Riverbed Steelhead Review

It has become a valuable traffic shaping tool via its ability to set QoS marking on traffic we specify.​


Valuable Features

Management purchased the product initially for its ability to reduce WAN traffic, especially to overseas partners. However, lately it has also become a valuable traffic shaping tool via it's ability to set QoS marking on traffic we specify.

Improvements to My Organization

It has allowed us to purchase lower bandwidth from our WAN vendors than we normally would have without the Steelhead units.

Room for Improvement

Setting up QoS marking is not all that intuitive. I would like to see all settings needed to set QoS up on one page rather than three or four.

Use of Solution

We've used it for approximately five years.

Deployment Issues

We have had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

Some types of data flows between servers don't always lend themselves to being optimized by the Steelhead unit. These data flows must have bypass rules set up in order to properly pass traffic.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues with the scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Riverbed has excellent technical support. Even on non-critical cases I have always gotten a support engineer. Most support staff are very understandable.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is very straightforward. Give the unit an IP address for management, an IP address for your WAN segment and place it inline between your local network and your WAN. Steelhead will automatically find peers and set up peering.

Implementation Team

We implemented it via in-house team. My advice is to try setup yourself and if you need assistance, call the support line. They will get you up and running.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I am not involved in the purchasing or licensing.

Other Solutions Considered

This was our first WAN optimization solution. This product was selected by upper management. I did not have a role in the selection process.

Other Advice

Although I'm sure this is obvious to most it may not be to some when you make your initial purchase you need to buy at least two. The SteelCentral Controller is not strictly needed as all the units can be managed individually, but the more units you deploy, it becomes more difficult to maintain a standard configuration across devices. This is where the SCC comes in very handy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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