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Riverbed Adds Mobile Access

Riverbed Technology, the scrappy company that burst into the wide area data services market, scooping up 2,000 customers in less than two years from under the noses of better known competitors, is going mobile.

Though many of its competitors already have mobile offerings, industry analysts say Riverbeds product is more diverse in its consolidation of applications and could therefore dominate market share. “They are doing a great job at filling a hole,” says Arun Taneja, founder of the Taneja Group. “The Steelhead appliance has consolidated all the applications -- including Web, email, Internet, and all file transfers, which other companies don’t always do. Now the software is extending the same capability [to mobile users]."

The company today announced the release of its mobile Steelhead software, which enables mobile workers to link into their corporate data centers from software placed on their laptops or remote desktops.

Until now, Riverbed customers placed Steelhead appliances on each end of a WAN for file transfer and data access throughout branches of the company. The new product enables mobile users to link into the Steelhead appliance sitting at the edge of the network. “The idea behind the mobile software solution is that we took the code [used in the] appliances and ported it to Windows so it could run on anyone’s end machine. This code has been battle-tested by 2,000 customers,” says Apurva Dave, director of product marketing at Riverbed.

The software was beta-tested on 30 customers and is already being installed by others. “I was able to download a 110 megabit file in two or three minutes instead of the 20 minutes it would have taken me on my cable modem from home,” says Travis Klasna, assistant IT manager at JEO Consulting Group, an architecture engineering firm in Nebraska with 120 employees and 10 offices. “Riverbed probably doesn’t want me to advertise this way, but... Last weekend I stole my girlfriend’s Crazr and used it as a modem to connect to our network. I downloaded the same 110 meg file... in eight minutes.”

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