Digital Performance Is Crucial in Every Cloud-First Business


Networks seemed a good deal simpler just a few years ago, didn't they? Most critical data and applications resided on premises, and your MPLS network provided a straight line between the branches and datacenter. Optimizing network and application performance was an obvious win.

Now cloud, mobility, internet transport, and flexible delivery models for apps — either on premises or through the cloud — have made the IT landscape complex, insecure, and unreliable.

That’s why digital performance is even more highly valued by CIOs as today's cloud-first infrastructures multiply in complexity. Nearly 99% of 1,000 surveyed IT leaders with $500 million in revenue believe optimizing digital performance is essential to optimizing business performance and 50% strongly agree, according to the Riverbed Digital Performance Global Survey in 2018.

Ensuring cloud network performance

"Network and app performance still matter," says Susan Hewitt, Director of Product Marketing in the Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit at Riverbed. Ease of network cloud connectivity, throughput, and performance is critical for business agility and can be measured in end user satisfaction and productivity, as well as cost savings, both CAPEX and OPEX.

"End users expect better and better technologies, better and better digital experiences to facilitate their work and consumer activities. It's like Moore's law in its inevitability," says Hewitt. "Whether on premises or in the cloud, you want end users to feel that the app is performing as if it's local, that it's on their desktop. That’s where Riverbed cloud networking comes in."

Riverbed’s view of cloud networking takes a completely different approach, says Hewitt. “We integrate and unify the different elements to provide a single unified orchestration and connectivity fabric end to end, as well as single-click connectivity to public (AWS and Azure) and private cloud — all of it managed through the cloud and software defined.” And it spans the entire network across WAN, LAN, and Wi-Fi with embedded security, optimization, and visibility, she notes, so that distributed workforces can work together securely and productively — without issues or delays.

Cost savings? EMA's March 2018 "Measuring the ROI of Riverbed SD-WAN" discovered a six-fold ROI and payback in less than ten months.

Case study: Mondadori France

Such results are hardly unusual. A recent Riverbed customer case study demonstrates the continuing need for digital performance in cloud environments when colleagues need to collaborate with each other and transfer very large files that constitute the core of their business.

Mondadori France is a prolific publisher, a subsidiary of the Italian Arnoldo Mondadori Editore group. Mondadori France is the third-largest magazine publisher in France, and one of the largest publishers in Europe. Its biggest books have 800K print runs, and a third of French people read at least one of its publications every month.

For a long time, Mondadori France relied on in-house servers to host its applications, shuttling very large files across the network. Then, in 2014, Mondadori France began transitioning to a cloud-centric strategy that would see the company host the majority of its business-critical applications with Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Irish datacenter.

Despite adding two 1Gbps pipes for increased bandwidth, application performance over the network still suffered, negatively impacting the business. According to the head of IT, journalists saw "considerable delays" in the file operations and primary applications. It became clear that just throwing more bandwidth at the performance problem would not solve it.

Solution: Riverbed SteelHead CX

Mondadori France’s search for solutions brought them to Riverbed.

IT carried out real-time testing with two SteelHead™ CX devices, one on each 1Gbps connection, connecting Mondadori France’s infrastructure's perimeter with the Irish AWS datacenter.

The results were striking. The journalists experienced a 30% increase in productivity with the primary publishing application in the cloud. With its SteelHead CX devices, Mondadori France is now in a position to maximize use of the 60 servers and 50TB of storage available in the cloud. The IT team will shortly move to a global solution optimization phase, based on cloud and SteelHead applications that enable increased throughput, optimization, and acceleration of applications in real time.

The Mondadori France case really brings into perspective what digital performance and SteelHead brings to the table: “France is not that far from that AWS datacenter in Ireland, and, despite additional bandwidth, Mondadori France still needed optimization and acceleration to achieve optimal digital performance," Hewitt explains.

Riverbed Cloud Networking for digital performance

Riverbed Cloud Networking for optimal digital performance provides your business with the agility needed to bring your network into the digital and cloud era. Riverbed solutions deliver superior application and network performance, integrated visibility and security, and increased end-user satisfaction and cost savings in a wide variety of use cases, from file sharing, collaboration, and video optimization to WAN cost reduction, cloud adoption (SaaS and IaaS), and DevOps automation, for example. If you'd like to read the full Mondadori France case study, you can find it here.