Riverbed Accelerates Stingray ADC

Network optimization vendor Riverbed is updating its Stingray application delivery controller (ADC) with a major new release that merges ADC and Web optimization.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 18, 2012
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The new Stingray Traffic Manager 9.0 release represents a significant milestone for Riverbed as it merges previously separate technologies together in an effort to further accelerate web content.

Stingray & Aptimizer integrated

"Under Riverbed’s ownership, Stingray Aptimizer Web content optimization (WCO) has been integrated with Stingray Traffic Manager in this release," Naveen Prabhu, senior manager of product marketing for the Stingray business unit at Riverbed, told Enterprise Networking Planet.com"When the aquisition of Zeus and Aptimize was made, we announced an intention to integrate Aptimize's WCO functionality with the Stingray Traffic Manager. This release fulfills that promise."

Riverbed acquired Zeus and Aptimizein July of 2011. Zeus had developed ADC technology while Aptimize built Web content optimization tech. In October of 2011, Riverbed issued its first release of technologies formerly owned by Zeus and Aptimize. The Zeus tech was renamed the Stingray Traffic Manager and Aptimizer was rebranded as Riverbed Aptimizer.

Aptimizer was last updated in January of 2012 to version 2.5. That release includes support for mobile devices and browsers.

WCO and ADC technologies are typically kept separate. ADCs provide optimization based on a load balancing type model where traffic is balanced across Web server resources. WCO on the other hand actually optimizes the underlying content of a webpage, including graphics, CSS and JavaScript. According to Prabhu, this is the first time there is complete WCO functionality on any ADC offering. The new Stingray integration provides the ability to deliver WCO across all devices/browsers and combinations of the two directly from an ADC platform.

Riverbed's Stingray Traffic Manager is intended to compete with F5's lineup of Big-IP ADCs. Aptimizer will also continue to be available as a standalone, so it can easily co-exist with other ADC products from F5, Citrix and others. F5 recently updatedits lineup of ADCs to support the emerging SPDY protocol to accelerate Web traffic. Prabhu noted that Riverbed Stingray does not currently support SPDY. He did not indicate if Riverbed has any plans to do so in the near future either.

Developer edition available

In an effort to help jump-start adoption of the new Stingray solution, Riverbed has a new freely-available Stingray developer edition

"With the free developer license, developers can create applications with performance in mind earlier so products perform better and are more stable," Prabhu said. "This is versus the traditional approach of building an application then just front ending it with an ADC, which won't give you the same level of performance"

The other key item that is likely to attract enterprise is price. The new integrated solution is cheaper than each product seperately. Traffic Manager had a starting price point of $8,000 and the Aptimizer had a starting price point of $10,000. "Now, you can get the integrated version starting at $10,000 depending on the Web server," Prabhu said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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