Application delivery controller vendor Riverbed Technology on Aug. 28 launched new versions of its Steelhead appliance and software aimed at enterprises ready to scale their WAN optimization/application acceleration technology.

Claiming that enterprises are poised to move beyond the tire kicking, pilot stage of the technology adoption, Riverbed created three new models of its Steelhead appliance, including one that officials claim is at least twice the size of the largest WAN optimization product available.

“A year ago a lot of deployments were pilots at large companies [with deployments of] two to 20 boxes. Now we’re getting into multimillion dollar deals and several hundred sites,” said Alan Saldich, vice president of product marketing at Riverbed in San Francisco.

“We’ve gotten past the science experiment part of the market. People are really deploying this on a very large scale.”

Riverbed, a pioneer in the growing application delivery controller space, has seen a fast growth trajectory over the past two years. It grew revenues by 31 percent over its most recent quarter, and the company has seen a 500 percent annual growth rate for the past two years, according to company officials.

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At the top end of the three new models, Riverbed will deliver scale to support up to 4000 remote offices, 4G bps of throughput and 1 million TCP connections in its new Interceptor 9200 clustering appliance.

The Interceptor 9200 allows users to cluster multiple Steelhead appliances and configure or upgrade the appliances in the cluster without taking a system out of service.

At the same time, to insure scalability of deployments, the architecture in the Steelhead appliances allows each one added into a customer’s network to automatically detect other Steelhead appliance peers—up to 4000 of them—without requiring time-consuming tunneling configuration for each site.

Most WAN optimization appliances in the market today that employ compression require that GRE (generic routing encapsulation) tunnels be configured in both directions for each site, creating an overlay network going from each site to every other site.

“A customer deploying 4000 sites would have to [manually] configure 16 million tunnels. Any product that requires GRE tunnels to be configured is not going to scale,” Saldich said.

The new high end of Riverbed’s appliance line, the Steelhead 6020, supports up to 310M bps WAN bandwidth, based on two OC-3 connections, as well as 40,000 concurrent TCP connections and 3.2TB of disk capacity, although only 1.4TB of that is available for customer data. The rest is taken up by the Riverbed Optimization System software.

The Steelhead 5520 provides 155M bps of WAN bandwidth on an OC-3 link and 15,000 concurrent TCP connections, as well as 1.5TB disk or 700GB data store.

Riverbed’s RIOS 3.0 software release delivers for the first time application streamlining for Unix file sharing based on the NFS protocol.

Riverbed has brought to Unix and Linux users the ability to remove redundant traffic on the network by de-duplicating data already sent once before.

It also brings to the Unix environment techniques to streamline the TCO transport.

“This opens up the technical computing market. Companies that use heavy duty CAD/CAM, do software development and are big Unix shops will have the same LAN-like performance over the WAN,” Saldich said.

Other new software enhancements include enhanced CIFS (Common Internet File System) acceleration aimed specifically at collaborative applications such as Visio and Solidworks; the ability to set quality-of-service parameters in the Steelhead devices rather than in routers; and the ability to export in real-time traffic data to a NetFlow device for greater visibility into WAN traffic.

The new models and software release will be available on Aug. 30 starting at $3,495. The Interceptor 9200 lists at $49,995.

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