Riverbed Accelerates UDP with RiOS 7

WAN optimization isn't just about TCP over port 80 anymore.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Dec 5, 2011
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WAN optimization vendor Riverbed (NASDAQ:RVBD) is out today with a major new update. The Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) 7, provides new optimizations for video, VDI and UDP traffic.

The new RiOS 7 release comes as Riverbed continues to build out a broader portfolio of network optimization and visibility solutions beyond just the RiOS powered Steelhead WAN optimization appliances. Riverbed's Cascade division is the lead sponsor of the open source Wireshark network analysis tool. With RiOS 7, Wireshark integration gets even tighter.

"We've integrated the packet capture and analysis functionality from our Cascade line of network performance monitoring products directly onto a Steelhead appliance," Naveen Prabhu, senior product marketing manager at Riverbed told InternetNews.com. "What this means is that Steelhead appliances now have onboard capture and analysis capabilities and this is fully integrated with Wireshark."

The new RiOS release also improves video delivery capabilities with stream splitting technology. Parbhu explained that when an enterprise has, for example, a hundred users all logging into the same live video event it's not efficient to have 100 separate streams coming across the WAN.

"What stream splitting does is the Steelhead appliance pulls the original live video stream and then serves the hundred requests locally, essentially splitting the original stream," Prabhu said. "So you're not stressing your WAN infrastructure and consuming more bandwidth than is absolutely necessary."

While most enterprise WAN traffic goes over TCP, there is an increasing volume that is now moving over the UDP protocol, as well. Because of this, RiOS 7 now includes optimization capabilities for UDP.

"This is a way for customers to get even more coverage using Steelhead applications for any applications that they may use," Prabhu said. "Riverbed loves all traffic, regardless of whether it's TCP or UDP."

The UDP optimization is done on a packet by packet approach. UDP is commonly used in file and data replications applications including Veritas that deal with the bulk transfer of files and data over UDP.

The RiOS 7 release is the first major update to RiOS since the 6.5 release in February. The WAN optimization space is a very competitive one with solutions from Blue Coat, Cisco, and Silver Peak among other vendors.

The RiOS 7 release is a software update for existing Riverbed Steelhead appliance users and is not being accompanied by a new hardware release at this time. In addition to the Cascade monitoring and RiOS powered Steelhead WAN optimization appliance, Riverbed recently moved into the storage optimization business with Whitewater and the Web content optimization business with the Stingray Aptimizer.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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