San Francisco—August 05, 2015— Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced CenterPoint Properties is using multiple capabilities of the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ to support the company's entirely public cloud-based IT environment. Prior to deploying Riverbed solutions, its cloud-based applications were slow and frustrated end users. CenterPoint Properties leveraged Riverbed® SteelHead™ SaaS and the company reported a reduction in Office 365 traffic on its network by 63%, improving end user productivity. CenterPoint Properties also uses Riverbed® SteelHead™ and Riverbed® SteelCentral™ network performance management (NPM) solutions for visibility, optimization, and control of its cloud applications and multi-networked environment.
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CenterPoint Properties acquires, develops, and manages industrial property and transportation infrastructure, with a focus on investing in the major coastal and inland ports that anchor North America's principal freight lanes. The company's portfolio includes 50.5 million square feet and 5,500 acres under development.
Because IT is critical but not an area of expertise for the company, CenterPoint Properties decided to transition its IT environment to the public cloud, starting with Microsoft Office 365 for email and office applications, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Azure. Scott Zimmerman, Chief Information Officer for CenterPoint Properties, explained, "Given the size of our company, having redundant data centers for our systems that require high availability didn't make much economic sense for us. As such, we are leveraging the cloud, which has built-in geo-redundancy for the same price as hosting a single instance in our data center."
The first employees to make the transition were not happy about it. "In the very beginning, the cloud applications were slow and employees didn't like that," said Beverly Maestas, VP of Technology Operations at CenterPoint Properties. The sluggish network experience with Office 365 frustrated end users, who were telling Maestas that they couldn't get their work done.
CenterPoint Properties had previously installed Riverbed SteelHead appliances in its data center and all remote offices to ensure data access and high application performance over its privately owned multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network. CenterPoint Properties also had a SteelCentral™ NetExpress appliance for application-aware network performance management (NPM). Not long after deploying NetExpress, the company started planning its move to the cloud. Maestas used the NetExpress capability to perform what-if studies to look at what effect the transition would have on bandwidth utilization. After seeing the increase in traffic that would result, and still hoping to avoid buying more bandwidth, Maestas turned to Riverbed again. "I found out that Riverbed offers Office 365 acceleration through SteelHead SaaS], and I felt that was a better solution," she said.
CenterPoint Properties started with a trial to evaluate SteelHead SaaS in-house. This solution combines WAN and Internet optimizations to ensure accelerated delivery of SaaS applications like Office 365 over both private MPLS links as well as the public (and cheaper) Internet, while reducing the bandwidth consumed to deliver a superior user experience. "I could show my boss a traffic summary report that showed SteelHead SaaS was reducing our Office 365 traffic by 63%, so we felt comfortable making the purchase," Maestas added.
Once SteelHead SaaS was deployed, complaints about Office 365 application performance ended. "We had been getting a lot of calls about poor performance, and those stopped," Maestas said. "And that was without any increase in bandwidth." The company finds this solution very affordable, costing less than the bandwidth upgrade that would have been necessary if not for Riverbed Office 365 acceleration. The company began its move to Office 365 with Exchange, then OneDrive for Business and will eventually start using SharePoint in the cloud as well.
Riverbed products and services have helped CenterPoint Properties in other ways, besides supporting the company's move to the cloud. For example, Riverbed solutions make it easier for the company to open new offices as it expands into additional port cities across the US. "We have a standard set-up for each of the offices now," said Maestas. "Every office gets a managed router from AT&T and a SteelHead appliance, so it has immediate traffic optimization. We don't wait. We just build that into the cost of every office."
In terms of the big picture, Maestas sees Riverbed's contribution to her company and its IT environment this way: "Our IT organization isn't that big, having our own datacenter is not our core business, and Riverbed has helped us feel bigger, move faster, and be more agile. We find using the cloud for access anywhere, anytime better fits our model."
Riverbed SteelHead, SteelCentral and the Riverbed Application Performance Platform
The Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ gives CIOs end-to-end visibility, optimization and control across an entire enterprise. A key part of the platform, Riverbed SteelHead is the industry's #1 optimization solution for accelerated delivery of all applications across the hybrid enterprise. SteelHead provides increased visibility into application performance and end-user experience and the ability to ensure business performance SLAs through an application-aware approach to hybrid networking based on centralized business intent-based policies. The Riverbed SteelCentral product family is a performance management and control suite that combines user experience, application, and network performance management to provide the visibility needed to diagnose and cure issues before end users notice a problem, call the help desk, or jump to another web site out of frustration.
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