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Riverbed Solutions Enable Rayonier Advanced Materials to Accelerate Cloud Application Delivery and Benefit from Location-Independent Computing

Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced that Rayonier Advanced Materials implemented a “Riverbed-first” approach in the design of its IT environment and considered only cloud service providers that use Riverbed SteelHead in their data centers. The company’s profound trust in Riverbed began with its parent company’s deployment of SteelHead application acceleration solutions, which they’ve called “the most successful piece of technology we have put in place in 14 years.”

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc., the world’s leading producer of high-value specialty cellulose fibers, was recently spun off from international forest products company, Rayonier. Rayonier has long been a satisfied Riverbed customer, having deployed Riverbed SteelHead extensively seven years ago to support the consolidation of what had been a highly distributed IT infrastructure. Using SteelHead and VMware, Rayonier consolidated 230 distributed servers spread across eight data centers into a private cloud environment consisting of 15 virtualized servers in two data centers. Users experienced up to 18x faster performance with many of the centralized applications, and the company saw a return on its Riverbed investment in less than one year.

When Rayonier decided to spin off Rayonier Advanced Materials, Rayonier’s director of IT operations, David Nettles, was tasked with creating a separate IT environment for the new company. Based on the parent company’s experience, a key requirement in choosing a cloud vendor was that they use SteelHead to accelerate app delivery from the cloud. “In setting up the Rayonier Advanced Materials environment, we knew we couldn’t do it without SteelHead,” said Nettles. “Bandwidth is very expensive in some of the places we operate, two to three times as much as it would be in a big city. Without SteelHead, we’d end up with extremely high network costs. So one of our requirements in picking a cloud provider was that we could install our SteelHead appliances there.”

Nettles chose Peak 10 as the company’s cloud database vendor and installed two SteelHead CX 1555 appliances in Peak 10’s data center in Louisville, Kentucky. All of Rayonier Advanced Materials’ own facilities (headquarters, two manufacturing sites, and sales offices in London and Tokyo) and its disaster recovery facility are equipped with SteelHead appliances, as well. The company delivers 200 applications from the Peak 10 data center to approximately 1,200 users who get application performance over the wide area network (WAN), with the same experience as if the applications were hosted locally. “With SteelHead appliances, we can have great application performance with lower-cost connections,” Nettles added, explaining that the company’s bandwidth costs are one-third to one-quarter of what they would be without SteelHead.

Rayonier adopted a location-independent computing strategy years ago, in large part because the company’s foresters needed to be able to go from office to office and still have access to all of their applications. Nettles sees the Riverbed SteelHead solution as a critical component of location independence. “We have a ‘Riverbed-first’ strategy that lets us deliver applications to anyone, anywhere without running into network problems. To me it’s a no-brainer. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t use SteelHead,” he concluded.

Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:11 PM by David Marshall
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