WAN acceleration products have been becoming more functional. Consequently, a growing number of small and medium businesses are recognizing that they can cut their telecommunications costs and improve productivity with such tools. Recently, one leading vendor added functionality to its product line.Riverbed has been one of the leading WAN acceleration providers. In October, the company announced that third quarter revenue that increased by 36 percent from comparable 2007 numbers. To maintain that momentum, the company made three enhancements to its product line. The Riverbed Steelhead system now works with VMwareï¿¼s virtualization system Customers can run up to five applications on a Riverbed appliance rather than on dedicated servers. Also Riverbed's SSL acceleration has been extended to its Steelhead Mobile system to road warriors or small office can run their WAN applications securely. Last, Riverbed provides support for Lotus Notes acceleration at the application layer.
While the company has been doing well, it faces stiff market competition. Revenue rose in its last fiscal quarter but the firm reported a loss of more than $8 million. Competition in this space has heated up, and vendors, such as Cisco and Juniper, trying to take a larger slice of the pie. Riverbed has been trying to transform itself from a WAN optimization only supplier into a broad based network equipment provider. In order to do that, the company will need to continue broadening its Steelhead product line.