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Riverbed enhances WAN optimization for EMC SRDF

Riverbed RiOS 6.5 software for its Steelhead WAN optimization appliances aims to speed replication between EMC Symmetrix boxes using SRDF; also enhances QoS

Riverbed Technology Inc. today added selective optimization for EMC Corp.'s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) SAN replication application today with its release of its RiOS 6.5 operating system for its Steelhead WAN optimization appliances. Selective optimization for SRDF is designed to speed replication across a WAN for disaster recovery.

RiOS enables greater control of SRDF, said Jeff Boles, senior analyst and director, validation services at Taneja Group. Riverbed has added more intelligence into how RiOS 6.5 deals with SRDF so it can more intelligently handle and recognize SRDF configurations. The new version of RiOS lets administrators fine-tune optimization for SRDF on a per-RDF-group basis.

"Riverbed has been supporting SRDF for years and this is an incremental improvement," Boles said. "But it's extremely important in a complex environment that will have complex consistency groups. It will help companies replicate application consistency groups faster."

Like other WAN optimization vendors, Riverbed sees SRDF as a key application for enterprises because it's the replication for EMC's flagship high-end storage. Riverbed is an EMC Select partner, which means EMC can resell Riverbed appliances.

"You typically have different consistency or RDF groups; with this new feature we can now prioritize which types of data and what goes first on the network," said Nik Rouda, director of solutions marketing at Riverbed. "You may decide your Oracle information is more of a priority than your Web applications or email. It's not only about making storage faster, but what specific data goes first."

With RiOS 6.5, Riverbed also enhanced its Quality of Service (QoS) function to improve application performance, adding a new scheduling technique to allocate minimum and maximum bandwidths and the ability to prioritize applications based on their latency sensitivity.

Riverbed also added native support for Microsoft's file access protocol SMB v2, optimized Microsoft Outlook Anywhere to reduce the number of servers needed in remote locations, and added client-side certificate support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Rouda said Riverbed's Microsoft Outlook Anywhere support lets customers centralize storage into a core server instead of spreading it among remote locations.

"We've given people more WAN optimization with Steelhead capabilities," Rouda explained. "We've focused on enhancing visibility and control across the enterprise, so IT administrators can understand connections better. On the storage side, you have a lot of different traffic going across the network, so you may want to prioritize the storage traffic on the network. You can optimize your backups and replications across the WAN, especially in the storage area."

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