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Riverbed's Steelhead Appliance Shows 170X File Transfer Performance Improvement in Testing by the Tolly Group.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steelhead 1010's Effective WAN Capacity Improvements Outpace Competition by more than a Factor of 10; Applications Tested Include: CIFS, MAPI, HTTP, FTP and Lotus Notes

Riverbed Technology, the performance leader in application acceleration on wide area networks, announced today that independent testing by The Tolly Group of its Steelhead 1010 Wide-Area Data Services (WDS) appliance shows that the Steelhead can enable file transfers that are up to 170 times, or about 17,000%, faster than without Riverbed optimization. The Steelhead 1010 performance improvements far outstrip effective WAN capacity improvements cited by other vendors, outpacing them by more than a factor of 10.

The Tolly Group tested the Steelhead 1010 with the premise that many companies facing a WAN performance problem with their remote sites think of it as a "bandwidth problem." However, issues beyond bandwidth affect application performance and throughput. While compression and caching address part of the problem, what's needed is an integrated WDS solution that goes beyond caching and compression to address latency related to chatty transport and application protocols.

In testing the Steelhead 1010, Tolly Group engineers focused on two key metrics: effective WAN throuput, and transfer time (time to complete) -- measuring how much greater the effective WAN connection is, and showing how much the "wait" times for data can be reduced, especially when the data sent was previously processed by the Steelhead 1010. Testing examined the effect that the Steelhead 1010 had on five common enterprise application types -- CIFS, HTTP, FTP, MAPI and Lotus Notes -- as application traffic passed across a range of simulated WAN links with latency.

In addition to reducing the amount of data traversing the WAN, the Steelhead 1010 provided incremental latency optimizations for CIFS and MAPI, which dramatically reduced the round trip requirements (chattiness) across the LAN. The combination of bandwidth optimization coupled with protocol acceleration resulted in average throughput increases of 40x, and ranged between 4.8 and 172 times faster than an unaccelerated WAN environment.

"Until the Steelhead 1010 testing, the best WAN optimization yields we've seen were about 15X the capacity of a WAN link," said Kevin Tolly, president/CEO/founder of The Tolly Group. "By achieving up to 170X performance improvements, Riverbed has raised the bar for optimization of WAN links."

Riverbed's WDS products combine a patented, advanced compression algorithm that uses a disk-based architecture, rather than a memory-based (RAM) architecture, with advanced TCP and application-level optimizations. Because the Steelhead 1010 stores to disk, it can retain large amounts of data relative to the practical storage limits when memory is the only medium available.

"WAN performance and application acceleration are remote office issues, rather than bandwidth issues," said Eric Wolford, senior vice president, marketing and business development at Riverbed. "Compression, application acceleration, and file storage solutions are merging into a broad category that addresses the needs of the remote office and the distributed enterprise. WDS solutions like the Steelhead appliance are able to go beyond the limits of each of these product segments and address the broader application performance concern. By providing optimizations that are orders of magnitude greater than what users experience today, Riverbed is changing the way people work -- and enabling, for the first time, a truly distributed workforce."

About The Tolly Group

The Tolly Group, an independent testing and strategic consulting organization based in Boca Raton, FL., offers a full range of services designed to furnish both the vendor and end-user communities with authoritative and unbiased information. Additionally, The Tolly Group is recognized worldwide for its expertise in assessing leading-edge technologies. For more information on The Tolly Group's services, visit its Web site at, E-mail, call 561-391-5610, or fax 561-391-5810.

About Riverbed

Riverbed Technology, the pioneer in wide area application acceleration, was founded in 2002 by Jerry M. Kennelly, President and CEO, and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Steve McCanne. Riverbed's Steelhead appliances were named a "Product of the Year" for 2005 by InfoWorld in the networking category as the "Best WAN Accelerator." Steelhead appliances solve the problems of latency and bandwidth that plague a wide variety of applications over distributed networks. The company has received funding from Goldman Sachs, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and UV Partners.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 13, 2005
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