on increased strain on their network from an increased consumption of SaaS applications and enhanced video experiences. Riverbed SteelHead 9.1 powers the enterprise and fuels the adoption of cloud.  

To learn more, visit https://www.riverbed.com/products/wan-optimization/Whats-New-in-SteelHead.html

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