Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WDS helps meet top needs of CIOs

Riverbed Technology recently launched a new version of its product – Riverbed RiOS 5.0. According to Apurva Dave, Director of Product Marketing, with RiOS 5.0, Riverbed enables even faster performance for enterprise applications and enhances the manageability to deliver its market-leading WDS solution.

Riverbed accelerates the access to information to improve processes and make businesses more agile. With improved network flexibility, security and ease of management for large-scale deployments, it has extended the wide-area data services (WDS) solutions leadership, and helps data and businesses move faster. Significantly, Riverbed's growth rate outpaces the industry.

Davé, said: "CIOs realize this to be an absolute part of their investment. People have seen bandwidth savings in major applications." Citing globalization as a major challenge, he added that organizations needed to solve applications performance.

Network flexibility
Riverbed provides flexibility for organizations that want to enable end-to-end transparency of WAN traffic by IP address and port or by port only. Steelhead appliances enable full IP or port-only address visibility on the WAN for optimized connections in addition to their default correct addressing mode.

The security functionality in RiOS 5.0 builds on Riverbed’s extensive work in building solutions that ensure the security and integrity of enterprise data. With RiOS 5.0, Riverbed has enhanced the implementation of SSL acceleration, with new functionality for ease-of-setup and management. The QoS capability provides granularity, as well as simplified management for complex environments.

The company's Steelhead products accelerate applications to branch offices and mobile workers. Apparently, Steelhead products cut bandwidth usage by 60-95 percent.

Meeting top CIO priorities for 2008
CIOs are said to trying to design around four principles -- to support an agile enterprise. These are -- flexibility, simplicity, continuity and security. So what are the top priorities for CIOs in 2008? As per a December 2007 Goldman Sachs CIO Survey, the top 20 priorities for CIOs are:

1. Business intelligence; 2. Application integration; 3. ERP software; 4. BPM/workflow software; 5. Security; 6. Storage hardware (disk arrays, appliances, etc.); 7. DR/BCP; 8. Server virtualization; 9. Server consolidation; 10. Data center consolidation; 11. Web application development, including portals; 12. Wireless networking; 13. Mobile computing/remote access; 14. Compliance/risk management; 15. WAN optimization; 16. Storage management software (including backup); 17. SOA; 18. Cost cutting; 19. CRM software; 20. Thin client computing.

And where does WDS fit in with CIO priorities? In all of them, barring All of them, except nos. BI, BPM/workflow software, storage hardware and storage management software! WDS is based on accelerating the enterprise applications!

The Riverbed Optimization System takes care of data streamlining -- optimize WAN bandwidth utilization, prioritize applications' bandwidth use, and accelerate large-scale disaster recovery jobs; transport streamlining -- eliminate transport protocol inefficiencies, support secure traffic acceleration (SSL); application streamlining -- optimize application WAN performance and reduce protocol chatiness; and management streamlining -- enable transparent deployment, provide additional best-of-breed services, and facilitate central management and reporting.

The enterprise can eliminate bandwidth constraints. In fact, it can enjoy up to 5x more bandwidth without additional network costs. Applications can be accelerated over the WAN to mobile users or branch offices up to 100x times faster. Make it simple to deploy and manage 15 minutes for basic deployment enable consolidation. WDS is said to have a tangible, fast payback. An IDC study finds 7.3 month payback for Riverbed implementations.

Top features in RiOS 5.0
Riverbed's RiOS 5.0 delivers choice for enterprises through market-leading features. Two very significant features are accelerating Exchange and the RiOS Services Platform (RSP).

In RiOS 5.0, only one module may be run in the RSP, and not all services may be currently available. The RSP runs in a protected zone and does not impact the resource allocations dedicated to maintain peak Steelhead operations.

Dave elaborated: "We have created an area on our software where users can deploy best-of-breed services. In the first release, we will allow only one among print services, streaming media and networking (DNS/DHCP). In the next phase, we will enable a broad range of services." Enterprises can therefore leverage the WDS footprint further and also use best-of-breed services from other vendors.

Riverbed has also been very focused on Web based applications. He added: "We have introduced new features that are Web applications. In rel 5.0, we have added three applications/features."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Apple shocks industry with PA Semi buy!

According to The Unofficial Apple Web Blog (TUAW), Apple has stunned the industry by acquiring P.A. Semi, a Santa Clara based chip company founded by Dan Dobberpuhl, the former lead designer of the DEC Alpha and StrongARM processors, for US $278 million.

The Computerworld Blog reported that Apple had 'shocked' everyone with this move. P.A. Semi is a fabless chip designer that specializes in super low power PowerPC processors.

This move surely raises questions about Apple's future association with Intel, which has been courting Apple since long to adopt its Atom low-power processor family. It also remains to be seen whether Apple will use these super low power PowerPC processors in embedded devices, such as high end iPhones, iPods, etc.

Interestingly, the PA Semi Web site is displaying a message: This account has surpassed its bandwidth allocation at the present time. You may reach the account administrator. Maybe, too many folks are trying to access the site to find out more about this company.

The Apple buyout of PA Semi was possibly first reported by Forbes. Since then a whole lot of articles have appeared on the Web.

According to the site, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling reportedly said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purposes and plans." He is also said to have declined to comment on the value of the deal, which a person familiar with the deal suggested was done for $278 million in cash.

Apple later announced its quarterly earnings Wednesday. As per Apple's financial results for fiscal 2008 second quarter ended March 29, 2008, the company posted $7.51 billion revenue and net quarterly profit of $1.05 billion, or $1.16 per diluted share.

These results compare to revenue of $5.26 billion and net quarterly profit of $770 million, or $.87 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 32.9 percent, down from 35.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 44 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Apple shipped 2,289,000 Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing 51 percent unit growth and 54 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. It sold 10,644,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 1 percent unit growth and 8 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone sales were 1,703,000.

As per another Forbes reports, Apple has promised to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008 on a call with analysts Wednesday. Watch this space, as Apple is surely going to be in news for most of this year.