Solution: Riverbed Client Accelerator
Today, all ERM employees in a region—in satellite offices, at home, or in the field—can quickly open and save files on a centralized file server. The first phase of the solution, in 2017, was accelerating office-to-office WAN performance by deploying Riverbed SteelHead devices in each office. Immediately, consultants in satellite offices could access files in the main office as if they were local. “Eliminating the need for tape backup in satellite offices reduced individual server costs per office from $10,000 to $3,000,” says Trueman.
The abrupt shift to work-from-home during the COVID-19 pandemic triggered phase two: accelerating last-mile WAN performance to consultants’ homes. Extending the value of the earlier SteelHead investment, ERM installed Riverbed Client Accelerator on employee laptops. “Of the three WAN acceleration solutions we tested, Riverbed delivered the best performance, and it didn’t require any changes to our network,” Trueman says. “When I tested Client Accelerator from home—I have 10Mbps down and 750Kbps up—I was amazed, blown away. Suddenly I could open a large file from home as fast as I could in the office.” File share traffic (CIFS) shrank by 50%-60%.
ERM started with 500 Client Accelerator licenses, soon tripling the count to 1,500 to meet demand. “Once employees experienced the difference with Riverbed Client Accelerator, they didn’t want to work without it,” says Trueman.