Riverbed Technology, the performance company, today announced enhancements to its software and virtual application delivery controller (ADC) product family, Stingray. These enhancements allow enterprises and cloud operators to extend the benefits of the ADC with the integration of its Aptimizer web content optimization (WCO) solution. Included in the announcement are the release of Stingray Traffic Manager 9.0, the industry’s only ADC with comprehensive WCO capability, and new Stingray Aptimizer models that can be deployed with any ADC to improve performance without changes to the application server or users’ browsers. Riverbed is redefining the role of the ADC from focusing primarily on load balancing and offload to also delivering the accelerated user experience, scalable cloud utilization, and reliability expected from web and cloud-based applications.
“Our entire business is online, so if we experience any type of downtime, it can be disastrous to our productivity, revenue, and overall user experience,” said Tim Maliyil, CEO, AlertBoot. “We’ve used hardware load balancers for nearly 10 years, but when we moved to a fully-virtualized environment running in the public cloud, we deployed the Stingray Traffic Manager.  Because it is software-based and flexible, we can jump between cloud providers as needed.  In addition, we’ve seen dramatic performance results with a 55 percent reduction in page load times and 50 percent less data onto the network.”
The Challenge of Optimizing Web Pages
Over the past 10 years, Web applications have become commonplace in the enterprise as well as mainstream for consumers through e-commerce, news, and social media integration. But over that same time, the average web page has grown over 4x to over 1MB and has grown 3x in the number of objects on a single page, to 85. This growth has been accompanied by an increase in the complexity of pages, resulting in a slow experience that can cause customers to disengage with an application.  This complexity, combined with an explosion in the variety of browsing devices, including iPhones, Android devices and iPads, demand innovative new technologies to ensure the best possible performance for end users in the enterprise and on the Internet.
Web Content Optimization & The Application Delivery Controller
Stingray Aptimizer is a software-only WCO solution deployed only in the data center that requires no changes to the users’ browsers or the web applications.  Aptimizer delivers comprehensive WCO that addresses all of the core elements of web applications, including:
· HTML & CSS Combinations for fewer browser to server round trips
· Image spriting to deliver multiple images at once
· Image resampling to eliminate redundant data across image formats
· JavaScript minification for data reduction
· Optimize content delivery by domain sharding and rewriting content to CDNs

Riverbed now delivers comprehensive WCO on the Stingray Traffic Manager or as a standalone technology that drops-in to existing ADC environments, such as F5, Citrix, and Cisco, without changes to the application server or users browsers. With Stingray 9.0, enterprises and cloud operators can now benefit from this high performance experience, enabling them to run in any physical, virtual or cloud environment and to scale their infrastructure on-demand. In addition, end users can access web applications up to four times faster while using up to 30 percent less bandwidth.

“While ADC’s have primarily focused on application scalability and availability within the datacenter, the emergence of cloud computing, and the diversity of devices that enterprises are being forced to support, is driving a greater need for ADC’s that address a new set of application performance issues,” said Neil Rickard, research vice president, Gartner. “As companies continue to move online and to the cloud, the need to meet end users’ demand for constant availability and exceptional performance is essential.”
Boosting Developer Productivity
By utilizing Stingray Traffic Manager with integrated WCO capabilities, enterprises’ developers can focus on strategic projects by offloading work such as testing for every mobile platform, resizing images, and optimizing script load times.  To support application development, end user training and proof of concept projects, Riverbed is introducing the Stingray Developer Edition, which allows application and operations professionals to download Stingray software at no cost for developers’ use. This new model allows developers to focus on new features that directly impact revenue growth and customer satisfaction, as opposed to time consuming tasks like optimizing for performance.
“With one million page views per day, and the busy back-to-school season quickly approaching, ensuring a superior customer service experience is key for GreatSchools.org.  This entails providing a high-performing website and the ability to access our site from mobile devices,” said Christopher Shumway, systems engineer, GreatSchools.org. “To meet these standards, our front-end engineers spend about two weeks per quarter on site performance, which is all done by hand.  Based on our testing of Stingray Traffic Manager 9.0 integrated with web content optimization, we expect our engineers to reclaim anywhere from three to five weeks per quarter which will be used for developing new functionality, including a mobile, touch-friendly version of our site content. Giving engineers more time to be strategic and get business-critical projects done is priceless to the success of our mission.”

“Stingray is the only ADC that comprehensively addresses the complete application performance challenge.  Stingray 9.0 is a new breed of ADC – focused on performance and specifically designed for private and public cloud environments,” said Apurva Davé, vice president of products, Stingray Business Unit at Riverbed.
Availability: Stingray Traffic Manager 9.0 and the new Stingray Aptimizer models are expected to be generally available in Q2 2012.