Riverbed Technology

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Riverbed Technology, Inc
Industry Information Technology Services
Founded May 23, 2002
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Key people
Jerry Kennelly (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$1.04 billion (2013)[1]
US$8.59 million (2013)[1]
US$-12.41 million (2013)[1]
Total assets US$1.9 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity US$828.64 million (2013)[2]
Number of employees
2,556 (December, 2013)[1]
Website www.riverbed.com

Riverbed Technology, Inc. is an American company founded in 2002 with the goal of reducing the latency and bandwidth constraints in delivering applications via wide area networks (WANs) to multiple locations across long distances. Riverbed is known primarily for pioneering WAN Optimization with Riverbed SteelHead, which first shipped in 2004 and continues to lead the market with over 50% market share.

As information technology has evolved over the past decade and begun to move to the cloud, Riverbed has also evolved: Businesses increasingly rely on applications and data that run both in on-premises data centers as well as in the cloud, delivered to users over a mix of private networks and public networks. This is the hybrid enterprise, and Riverbed offers a platform to give enterprises visibility to deliver, control, and optimize IT resources across this hybrid enterprise.

The Riverbed Application Performance Platform combines solutions in two key areas, Riverbed SteelHead and SteelFusion for application (see application software) acceleration, and Riverbed SteelCentral for network and application performance management. Together, these solutions help ensure that applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues are diagnosed and cured before end-users even notice.

Riverbed has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA, and more than 2,500 employees in 73 offices around the world.[citation needed] The Riverbed stock began trading on NASDAQ on September 21, 2006. The company’s 25,000+ customers include 97% of both the Fortune 100 and the Forbes Global 100. In December 2014, the company agreed to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, which is expected to close in the first half of 2015.[3]


Riverbed Technology was founded May 23, 2002, by Jerry Kennelly, CEO, and Steve McCanne, CTO. The original name of the company was NBT (Next Big Thing) Technology, which was renamed to Riverbed Technology in 2003. Kennelly and McCanne led internal development of the first SteelHead appliances, the 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 models, and the first SteelHead was shipped in April 2004 to Environment Canada.

Riverbed stock began trading on NASDAQ September 21, 2006.[4] In February 2014, the US hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation made a $3.36 billion offer to acquire Riverbed.[5] On December 15, 2014 Riverbed announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by leading private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015.

Riverbed has also opened up an off-site location at Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in order to take advantage of high-caliber talent.


On February 20, 2009, Riverbed completed the acquisition of Mazu Networks. The Mazu products, which were initially renamed Cascade (and in 2014 became part of Riverbed SteelCentral), analyze network traffic to provide information about the interactions of and dependencies between users, applications and systems. This acquisition enabled Riverbed to add IT infrastructure performance solutions to its product portfolio.[6]

On October 21, 2010, Riverbed acquired CACE Technologies, and folded its Shark network analysis product and Pilot interface product into the Riverbed Cascade product suite. CACE was also the corporate sponsor of the open source network protocol analyzer product, Wireshark. Riverbed has assumed corporate sponsorship.[7]

In November 2010, Riverbed acquired Global Protocols, LLC, a provider of Satellite optimization to the defense marketplace. Global Protocols is known for its SkipWare product, a proprietary commercial implementation of the Space Communications Protocol Specifications (SCPS), which is used in most US Department of Defense communications satellites.[8]

On July 19, 2011, Riverbed acquired Zeus Technology, a provider of high-performance software-based load balancing and traffic management solutions for virtual and cloud environments. Its primary product was the Zeus Virtual Application Delivery Controller (vADC) which evolved into Riverbed SteelApp.[9] Brocade announced its intent to require the Riverbed SteelApp business in February 2015, which is expected to close in Q1 2015.[10]

On July 19, 2011, Riverbed acquired Aptimize Limited, a provider of web content optimization technology, based in Wellington, New Zealand.[11]

On January 11, 2012, Riverbed purchased certain assets of Expand Networks, including its intellectual property, out of liquidation in Israel.[12]

In December 2012, Riverbed acquired OPNET Technologies for $1 billion. OPNET, based in Bethesda, MD, provided performance analysis software for applications and networks, solutions which have evolved into Riverbed SteelCentral.[13][14][15][16]

On December 15, 2014, Riverbed announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by leading private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Under the terms of the agreement, Riverbed stockholders will receive $21.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $3.6 billion.[3]

Social responsibility[edit]

Riverbed’s environmental policies and practices are broken into 4 parts: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, conflict minerals, and an employee volunteer program.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)[edit]

The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the risks posed by chemicals. REACH also places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. It is the strictest law to date regulating chemical substances. All Riverbed hardware product lines have been tested and proven to comply with the REACH restrictions against harmful chemicals. Riverbed and its suppliers continuously review the actual European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern for authorization for additions and updates, and act accordingly in compliance with REACH regulations.

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive)[edit]

To ensure that Riverbed products meet the latest RoHS directive standards (which restrict the use of toxins like mercury and lead in electrical equipment), the company operates an active regulatory compliance program with its own dedicated compliance staff performing extensive checks for compliance throughout the company’s supply chain. Riverbed works with key suppliers and partners to ensure that certain environmentally harmful materials are not used in the manufacturing of its products. Riverbed is in compliance with the RoHS directive on products shipped to the EU.

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive)[edit]

Riverbed is WEEE compliant, and has partnered with a highly respected environmental firm to encourage the collection, treatment, recycling, and recovery of its hardware products. The goal of WEEE is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced, and to improve the environmental performance of businesses that manufacture, supply, or use such items. View the Riverbed WEEE Compliance Statement.[17]

Conflict minerals[edit]

Riverbed is committed to reducing the use of conflict minerals in its electronics supply chain through compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Conflict Minerals Rule, which is based on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2012. All Riverbed subsidiaries, employees, and contractors, wherever located, must comply with all applicable provisions of the Conflict Minerals Rule.[18] Riverbed has formed a cross-functional team to inquire into its suppliers’ supply chain practices, implement a comprehensive due diligence process, and share reports with the SEC, its customers, and the public in 2014. Riverbed is utilizing the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)[19] Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative[20] guidance to conduct supplier inquiries.

Reach Out[edit]

Reach Out is Riverbed’s employee volunteer program, dedicated to positively impacting local communities. Reach Out offers assistance to selected non-profit organizations on a regular basis with the goal of giving both time and resources to make employees’ communities better places to live and work. Riverbed regularly volunteers with many local organizations, including the San Francisco Food Bank,[21] Glide Memorial Church, Second Harvest Food Bank,[22] New York Cares, and Habitat for Humanity.

Media and awards[edit]

  • Gartner Magic Quadrant 2014 for WAN Optimization[23]
  • Gartner Magic Quadrant 2014 For Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics[24]
  • 2014 Network Connectivity Partner Programs: Riverbed Technology, Riverbed Partner Network[25]
  • Best WAN Optimization Vendor of the year for 2014: “The winner is a company that has unique WAN optimization solutions able to span mobile workers, branch offices, and data centres, both physical and virtual.”[26]
  • Best Growth Initiative by a Vendor: Editor’s Choice – Riverbed Technology[27]
  • Top 100 Workplaces in the Bay Area: Top workplace 2014 for large companies (500+ employees) = Riverbed is #5 [28]
  • Network Middle East Innovation Awards: Best Network Management Vendor: Riverbed Technology was the network management vendor of the year.[29]
  • The Most Influential Women in the Bay Area in 2014: Kate Hutchison, Chief Marketing Officer, Riverbed Technology[30]
  • Best Places to Work 2014: Riverbed is ranked #12 of all companies with 501-1500+ employees[31]
  • Glassdoor's Highest Rated CEOs 2014: Jerry Kennelly is ranked #14 with 93% employee approval rating[32]
  • Riverbed was awarded InfoWorld Magazine's Technology of the Year for SteelHead 8 years in a row: 2005,[33] 2006, 2007,[34] 2008,[35] 2009,[35] and 2011,[36] 2012 and 2013[37][38]
  • Riverbed won the InfoWorld Technology of the Year award for SteelFusion 2 Years in a Row (2012, 2013) [37][38]
  • On September 24, 2013 Riverbed achieved certification under the J.D. Power Certified Technology Service and Support Program[39]
  • Named one of the 10 most powerful firms in the world of network management by Network World[40]

Products and Services[edit]

Application Performance Platform[edit]

The Riverbed Application Performance Platform is a set of integrated solutions that give CIOs visibility to deliver, control, and optimize all IT resources across the hybrid enterprise.

The Riverbed Application Performance Platform comprises three software solutions: Riverbed SteelCentral, Riverbed SteelHead, and Riverbed SteelFusion. These solutions can be delivered as appliances, software, or services. In addition, open APIs and developer tools, called Riverbed SteelScript, are part of each platform component to facilitate programmability, interoperability, and intelligence across the Riverbed platform and partner ecosystem.

Performance management: SteelCentral[edit]

Riverbed SteelCentral provides enterprise-class end-user, application, and network performance management. The performance management and control suite combines user experience, application, and network performance management to provide the visibility needed to diagnose and cure issues before end users notice a problem. SteelCentral delivers visibility, analytics, and insight to reduce the time and effort required to develop and deploy applications and to ensure quality performance.

Optimization, visibility and control for WANs: SteelHead[edit]

Riverbed SteelHead ensures optimal performance of applications between data centers, branch locations, cloud networks, and end users. Riverbed SteelHead is a bookend technology in which one Steelhead sits at a data center and another at a branch office to speed up the connection between the two sites. SteelHead works with any WAN because it sits behind routers, which have a WAN at each end. The worse the WAN performance and the further the distance between the locations it connects, the bigger the improvement SteelHead has on performance.

Riverbed SteelHead helps IT ensure service levels for applications among data centers, branch locations, cloud networks and end users. SteelHead allows IT to prioritize delivery of mission-critical applications over the best available network with customized per-application service level agreements (SLAs). SteelHead pioneered WAN optimization in 2004[citation needed] with innovations for application, transport, and data streamlining across the WAN and Internet to deliver a good end-user experience regardless of location while reducing network bandwidth costs.

Optimization, visibility and control for the hybrid enterprise: SteelHead plus SteelCentral[edit]

With SteelHead 9.0 and SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 announced[41] in November 2014, Riverbed introduced tighter integration between its WAN optimization and application performance management solutions. With SteelHead appliances feeding application and network performance telemetry to SteelCentral for analysis, enterprises can combine acceleration and performance management to gain visibility across on-premises, cloud, and SaaS apps. SteelHead 9.0 optimizes, automates, and secures delivery of any application over hybrid networks, while AppResponse 9.5 monitors and troubleshoots end-user experience for optimized SaaS apps. This combination provides visibility from the data center to the cloud.

Branch converged infrastructure: SteelFusion[edit]

Riverbed SteelFusion is a branch converged infrastructure solution that centralizes data in the data center and delivers local performance with instant recovery at the branch. SteelFusion consolidates branch servers, storage, networking, and virtualization infrastructure into a single solution, while expediting branch office provisioning, backup, and recovery. SteelFusion ensures continuous operations when disasters occur from causes such as weather, fire, or accident. With SteelFusion, businesses can restore branch operations in a matter of minutes, centrally protect and secure data in the data center, and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of branch and remote offices.

App performance infrastructure: SteelScript[edit]

Riverbed SteelScript enables developers to automate and customize the Riverbed Application Performance Platform with open APIs and developer tools that facilitate the program, systems and organizations to work together (interoperability).


The Riverbed ecosystem spans approximately 3,000 partners worldwide, including technology resellers, distributors, service providers, and integrators. Riverbed has strategic alliances with firms such as Accenture, AT&T, Amazon, BT, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, NTT,[42] Orange Business Services, SingTel, Verizon, and VMware.

Career certifications[edit]

Riverbed Professional Services offers lifecycle consulting and technical education services, helping to reduce risks, accelerate adoption, and discover new opportunities to improve business performance. Open to end users, resellers, partners, employees, and consultants, the Riverbed Certification Program recognizes individuals who demonstrate competency in the theory, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting of Riverbed products.

Riverbed Certified Solutions Associate (RCSA)[edit]

The RCSA-W certificate[43] for pre-sales engineers is granted to individuals who demonstrate knowledge and experience in the theory and configuration of Riverbed products.

Riverbed Certified Solutions Professional (RCSP)[edit]

The RCSP-W certificate[44] for post-sale professional services and/or support-focused individuals is granted to individuals who demonstrate strong knowledge and experience in the theory and configuration of Riverbed products.

Legal proceedings[edit]

On June 1, 2011, Riverbed served Silver Peak Systems, Inc. with a lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of certain patents. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief. On July 22, 2011, Silver Peak Systems denied the allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement.

On August 17, 2011, Silver Peak Systems amended its counterclaims against us, alleging infringement by Riverbed of three U.S. patents: 7,630,295, titled “Network Device Continuity”; 7,945,736, titled “Dynamic Load Management of Network Memory”; and 7,948,921, titled “Automatic Network Optimization.” The patents purport to cover certain features offered on the Riverbed SteelHead products. Silver Peak seeks unspecified damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Riverbed from offering those features. On September 20, 2011, Riverbed denied Silver Peak Systems’ allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. On December 21, 2011, Riverbed amended its lawsuit against Silver Peak Systems to allege infringement of an additional patent.[citation needed]

Trial of Riverbed’s claims against Silver Peak Systems is currently stayed pending a separate U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proceeding. In anticipation of the trial of Silver Peak Systems' claims against Riverbed, the Court issued a partial summary judgment finding of direct infringement of U.S. patent number 7,948,921, but reserved for trial a number of additional factors that have yet to be proved but are required for a verdict of infringement, and has not yet addressed the validity of that patent.[citation needed]

On June 28, 2013, Riverbed served Silver Peak Systems with an additional lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging infringement of two patents that are not covered by the lawsuit in Delaware. The California lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief.[citation needed] On July 22, 2013, Silver Peak Systems denied the allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. On August 12, 2013, Silver Peak Systems amended its counterclaims, alleging infringement by Riverbed of U.S. patent 8,392,684, titled “Data Encryption in a Network Memory Architecture for Providing Data Based on Local Accessibility”.

On August 26, 2013, Riverbed denied Silver Peak Systems’ allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. In April 2014, a verdict was declared in favor of Silver Peak in a trial in which Silver Peak asserted infringement of two of its patents against Riverbed. On September 12, 2014, Riverbed announced that the stay in its patent infringement case against Silver Peak in the US District Court for the Northern District of California has been lifted following a failed re-examination effort by Silver Peak. A trial date for the court to hear Riverbed’s claims against Silver Peak has not yet been set. In addition, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, in response to post-trial motions on the litigation before that court, affirmed the jury’s findings from April but ruled against Silver Peak’s motion for a permanent injunction.

In connection with Riverbed’s July 2011 acquisition of the outstanding securities of Zeus Technology Limited (Zeus), the share purchase agreement provided for certain additional potential payments (acquisition-related contingent consideration) totaling up to $27.0 million in cash, based on achievement of certain bookings targets related to Zeus products for the period from July 20, 2011 through July 31, 2012 (the Zeus Earn-Out period). The share purchase agreement also provided for a potential $3.0 million payment as an incentive bonus to former employees of Zeus, based on achievement of certain bookings targets related to Zeus products for the Zeus Earn-Out period. In October 2012 Riverbed served the representative of the Zeus shareholders, as lead defendant and proposed defendant class representative for all other similarly situated former shareholders of Zeus, with a lawsuit.

On December 14, 2014, Riverbed entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger to sell the company to the private equity investment firm, Thoma Bravo, for $21.00 per outstanding common share. Consummation of the merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including, without limitation, the absence of certain legal impediments, the expiration or termination of the required waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, antitrust regulatory approval in Germany and Taiwan, review and clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and approval by the Company’s stockholders.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Riverbed Investor Relations web site [1], visited 15 February 2015.
  2. ^ http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Riverbed_Technology_%28RVBD%29/Data/Total_Equity/2013
  3. ^ a b http://www.thomabravo.com/2014/12/15/thoma-bravo-agrees-to-take-riverbed-private-for-3-6b/
  4. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=RVBD
  5. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-25/elliott-boosts-offer-to-acquire-riverbed-to-21-a-share-from-19
  6. ^ http://www.riverbed.com/about/news-articles/press-releases/riverbed-completes-acquisition-of-mazu-networks.html
  7. ^ http://www.riverbed.com/about/news-articles/press-releases/riverbed-expands-further-into-the-application-aware-network-performance-management-market-with-the-acquisition-of-cace-technologies.html
  8. ^ http://www.riverbed.com/about/news-articles/press-releases/riverbed-solidifies-federal-market-leadership-with-the-acquisition-of-global-protocols-llc.html
  9. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/19/riverbed-acquires-zeus-for-140m-a-win-for-cambridge-and-dfj-esprit/
  10. ^ http://newsroom.brocade.com/press-releases/brocade-announces-its-intent-to-acquire-the-assets-nasdaq-brcd-1173610
  11. ^ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/20/riverbed_q2_2011_zeus_aptimize/
  12. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Riverbed-Purchases-Assets-iw-984358404.html
  13. ^ http://www.networkworld.com/article/2161063/data-center/riverbed-to-acquire-opnet-in--1b-deal.html
  14. ^ http://www.eweek.com/networking/riverbed-boosts-apm-abilities-with-opnet-acquisition
  15. ^ http://www.networkworld.com/article/2161159/lan-wan/riverbed-s-billion-dollar-opnet-buy-could-pay-off-big--analysts-say.html
  16. ^ http://www.rttnews.com/2025742/riverbed-technology-completes-acquisition-of-opnet-technologies-quick-facts.aspx?type=bn
  17. ^ http://www.riverbed.com/assets/media/documents/company_information/WEEE_Compliance.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/conflictminerals-faq.htm
  19. ^ http://www.eiccoalition.org/
  20. ^ http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org/
  21. ^ http://www.sfmfoodbank.org/?gclid=CI2d8fLb2MMCFYFufgod5wkAvg
  22. ^ http://www.shfb.org/
  23. ^ http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1SCJEST&ct=140328&st=sb
  24. ^ http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1RP8ZUP&ct=140311&st=sb
  25. ^ http://www.crn.com/news/networking/300073498/2014-network-connectivity-partner-programs.htm
  26. ^ http://www.varonline.com/spotlightdetails.asp?contentid=54&A-deserving-applause-for-winners-of-Integrator-ICT-Champion-Awards
  27. ^ http://www.resellerme.com/news/rme-crowns-channel-stars-at-partner-excellence-awards/
  28. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/topworkplaces
  29. ^ http://www.itp.net/598362-nme-innovation-awards-the-results?tab=article&page=2
  30. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/05/influential-women-bay-area-business-2014.html
  31. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/04/best-places-to-work-2014.html?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=social_media&utm_term=SFBT_Bay_area&utm_content=press_release&utm_campaign=Corporate2014
  32. ^ http://www.glassdoor.com/50-Highest-Rated-* CEOs-LST_KQ0,21.htm?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_term=Glassdoor_CEO&utm_content=press_release&utm_campaign=corporate2014
  33. ^ http://www.infoworld.com/t/networking/stellar-steelhead-wan-accelerator-reduces-network-wait-time-479
  34. ^ http://www.infoworld.com/node/62724
  35. ^ a b http://www.infoworld.com/node/62992
  36. ^ http://www.infoworld.com/d/infoworld/infoworlds-2011-technology-the-year-award-winners-285&current=11&last=1#slideshowTop
  37. ^ a b http://finance.yahoo.com/news/riverbed-again-wins-infoworld-technology-133000744.html
  38. ^ a b http://www.commsolutions.com/2014/01/riverbed-wins-infoworld-technology-year-awards-steelhead-8-years-running-granite-2-years-row/
  39. ^ http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-certified-technology-service-and-support-program-riverbed-technology
  40. ^ http://www.networkworld.com/slideshow/125069/10-most-powerful-network-management-companies.html?source=NWWNLE_nlt_network_architecture_2013-10-24#slide6
  41. ^ http://techchannelmea.com/new-products-enterprise/riverbed-announces-steelhead-90-steelcentral-appresponse-95
  42. ^ http://www.ntt.com/index-e.html
  43. ^ http://www.itcertificationmaster.com/rcsa-w/
  44. ^ http://www.pearsonvue.com/riverbed/

External links[edit]