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Riverbed upgrade targets video, satellite traffic

A Riverbed software upgrade means more efficient distribution of video over WANs and optimizing traffic that runs over satellite links.

Riverbed is coming out with its annual upgrade of its RiOS operating system for its WAN optimization gear that addresses the growing use of HTTP video traffic by reducing the number of streams needed to service an office.

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RiOS 7.0 recognizes Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash video over HTTP, and sets up a single WAN stream to receive it even though multiple users might be calling for it. Riverbed Steelhead software forwards a single stream from the WAN to 50 to 100 individual devices within an office, Riverbed says, drastically reducing traffic on the WAN depending on how many users are seeking the same content.

With the new software Riverbed is integrating its optimization technology for satellites into Steelhead devices. The company bought Global Protocols last year to acquire the satellite technology but until now sold it as a separate product that could be installed on Steelheads' built-in servers. Now the functionality is part of the steelhead software itself.

Steelheads now can function as packet-capture devices that can be used in conjunction with Riverbed Cascade network performance management gear to troubleshooting network problems. Rather than deploying a separate device to gather the data, Steelheads have software that can do the job and index the gathered data for a Cascade device that then creates a report.

Steelheads wouldn't gather the data continuously, just when needed to diagnose problems, Riverbed says.

With the upgrade RiOS now optimizes UDP traffic on a per-packet basis by reducing its size. Before UDP packet were passed through the boxes without being optimized. The new software will also handle IPv6 traffic on a per-packet basis.

The new RiOS version features templates for HTTP optimization that automatically identifies applications riding over HTTP and optimizes. Customers can override the default optimization if they want to.

The software treats CIFS traffic in a more granular way by pre-populating a Steelhead device with an individual file, say, rather than an entire file share.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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