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Riverbed Technology's Steelhead 2.0 Appliance

I labeled one Steelhead the "data center" and connected its LAN port to an SMC TigerSwitch 6752AL2, which was also connected to data center resources housed in a Dell 1650 computer and in a Rave Computer UltraSPARC IIi server. The Dell sported a Windows 2003 Server with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 running a Domain controller, Exchange Server 2003, a Microsoft SQL 2000 Server and a file server. The Rave Computer ran Solaris 9 and was dedicated to serving HTTP and FTP files.

I labeled the other Steelhead "client center" and plugged it into an Extreme Networks Summit48 switch, attached to clients in a simulated branch office that made requests to servers in the data center. Traffic is optimized between the Steelheads in both directions, and whether clients were requesting or receiving data, the Steelheads compressed and sent the data over the WAN link without a hitch.

Smart, Speedy Transfers

In my tests, data traversing the WAN link for the first time had improved performance of 60 percent to 90 percent, depending on the file type. But the real story here is what happens after that first pass, when data passes through the Steelhead for a second time--that's where SDR (Scalar Data Referencing) comes in.


• Speeds all TCP applications
• Optimizes CIFS, MAPI, HTTP, SQL and FTP traffic
• Provides proxy file services

• Supports VLAN 802.1q, WCCP and Jumbo Frames

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