Riverbed Technology is upgrading its mobile WAN optimization software so laptops send traffic more efficiently when they tap into branch office Riverbed appliances.
In its Steelhead Mobile 3.0 Riverbed added a feature called branch warming, which lets laptops keep track of often used data so that when they dock at branch offices and link up with home office Steelhead appliances, the client and appliance look for that data and rather than sending the entire chunk of data over and over, they create and send abbreviated versions of those instead. Because they are briefer, that data crosses the WAN more quickly.
Later, the same laptop might connect to the LAN in a branch office where a Steelhead appliance optimizes all traffic between the branch and headquarters. Through branch warming, the references created when the laptop was operating outside the branch can be used right away even though the local appliance hasn't previously established that reference with the headquarters device.
Without branch warming, the branch appliance and the headquarters appliance would have to send the full graphic once before sharing a reference for it, forcing more traffic to cross the WAN.
Steelhead Mobile clients on machines connected to LANs defer to Steelhead appliances on those LANs. This frees up client licenses for use by other laptops.
Steelhead Mobile 3.0 supports Windows 7 and adds HTTP and HTTPS optimization to the clients, which can result in traffic crossing the WAN 60 times faster, the company says. The HTTP and HTTPS optimization are features introduced earlier to Riverbed's RiOS 6.0 software for its Steelhead appliances.
That RiOS 6.0 release added optimization of Citrix virtual desktops as well, so businesses using the Citrix software to speed up wide-area client-server traffic get an additional boost if the traffic is run through a pair of Steelhead devices, one at each end of the WAN link, Riverbed says. The improvements mean businesses can run more than twice the number of XenApp clients over existing WAN connections.