Riverbed Updates Steelhead Mobile, Now For Macs, Too


Riverbed Technology on Monday announced the next update to Steelhead Mobile, the mobile version of its flagship WAN optimization offering. Among several software updates, including optimized delivery for Citrix and Microsoft applications, Riverbed is for the first time offering mobile WAN optimization for Apple Mac environments, too.

"Over the last two years, we saw organizations tightened, and mobile workers were recognized as those people who were closest to deals and thus invaluable members of the team," said Joe Ghory, senior product marketing manager at Riverbed. "So mobility went from an uncertainty to how can we get these guys not only access but the performance they need. Mobility can be that competitive edge now."

The software release, Steelhead Mobile 3.1, is enhanced for three scenarios in particular. First, it improves performance of Citrix virtual desktop deployments, and according to Riverbed can offer to mobile workers the same level of Citrix XenApp acceleration that users at headquarters and branch offices see.

Second, Mobile 3.1 offers greater optimization for a number of Microsoft applications, including Exchange 2010 application optimization, with remote workers seeing data reductions up to 97 percent and as much as 30 times faster performance. Others include secure acceleration for Encrypted MAPI and improved optimization for SharePoint and BPOS-D services.

Finally, Mobile 3.1 is Riverbed's first foray into providing mobile WAN optimization solutions for Mac desktops and laptops. The Mobile Mac client software is similarly built on Riverbed's Optimization System (RiOS), and can also optimize Windows applications running in VMware Fusion -- important for users running applications in both Windows and Mac environments, and wanting to optimize using a single license.

"Apple Macs are representing five to 10 percent [of desktop market share], including in specific verticals like the creative fields, like arts and entertainment where you see a lot of them," Ghory said. "[WAN optimization] is just as important in these Mac offices and Mac workers, so you now have a sale where you would never have had one before."

Steelhead Mobile 3.1 will be generally available later this quarter, according to Riverbed.