Written by M. Kelly on December 5, 2011


In the spirit of giving during this Holiday season, Riverbed is pleased to announce RiOS 7.0, the next major release of the intelligent software brain running inside Riverbed’s market leading Steelhead WAN optimization appliances.

The release of RiOS 7 comes at the end of a fantastic 2011 for Riverbed, one in which the company’s flagship Steelhead product continued to gain momentum in the more-than-one-billion-dollar WAN Optimization market.  According to the most recent market share data from Gartner, Steelhead now boasts a commanding 51.7% market share, more than twice the next closest competitor.  For the first time, customers are selecting Steelhead more often than all other competitive alternatives combined.

RiOS 7 is a major step forward for Riverbed, though it has presented a bit of a challenge for our marketing team.  Why?  Generally major releases of RiOS can be characterized by primary themes.  For example, RiOS 6.5 was all about Quality of Service (QoS).  RiOS 6.0 was all about VDI and Citrix ICA optimization.

RiOS 7 is different in that it is comprised of several high-profile, yet equally valuable features and capabilities. Therefore, we’ve elected to use the wide range of features of RiOS 7.0 as its launch theme: A Little Something for Everyone.

New Features Optimize Applications Customers Care About Most

VIDEO - Let’s start with an industry first for video optimization.  RiOS 7 features native live stream splitting support for Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash, no other vendor in the world supports both.  This will allow the increasing number of companies adopting video to optimize live video streaming over a global network, enabling single streams to travel across the wide area network to regional offices where multiple users can view the live stream from regional branch Steelheads sitting at the edge of the network.

With RiOS 7, Riverbed is broadening its protocol optimizations to include UDP optimization.  Often used by voice, video and disaster recovery applications, UDP represents a stable, if not growing,  percentage of overall Internet traffic.  With UDP optimization, Riverbed allows organizations to de-duplicate traffic flowing across UDP.  When combined with traditional TCP optimization, Riverbed delivers the most complete WAN optimization offering on the market.


IPv6 – RiOS 7 enables organizations to optimize traffic over IPv6. While the move to IPv6 has been slower than many first projected, organizations know IPv6 is coming.  For a growing number of organizations, IPv6 is a reality today.

VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments have long been an area of focus for Riverbed because of the inherent performance challenges that result when separating users from their data over a network.  Today, Riverbed optimizes traffic in Citrix, VMware View and Microsoft Remote FX environments.  New in RiOS 7, Riverbed is adding acceleration and optimization capabilities known as Client Drive Mapping.  With this feature, as users plug thumb drives representing their desktop into thin client devices, Riverbed can accelerate all round trips between the thin client devices and associated centralized destinations.

PRE-POPULATION - Riverbed is enhancing pre-population capabilities over both HTTP and CIFS.  Now, IT professionals can pre-populate a video or file from a centralized location out to distributed locations world-wide, eliminating surges in traffic when content is requested company-wide.  For example, HR professionals can push an entire library of enrollment forms or compliance videos out to regional locations prior to asking employees to sign up for a new program or comply with new regulations.

INTEGRATION - Integration is a key component of the RiOS 7 release.  Both Cascade Shark and well as Skipware are now natively embedded in Steelhead with RiOS 7.  Cascade Shark on-demand packet capture delivers greater visibility into traffic flowing across corporate networks, while Skipware gives organizations native Satellite optimization capabilities right on the Steelhead appliance.

SECURITY – RiOS 7 optimizes Encrypted Lotus Notes traffic, in addition to Microsoft Online Services traffic, delivering increased performance for messaging and collaboration solutions including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Office Live.  End-to-End Kerberos authentication support has also been added in RiOS 7.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the “gift” that RiOS 7 is this Holiday season.  We’re quite proud of this release, and look forward to many more in the future.

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