Riverbed saves million in IT infrastructure costs by relying on its own technology with private cloud deployment
generic technology


  • Cost and complexity associated with deploying servers to new offices
  • Shared hoteling scenario that a number of e-suite offices present makes it difficult to deploy network-centric infrastructure
  • Poor performance for far-flung employees that access Exchange email, network file shares, and corporate intranet across Riverbed private cloud


  • Instant data access for far flung employees accessing file shares, email, and corporate intranet
  • Ability to go server-less at branch offices with essentially a switch, IP phone, and Steelhead appliance
  • Cost avoidance of $1.96mm across the companies 7 offices


As a technology company focused on addressing IT infrastructure performance challenges organizations face with their network, application, and storage, the Riverbed IT team was acutely aware of the cost and complexity associated with supporting their existing resources while managing the deployment of new offices and employees in sites all over the world.

Riverbed Technology built a base of nearly 7,000 customers since May 2004, including 56% of the Forbes Global 100, by relying on its own technology to help avoid costs and to serve as its own best customer reference. The company’s internal deployment of Steelhead appliances and Steelhead Mobile software enabled the IT Department to cost effectively support its rapid growth from 60 employees and a handful of offices to more than 1,000 employees located at over 20 offices around the globe in just five years.



  • Global IT consolidation and virtualization into private cloud infrastructure
  • Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances deployed to all branch offices and data centers
  • Riverbed’s Steelhead Mobile software deployed to all employees to provide optimization when away from the office.

Riverbed Technology Saves $2 Million in IT Infrastructure Costs By Relying on its own Technology with Private Cloud Deployment

By designing its IT systems from the outset to rely on Riverbed’s complete IT infrastructure performance solution for mobile workers, branch offices, and data centers, the company was able to increase the performance of its existing networks, storage, and applications, effectively eliminating the need for costly additional infrastructure or extensive management without affecting employee productivity.


Challenge: Balancing Costs and Rapid Growth

Riverbed’s corporate offices were a mix of wholly owned branch offices and e-suites, where employees were “hoteling” meant the Riverbed IT Team faced inconsistent access and control over the network infrastructure they were tasked with managing. Their desire to implement a standardized, best of breed, consolidated infrastructure was further confounded by the fact that over half of the company’s 1,000 person workforce frequently worked outside the office, typically collaborating on very large files.


Solution: A Centralized Private Cloud Infrastructure Powered by Steelhead Appliance & Steelhead Mobile WAN Optimization

Fortunately, Riverbed Technology CIO Thomas Bakewell did not have to look too far when it came to finding a solution that would help streamline his company’s IT infrastructure and control costs of Riverbed’s rapid global expansion. Bakewell and his team designed a centralized and virtualized private cloud model with the performance benefits of Steelhead Appliances and the Steelhead Mobile Software to run and manage everything from their primary data center.

Every one of Riv- erbed’s 21 worldwide offices received a Steelhead Appliance, while every employee was provided with Steelhead Mobile. This configuration allowed Bakewell and his team to provide their heterogeneous network environment with consistent LAN like performance without traditional remote office hardware like file and mail servers, storage and backup boxes, or core network services like DNS or SHCP.


Benefits: Costs, Lead Time, Support

To Bakewell, the advantages of the Riverbed comprehensive WAN optimization solution were clear. He estimated that by being able to avoid many common infrastructure costs Riverbed was able to save approximately $79,500 for each of the companies seven offices and $58,000 for each of the fourteen e-suites as well as an additional $593,800 in incremental savings by not having to purchase additional bandwidth or expand IT headcount for a total savings of $1.96mm.

While the primary benefits of the centralized network architecture and private cloud solution were cost avoidance and management simplicity, Bakewell also felt it was crucial to use Riverbed’s own products in production. “Our goal is to be Riverbed’s best customer reference.” The result, instant data and application access for far flung employees working with file shares, email, and corporate intranet and a network built to help support the next phases of Riverbed’s rapid growth. The advantage is that offices can be turned up quickly and much more affordably than if we had a complex infrastructure.

“One of the key values derived from the Riverbed deployment has been cost avoidance, enabling us to consolidate our servers centrally and go virtually server-less at branch offices.”

Thomas Bakewell, CIO

Riverbed Technology

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San Francisco, California, United States





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