Case Study – Riverbed WAN optimization


Unitedgrids was recently engaged by a client to  upgrade  one of our customers Riverbed WAN optimisation platform and add resiliency to the solution at the Data Centres.

Project Overview

This is global enterprise customers with office locations all over the world. The customer had a WAN optimization solution in place using Riverbed devices which was outdated by a few years. The new solution required resiliency and ability to add additional capacity at the Data Center location.

  • The customer had limited details on existing Riverbed devices in their network.
  • When we began auditing customer network for Riverbed devices, we realised that configurations, software and licensing wasn’t consistent.
  • During the investigation we also found that these Riverbed devices were member of different Active Directory Domains. This resulted in below average WAN optimization. 
  • Unitedgrids network consultants worked closely with our customer’s project team to identify the way forward with the project.
  • Some of the activities included software  upgrade of Riverbeds in the customer network to the latest bugfix version software. The active Directory AD membership was migrated to a single AD domain which was setup in ‘Trust’ relationship with all other AD domains within customer’s network.
  • To provide for resiliency and capacity new  pair of Riverbed Interceptor (INT9600) configured to load balance traffic to new pair of Riverbed Steelheads 7070L. 
  • All network traffic coming in and out of the Data Centres will pass through the Interceptors.
  • The interceptors will forward this traffic to one of the two Steelhead 7070L depending the load and availability of the Steelhead had.
  • Unitedgrids consultant then worked on standardising and baselining optimisation policy of Riverbed steelheads in customer network based on the application in used within network.
  • These policies were then rolled out to all Steelhead within customer’s network.  
–        High Availability

By introducing Interceptors (INT9600) before the steelhead 7070L at the Data Centre, we introduced high availability of the riverbed solution. This meant if we have failure of one of the two 7070, the Interceptor will automatically send traffic to their active Riverbed steelhead. Having Interceptors allowed the customer to take one of the two Steelhead out of services for maintenance purpose and still continue to provide WAN Optimisation service running in the network.

–        Reduced Bandwidth Usage

With all the work that went in baselining the steelhead policies, software upgrade and Domain membership to a Trusted Domain, managing to increase the amount of traffic optimised by riverbed from 30 odd percent on an average to 80+ percent. This ultimately resulted in the reduction of utilisation on the WAN circuits, free up additional bandwidth.

  • User experience and perception of application performance dramatically improved, especially with applications such as Oracle and Network file share (SMB).
  • Bandwidth freed up due to enhanced optimisation on the WAN circuit now could be used by application which couldn’t be optimised by Riverbed (such as UDP Based) could now take up this newly freed up bandwidth, improving over all applications performance on the network.