What is most valuable?
Aside from optimizing WAN connections between our remote offices and the home office, the charts/real-time graphs proved to be valuable during troubleshooting over-utilization issues. Easily, we were able to determine source/destination and how much data they have used.
How has it helped my organization?
We've increased throughput between remote offices, increasing our efficiency.
It provides easy-to-read data to review troubles within the network which allowed us to resolve the issue much quicker.
What needs improvement?
Personally, my expertise with this device I feel is too low to determine what areas could be improved. I did use this device for 3+ years while with another job and administered the web interface and even jumped into the CLI with support at times. However, I have no professional training.
For how long have I used the solution?
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
No issues with deployment of this hardware. Although I believe it may not be recommended the device is essentially plug-n-play, meaning the database will determine what networks to optimize without you having to specify every subnet.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
At times, like all network devices there were issues, but support was there to help us understand/resolve any issues that we could not handle. Even if it meant RMA, we would receive a new Steelhead the next day and be able to replace it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I did not deal much with scaling as the network didn't grow while I was there, but we did have the Riverbed CMC (I believe is the acronym - central management console?) Having this would have made scaling easy, I assume.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service was what I would expect out of every company. They took care of us when we needed them to, including replacing the device with minimal questions. Technical Support
Tech support was great as well, they were able to remote into my computer and then use the putty session from there to gather information needed or resolve the issue.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I am not aware of the company using any other solution. When I joined they were already using Riverbed Steelhead.
How was the initial setup?
I was not there for the initial setup, but I did replace one remote office steelhead and that was easy to do
What about the implementation team?
I implemented through a in-house one, no rating to give to a vendor team. We handled everything if it was over our heads we had their tech support.
What was our ROI?
I would not know this information as I was only dealing with the administration of the device. These devices were extremely valuable as when one went down or optimization turned off, everyone noticed.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I would not have valuable / correct information on pricing or licensing as I did not handle that portion. I'm sure like anything, if you want all the bells and whistles expect to pay some $$.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
No other options were evaluated, to my knowledge. I am not even aware of other WAN optimizers. I'm sure there are some, when the time comes I'm sure I'll do some research.
What other advice do I have?
No additional comments or advice regarding Riverbed Steelhead. The devices were great, and proved to be a very valuable asset to the company.