SAN FRANCISCO—December 04, 2014— Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced BARBRI, Inc. is using Riverbed® SteelAppTM Traffic Manager to manage large fluctuations in Web site traffic caused by the twice-yearly bar exam schedule. By choosing this solution for application load balancing, BARBRI's IT team was able to meet a tight deadline for creating a new IT infrastructure and to deploy a more modern look for its web site with minimal downtime. On an on-going basis, the BARBRI IT team uses a wide range of SteelApp functionality, including web server performance monitoring and the TrafficScript customization language, to greatly streamline web site maintenance.
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BARBRI is best known for its live and on-line bar exam review courses, which have helped more than 1.2 million law school graduates pass the exam. The company also offers other educational services, such as the Law Preview course that prepares students for law school, and courses leading to certification in areas such as financial crime investigation and e-discovery (the discovery of electronically stored information).
Originally part of Thomson Reuters, in April 2011 BARBRI was sold to Leeds Equity Partners. With the transition to new ownership, BARBRI's IT team had three months to set up an IT infrastructure that would support a number of public Web sites, including barbri.com (the bar review site), lawpreview.com (the law school prep site), aceds.org (the e-discovery site), and afcs.org (the financial crimes site). Barbri.com gets the most traffic, with between 40,000 and 50,000 people logged in concurrently during peak periods, like the twice yearly bar exam schedule.
"Usually our traffic peaks between April and July in preparation for the July test and then again between the end of November through February for the February test," explained Greg Birdwell, infrastructure architect at BARBRI.
To handle this fluctuation, Birdwell included load balancing in the plan for the company's new IT infrastructure. He chose SteelApp Traffic Manager because the solution is software-based and affordable, and because in addition to load balancing it included a lot of other functionality, such as content caching, tools for monitoring web server performance and the TrafficScript customization language. Another part of BARBRI's transition to new ownership included giving its Web sites a more modern look. SteelApp Traffic Manager helped to minimize downtime during the transition.
"Installing the SteelApp software took about five minutes, and once it came up we were able to load balance roughly within an hour after, without even knowing anything about the system," added Birdwell. "In addition, we used SteelApp to do a quick server swap in the pool, so within two minutes, we had a brand new site. And, we could reassure people that if they didn't like it, no problem. We could switch back to the old site just as quickly."
SteelApp TrafficScript allows the IT team to create rules for managing application traffic and automate tasks. Tasks that took hours, such as adding a new site, are now done in minutes, according to Birdwell. He also values the performance monitoring and reporting functionality of SteelApp Traffic Manager, which saves time in troubleshooting.
"If someone tells me a site is having a problem or doing something weird, I can use SteelApp to run some basic reporting and see what's going on," explained Birdwell. "We're able to see exactly where a server might be having a problem and troubleshoot in minutes what would have taken hours without SteelApp."
Riverbed SteelApp (formerly Riverbed Stingray)
Riverbed SteelApp is the #1 virtual application delivery controller (ADC) for scalable, secure and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product family provides control of traffic to and from applications, enabling fast, reliable and secure application delivery to users anywhere from the cloud or data center. It is a complete software-based Layer 7 application delivery controller (ADC) with integrated web content optimization (WCO) and web application firewall that enables companies to deliver optimized and secure application delivery services where and when they are needed in an elastic manner. Riverbed's unique approach automates the deployment, licensing and metering of application delivery services, making possible an "ADC per application" delivery model in which isolated resources and costs for ADC- as-a-Service can be allocated to each client application. This unique approach reduces costs and time to production while enabling rapid change and scale for data center applications.
Riverbed SteelApp is part of the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™, the most complete platform that enables CIOs to deliver, control, and optimize all IT resources across the hybrid enterprise.