SAN FRANCISCO—March 31, 2014— Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced that Room to Read is using the #1 WAN optimization solution, Riverbed® Steelhead®, to accelerate end-user access to centralized applications and files, improving the organization's ability to fulfill its mission of improving literacy and educational opportunities in developing countries. Room to Read uses Steelhead CX in the datacenter and Steelhead EX in every country branch office to reduce and simplify the IT footprint at these remote locations.
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"The ability to deploy multiple servers on one box in the country branch offices and manage them all remotely from our datacenter in the U.S. is invaluable to the success of our IT program and to the overall success of our programs implemented worldwide," according to Wes Durrett, Room to Read's senior IT operations manager.
Room to Read is a global organization that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education. Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education.
The Need for Location-Independent Computing Where Infrastructure Is Sparse
Since building its first library in Nepal in 1999, Room to Read has expanded into Viet Nam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, South Africa, Zambia, Bangladesh and Tanzania. In each of these countries, Room to Read has a main office typically located in a larger city, as well as a number of field offices. The main offices are connected to a datacenter in Sacramento, Calif., but in the past, latency issues in sending files or accessing applications halfway across the world, as well as bandwidth limitations of the networks involved, made it difficult to impossible for the country offices to access centralized data and applications.
"In many of the places we operate, bandwidth either isn't available or it's too expensive. In Zambia, for example, bandwidth just isn't available," said Durrett. "In other countries, such as Viet Nam, it's available, but high-speed bandwidth costs more than our non-profit can afford. I have some offices with 20 to 30 people and only a 512k link."
As a result, centralized file sharing wasn't possible. The country offices stored files locally, which meant the global office didn't have access to them. Also, email, the organization's main form of communication, was very slow.
When a donor gave Room to Read some money specifically ear-marked for improving connectivity, the organization hired a consultant who told them that the best thing they could do is to put a Riverbed Steelhead WAN optimization appliance in every location.
"With Riverbed, we now have centralized file sharing and mail servers that everyone around the world can use effectively," added Durrett. "CIFS and MAPI optimization and data reduction are some of the main benefits of the Steelhead appliances."
Another "absolutely invaluable" benefit, according to Durrett, is the ability to run virtual services in VSP, a protected partition on the Steelhead. "The simplification of having to ship only one piece of network equipment - I can't even tell you how valuable that is to us," Durrett said. "Steelhead appliances today are an integral part of our network; they are operation-critical. Next, I plan to replace local file share in the country offices and deliver it via Riverbed Granite, thus removing the responsibility of local backups and eliminating tape backup in some of the local offices." Riverbed Granite is the first and only branch converged infrastructure product that delivers local performance while enabling data centralization, instant recovery and lower TCO.
Riverbed Steelhead WAN Optimization
Riverbed Steelhead is the industry's #1 WAN optimization solution that accelerates the delivery of applications to the branch and from the cloud, and allows IT to prioritize delivery of mission-critical applications over the fastest networks. Steelhead pioneered WAN optimization in 2004 with unique innovations for application and data streamlining across the WAN and Internet to deliver the best end-user experience regardless of location, network or device while dramatically reducing network bandwidth. In 2014, 10 years after creating the WAN Op market with the first Steelhead shipment, Riverbed continues as the market leader with more than 50% share. With Steelhead, SaaS apps can be delivered up to 33x faster while using 97% less bandwidth. As a result, Steelhead has become critical to Microsoft Office 365 deployments with over one million users being accelerated to date.
Steelhead is the only "Leader" in the "Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers" for six years straight and has won InfoWorld Technology of the Year eight consecutive times.