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Riverbed Helps to Deliver Better Application Performance for Half the Cost

Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, has announced that Del Monte Foods is using Riverbed® SteelHead™ and SteelHead SaaS to power its new all-cloud IT environment.

Del Monte has implemented SteelHead and SteelHead SaaS to optimise performance, visibility and control of their enterprise and cloud-based applications, such as Microsoft Office 365. According to Del Monte Foods, the all-cloud environment, optimised by Riverbed, delivers improved application performance and is 50% the cost of the previous on-premises environment.

Timothy Weaver, Del Monte Foods’ VP/CIO, used a corporate reorganisation as an opportunity to take the company’s IT organisation in a new direction. “It was important to have a lean and agile IT organisation that was more about innovation and change than just ongoing maintenance and support of the existing environment,” Weaver said. His strategy was to go all-cloud, with an HP VPC for hosting enterprise applications such as SAP, along with Software-as-a-Service for other business-critical applications such as file sharing (Box) and email and other office software (Office 365).

Weaver knew this approach would work only if there were reliable network connections to Del Monte’s 30 facilities across the U.S. and Mexico. Another factor was application performance over the network. It needed to be as good or better than users had experienced with the previous IT environment or they would reject the new cloud-based solutions, which had already happened. “Initially, performance was poor at some of the bandwidth-constrained sites and we saw a slower uptake of some of the newer solutions we wanted to deploy,” Weaver noted.

With so much riding on the network and the performance of the cloud-based applications, Weaver did what he had done as CIO of Red Bull Energy Drink. He turned to Riverbed, deploying SteelHead in 19 of Del Monte’s larger facilities to accelerate SAP and the other applications hosted in the VPC. He also purchased a Riverbed® SteelCentral™ Controller for SteelHead to simplify application performance management across the hybrid WAN with centralised policy management.

Weaver didn’t stop there, however, because by the time he’d arrived at Del Monte, Riverbed had introduced an additional solution that wasn’t previously available to him at Red Bull: SteelHead SaaS. By implementing SteelHead SaaS, Del Monte extended optimisation across the hybrid WAN all the way to the SaaS provider in order to address the dynamic nature of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and improve end user experience. SteelHead SaaS would become another key component of Del Monte’s all-cloud strategy.

“We have run Office 365 with and without SteelHead SaaS, and with it, users saw things get faster,” Weaver said. “At one of our large distribution facilities, people weren’t actively using some of the tools because of network performance issues. Since deploying SteelHead SaaS, we’ve seen the adoption rate of those tools go up as application performance increases.”

Given the rural and remote location of some Del Monte facilities, Weaver has architected a hybrid network consisting of both MPLS and Internet connections. He is now in the process of making sure each facility is served by redundant connections, either with a combination of MPLS and Internet, or two forms of Internet (i.e. cellular and cable). With SteelHead Path Selection, application-centric policies will make it simple for Weaver to direct applications over the most optimal paths and ensure that business needs and priorities are met. With streamlined configuration and policy management, SteelHead can efficiently leverage the entire hybrid infrastructure for better ROI.

Weaver makes sure to note that he has more to do to achieve the vision he has for Del Monte. But at this point he can say for certain: “With help from Riverbed, we’ve achieved the leanness, performance and agility I wanted.”

Read the official press release from Riverbed here .

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