Riverbed has released a version of its Steelhead WAN optimization appliance that isn't an appliance. You might say it's a Steelhead without the steel. Yes, it's a Virtual Steelhead, and the company tells us it's meant for offices that just don't have room for a (real) appliance, data centers that have already virtualized …
Barbed Versus Barbless
Used a Steelhead once in an AutoCAD application. Corporate IT, diligent but some 3500 miles away on the other side of North America, were constantly scratching their heads and tweaking it to work for intolerably slow DWG saves.
Turns out it couldn't dedup DWG saves because AutoCAD "uses a type of error-checking that causes nearly every byte of the file to be changed during a full-save, even if the data itself was barely changed" as Autodesk puts it. Since a typical AutoCAD install is setup to do frequent saves for obvious reasons that provided an entertaining year of agonizingly slow server access while we were all in the dark. Eventually AutoDesk provided an explanation and a fix.
A Virtual Steelhead wouldn't have solved that problem but it may have saved the cost of hiring local IT contractors to visit the office multiple times to attempt to solve a problem that wasn't the Steelhead's in the first place.
and the relevance of that is ?
kinda stretching the relevance of a virtual version of Steelhead arn't we ? unless there was a problem (or suspected one) with the local h/w why would it impact on the frequency of the IT contractors visit ? :)
A stretch perhaps but...
...the Steelhead was replaced at least once by these contractors to specifically attempt to solve this issue. There were other visits to address the Steelhead caching problems that I was not privy to, owing to my being only a lowly CAD operator not capable of understanding the relevance of IT problems to his work.
Obvious Paris angle
So having removed the steel, Riverbed are now offering head?
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