Survey Identifies Key Drivers Behind IT Consolidation and Reveals Why Enterprises are Increasingly Turning to Wide Area Data Services

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The results of a new survey undertaken on behalf of Riverbed Technology, the performance leader in application acceleration on wide area networks, reveals some of the most important influences on todays IT buying decisions. These include drivers for IT consolidation, and overall satisfaction after consolidating IT infrastructure as well motivations for purchasing Riverbeds Steelhead appliances.

The results of the survey, which have been independently certified by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), revealed the performance of key applications following Steelhead deployment and satisfaction with Riverbeds wide-area data services (WDS) appliances. Overall customer satisfaction with the Steelhead appliance and product support was rated at 8.7 on a scale of 1-10.

The survey looked in detail at site consolidation trends. Customers reported that simplification of IT and reduction of management overhead were primary drivers in their investment in WDS. However, other strong considerations were reduced costs, improved data protection, improved compliance, reduction of patches and upgrades and elimination of branch office backups. Those companies that have implemented IT consolidation projects report strong satisfaction with the results. Applications consolidated include Windows, Exchange, Lotus Notes, Filers and Tape Backup. Customers also report bandwidth savings that average between 40-80% following deployment of Steelhead.

The survey reveals that customers purchased Riverbed products for application acceleration, WAN optimisation and site consolidation. Approximately two thirds of the respondents reported using the products as part of a site consolidation project, while nearly all respondents stated that they were using the product for either WAN optimisation or application acceleration, or both. Key applications accelerated include Windows File Sharing (CIFS), Microsoft Exchange, FTP, replication, CAD/CAM/CAE applications, ERP applications, Web-based applications, MS-SQL applications and custom applications. The vast majority of Riverbed customers report accelerations for those key applications of between 6X and 100X.

The positives of selecting and deploying Riverbeds Steelhead appliances are obvious in the data, said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group (ESG). People truly find Steelhead to be a huge benefit to their organisations.

This data shows that customers are deploying Steelhead appliances for a broad range of applications and requirements and are pleased with the results delivered, said Jerry Kennelly, CEO and president of Riverbed Technology. An equal number of customers reported that they purchased Steelhead appliances to solve application acceleration and WAN optimisation issues and nearly all customers reported that they are optimising a broad range of applications. The survey verifies that customers are not only looking for a Windows File sharing solution, but for a comprehensive product set that will enable them to optimise a variety of application types. Clearly, Riverbed has met this need and is delivering on the promise of wide-area data services.

Riverbeds Steelhead appliance is the only wide-area data services (WDS) product on the market that solves all the key problems with application performance on wide area networks (WANs). These problems have been or are currently experienced by virtually every multi-site company in the world. The companys Steelhead appliances deliver the industrys best network compression, optimise the behaviour of TCP, and add application-specific optimisations to minimise the effect of high latency on common enterprise applications.

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