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Riverbed Ties Software with Controllers to Improve Web App Performance

Riverbed is best known for its WAN acceleration appliances but the company also offers software designed to improve Web app performance in virtual and cloud environments. Now Riverbed is tying its software that optimizes Web site performance with its application delivery controller (ADC), designed to automate load balancing in order to provide app scalability.

The company's new Stingray Traffic Manager 9.0, announced yesterday, combines the ADC with its Aptimizer Web content optimization software. Naveen Prabhu, a senior product marketing manager at Riverbed pointed to research by various players including Forrester Research, Google and Microsoft that concluded that anytime a user has to spend more than 250 milliseconds more on one site than another. Since many application environments already have ADCs, Riverbed sees adding Web site optimization to them as a natural extension.

Prabhu said traditionally ADCs sit in front of Web application servers and are used to optimize inbound traffic. Riverbed offers its own ADCs or software that plugs into those offered by Cisco, Citrix and F5 Networks, among others. These controllers provide TCP and SSL offload, making back end Web servers more scalable and reliable. By adding the Aptimizer component to the ADC, Riverbed says it combines HTML and CSS to reduce server round trips, delivers multiple images simultaneously, performs image compression and resampling to eliminate the transmission of redundant data, reduces JavaScript transmissions that otherwise impede traffic and shards domains to optimize content delivery.

This software offering is typically found in virtual data centers and cloud environments, according to Prabhu. "This is the only ADC or load balancer that's purpose built for the cloud because it's designed to take advantage of your off the shelf hardware and you can add more performance just by throwing more hardware at it," he said. Stingray is used by a number of prominent cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Joyent, RightScale and Rackspace, Prabhu said.

Until now, Riverbed offered the optimization technology as a plug-in to Windows IIS and SharePoint servers but now the company is integrating it into the Stingray ADC (as a license upgrade). Riverbed is also now offering the optimization software as a VM for virtual and cloud environments.

The company also revamped the developer edition for its ADC to include the Web content optimization component. It's a free virtual machine that developers can use to perform development tasks, QA and testing. Because Aptimizer will scan all the Web content that a developer is writing, it will automatically cache, resize and optimize content by merging JavaScript and style sheets, eliminating a task manually preformed by developers, thereby simplifying the process of performance tuning.

The new software costs $18,500 and covers up to 250,000 page views. For those requiring more capacity the cost is $7,500 for each additional 250,000 page views.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/19/2012 at 1:14 PM


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