Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery method that provides access to software and its functions remotely as a web-based service. Rather than paying for licensed applications, SaaS enables organizations to access business functionality with greater flexiblity through subscription (opex) pricing, faster time to delivery, and enhanced elasticity. In addition, because the software is hosted remotely, users don’t need to invest in or manage hardware, further reducing costs. Software as a service removes the need for organizations to handle the installation, set-up, and any daily upkeep and maintenance. Unfortunately, similar to earlier experiences with application centralization, with cloud-based applications, companies must now not only consider the performance limitations of operating outside the branch, but also handle the additional challenges resulting from data traversing the public Internet.
As organizations increasing look at leading SaaS provides such as Salesforce.com®, Google Apps, and Microsoft® Office 365, performance over the hybrid network -- consisting of the private wide area network (WAN) and the public Internet -- becomes a critical concern. The Steelhead® Cloud Accelerator solution addresses performance challenges by providing an easy-to-deploy optimization solution that meets specific customer needs. Riverbed Technology and Akamai have partnered to deliver this unique solution that combines the best of breed public Internet optimization with the best of breed in private WAN optimization. The Steelhead Cloud Accelerator is a first of its kind solution integrating Akamai’s globally distributed Akamai Intelligent Platform, which optimizes traffic across the public internet, with Riverbed award winning RiOS® (Riverbed Optimization System) technology to accelerate data and application protocols.