CSS is a $100 million company with offices in Maine, Maryland and Oregon. The company sought to integrate operations between the sites, from bi-coastal order entry, to enabling real-time design, while ensuring that their VOIP and video conferencing systems worked smoothly over their existing T1 lines. The IT department also sought to consolidate its Microsoft Exchange infrastructure in its Maine offices.
CSS was able to install the Steelhead appliances in minutes.
"Riverbed out-performed the alternatives," said Mike Haskell, IT manager at CSS. "Once we deployed Riverbed, our applications performed much faster over the WAN."
Prior to installing Riverbed's Steelhead appliances, replication of CSS' CRM sales operations database from Maine to Oregon took over eight hours, which made it impractical for CSS to process orders on both coasts. After installing Steelhead appliances, CSS is now able to replicate the entire database in 10 minutes, allowing the company to take orders in real-time on both coasts. CSS was also able to reduce file transfer times for very large CAD files generated by Autodesk(R) Inventor(R) by over 40x improvement in performance -- enabling engineers to collaborate and enjoy real-time LAN-like access from either coast.
In addition, CSS uses video conferencing with VoIP quite heavily. Their offices are linked by T1 lines, with 768 kbps of that bandwidth designated for video, and an additional 128 kbps dedicated to VoIP. The company uses its MPLS network, and sets QoS in its routers; with Riverbed(R) deployed, the remaining 600 kbps is sufficient to run its business operations.
G&T designs, manufactures and installs large scale baggage handling and explosive detection equipment for major airports throughout the world. Although their headquarters are near Orlando, Florida, G&T also maintains operations at projects on-site at airports, typically for 12 to 18 months, sometimes for several years at a time. Their 800 employees are engaged in design and manufacturing in Orlando, but work collaboratively with the project teams at airports in Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis and other major cities.
G&T had several interrelated challenges. The IT group's top concern was business continuity. Hurricanes frequently hit the Orlando area, making replication of data a critical concern for the company. Prior to installation of the Steelhead appliances, moving hundreds of Gigabytes of data across the WAN over T1 lines was not practical.
G&T user concerns were very different. The company uses several CAD applications, including AutoCAD(R) Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, as well as Bentley MicroStation(R), and Microsoft Project(R) for project management. The applications generate enormous files that are shared across the WAN between distributed teams. Prior to installing the Steelhead appliances, download of large assemblies over the WAN typically took 20 or 30 minutes, forcing users to look for alternatives such as emailing drawings to each other. This approach led to version control issues.
G&T also wanted to avoid the cost and complexity of pushing IT resources out to the edge of its network. Prior to installing the Steelhead appliances, G&T's IT group had to deploy both Exchange(R) servers out to its edge locations to deliver acceptable email performance for its users, and file servers to deliver acceptable performance for downloads of drawings. Then those files needed to be backed up and replicated, all without affecting the company's version controls.
"As soon as we deployed the Steelhead appliances, positive user reviews began to pour in as opposed to the usual complaints about time lag and the network being slow," said George Tilmon, supervisor of IT operations at G&T Conveyor of Orlando, Florida. "When you stop hearing complaints from users, that's when you know you're doing your job."
"Downloading 20 to 30 MB project files that used to take three-to-four minutes now takes ten seconds," continued Tilmon. "Our massive half terabyte disaster recovery jobs that couldn't be accomplished in over four days can now be done successfully in a day."
About Steelhead Appliances
Riverbed's award-winning Steelhead appliances accelerate enterprise applications typically by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times between enterprise datacenters and remote offices. The Steelhead appliance's intelligent optimizations give companies that share data and collaborate between distributed offices significant performance improvements for a broad range of applications that are important to their businesses, offering these companies the ability to simplify IT infrastructure and realize significant capital and operational cost savings.
Unlike competing approaches that are built primarily on either a network-compression or storage (caching) philosophy (like many WAFS-only architectures), Steelhead appliances are based on the Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS(TM)), which accelerates all TCP-based applications, including common applications like Windows file sharing, MAPI, Microsoft SQL and DPM, NetApp's SnapMirror, Symantec's NetBackup and FTP, while adding incremental application-specific latency optimizations to minimize the impact of latency on key applications.
Riverbed's intelligent optimizations also enable remote office IT consolidation, WAN bandwidth optimization and acceleration of data replication and backup for disaster recovery.
Riverbed Technology, Inc. is the performance leader in wide-area data services (WDS) solutions. By enabling application performance over the wide area network (WAN) that is orders of magnitude faster than what users experience today, Riverbed is changing the way people work, and enabling a distributed workforce that can collaborate as if they were local. The Wall Street Journal named Riverbed the winner of its 2005 Technology Innovation Award in the Network/Broadband/Internet category. In addition, InfoWorld has named Riverbed's Steelhead appliance "Technology of the Year" in both 2005 and 2006, as the "Best WAN Accelerator," and Network Computing named Riverbed the winner of its 2006 Well-Connected Award for Remote Office Network Infrastructure. Riverbed's award-winning solutions are available worldwide from resellers who are members of the Riverbed Partner Network, from Riverbed OEM partners, or directly from Riverbed. For more information about Riverbed, visit www.riverbed.com.
Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead, RiOS and the Riverbed logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Riverbed Technology, Inc. Kim Kapustka, 415-344-4476 Email Contact