Combined Best-in-Class Internet and WAN Optimisation Technologies Deliver First of Its Kind Solution to Speed SaaS Application Performance over Hybrid Cloud Networks
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - February 29, 2012 - Akamai® Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) and Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD) today introduced the Steelhead® Cloud Accelerator, a jointly developed solution that combines Akamai's innovative Internet optimisation technology and market-leading Riverbed® wide area network (WAN) optimisation technology to deliver end-to-end optimisation for software-as-a-service(SaaS) applications. By combining the capabilities of the Akamai Intelligent PlatformTM with the award-winning Riverbed WAN optimisation technology, the companies will provide the industry's first solution to overcome the performance issues introduced by hybrid cloud networks, especially for organisations that need to reduce traffic on backhaul links, and obviate the need for bandwidth upgrades.
The Steelhead Cloud Accelerator is a subscription-based add-on to existing Steelhead appliance deployments and does not require any changes in the way the appliances are deployed nor any changes to the SaaS provider's infrastructure, regardless of where the application or end users are located, across any combination of physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures. Enterprises need only to deploy a single instance of the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator for each SaaS application to take advantage of the optimisation from the jointly developed solution from Akamai and Riverbed. Steelhead Cloud Accelerator will provide optimisations for SaaS applications Google Apps, Salesforce.com® and Microsoft® Office 365.
Akamai and Riverbed offerings are already used separately today by more than 17,000 organisations, including many Fortune 500 businesses worldwide. Riverbed WAN optimisation solutions are used by globally-connected enterprises to speed data transfers and accelerate the performance for the broadest range of applications businesses care about most. Akamai's globally-distributed network of more than 100,000 servers deployed in the cloud provides route, protocol and application layer optimisations for the Internet, and serves anywhere from 15-30 percent of all Web traffic at a given time.
The popularity of cloud-based services is growing within organisations of all sizes. According to Forrester Research, the SaaS market itself is expected to be more than $100 billion by 2017. "While attractive in many ways, the cloud introduces challenges around performance," said Eric Wolford, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Products at Riverbed. "To overcome application performance bottlenecks encountered in unpredictable cloud environments, the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator gives organisations global SaaS performance that feels local."
"Seadrill, a leading offshore deep water drilling company, wanted to take advantage of the economics, ease of management, accessibility and storing space offered by cloud technology and decided to centralise their enterprise applications using cloud computing. However, when employees logged into Office 365 in the morning, it could take as long as two hours before their mailboxes were fully synchronised and led to bandwidth constraints for other types of traffic due to saturated satellite links, often leaving users frustrated," said Pål Gøran Johansen, Network Engineer, Harris Caprock communication, a global provider of fully managed communications for remote and harsh environments. "Having reliable and consistent access to Office 365 was mission critical for communication and collaboration between its oil rigs, offices and headquarters. After testing the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator, response times with Office 365 dramatically improved and freed bandwidth for other traffic. The results showed that Seadrill employees would see significant benefit, as employees would be more productive and collaborative across its 45 oil rigs in EMEA, South America and North America, as well as its offices across the world."
"In order to unlock the cost savings promised by cloud services, organisations are seeking ways to make IT infrastructure more elastic by using multiple, geographically dispersed cloud deployments," said Melanie Posey, Research VP at IDC. "Bandwidth constraints and network latency impact IT infrastructure performance regardless of location -- private data centres or public cloud data centres. The Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution offers organisations using hybrid cloud networks the same level of accelerated application performance previously possible only in the public Internet with Akamai or in private cloud environments with Riverbed."
"As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, we have more than 16,000 users that access Salesforce.com, including those employees that process orders and handle customer service. Backhaul Internet connections that route users across the private WAN before accessing the public Internet introduces additional distance, latency and consumes additional bandwidth, making accessing Salesforce.com problematic," said Lionel Marie, Lead Architect for Global WAN Acceleration at Schneider Electric. "Overcoming the performance challenges was critical for us to effectively process customer orders and provide excellent customer service. We deployed Steelhead Cloud Accelerator to evaluate the solution from Paris and backhauled to the Salesforce.com data centre in the US and achieved 80 percent data reduction while utilising 6x less bandwidth. The test results are really encouraging and demonstrate that the joint solution from Akamai and Riverbed can avoid a costly bandwidth upgrade and address the performance challenges we are encountering."
The Riverbed Optimisation System (RiOS®) software that powers Steelhead products is activated on the Akamai Intelligent Platform when a customer subscribes to the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution. A version of RiOS enhanced to connect with the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution is also installed on the customer's Steelhead solution within their own network. After both instances of RiOS connect, customers can benefit from dramatic performance improvements for a variety of SaaS applications.
"Leveraging existing Riverbed WAN optimisation deployments in corporate networks and the globally distributed Akamai Intelligent Platform for Internet optimisation, organisations can realise immediate value without having to deploy any new hardware," explained Willie M. Tejada, Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Enterprise Cloud Division at Akamai. "With our joint solution, Riverbed and Akamai are ensuring the best user experience for any application, any user, located anywhere, essentially bringing the cloud closer to the end user."
The three SaaS applications initially supported by Steelhead Cloud Accelerator include:
Google Apps brings simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools to organisations of any size so that users can stay connected and work together with ease - all hosted by Google to streamline setup, minimise maintenance, and reduce IT costs.
Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, provides a trusted cloud platform and SaaS applications including its flagship CRM solution, which helps more than 100,000 organisations collaborate easily and connect with customers.
Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft delivers the power of cloud productivity by bringing together online versions of its most trusted communication and collaboration products - business-class e-mail, Web conferencing, instant messaging, document collaboration and workflow all designed to work together seamlessly - with the security, reliability, and control organisations of all sizes require, helping to save time, money and free up valued resources.
Availability: Steelhead Cloud Accelerator is expected to be generally available in Q1 2012.
Akamai® is a leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. At the core of the Company's solutions is the Akamai Intelligent PlatformTM providing extensive reach, coupled with unmatched reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud. To learn more about how Akamai is accelerating the pace of innovation in a hyperconnected world, please visit www.akamai.com or blogs.akamai.com, and follow @Akamai on Twitter.
Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualisation, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance. By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimise and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organisation. Additional information about Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at www.riverbed.com.