Riverbed Technology

Riverbed Technology, Inc
Traded as Formerly NASDAQ: RVBD
Industry Information Technology Services
Founded May 23, 2002
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Products WAN optimization, application performance management
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]
Owner Thoma Bravo
Teachers Private Capital
Number of employees
2,556 (December, 2013)[1]
Website www.riverbed.com

Riverbed Technology, Inc. is an American IT company that develops products to improve application performance across WANs, a technique known as WAN Optimization. Its products reduce latency and bandwidth constraints in delivering applications via WANs to multiple locations across long distances. It also develops products to support network and application performance management.

Riverbed has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA, and more than 2,500 employees in 73 offices around the world. 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,[3] and the transaction was completed in April 2015.[4]


Jerry Kennelly, CEO, and Steve McCanne, CTO, founded a technology company on May 23, 2002. Originally named NBT (Next Big Thing) Technology, the company became 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 shipped in April 2004 to Environment Canada.

Riverbed stock began trading on NASDAQ September 21, 2006.[5] In February 2014, the US hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation made a $3.36 billion offer to acquire Riverbed.[6]

In October 2014 ZDNet reported NetApp's acquisition of Riverbed Technology's SteelStore line of data-backup and protection products,[7] which NetApp later renamed as "AltaVault".[8]

On December 15, 2014 Riverbed announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the private-equity investment firm Thoma Bravo. The deal closed in April 2015.[9]

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

Riverbed launched the SteelConnect product, its SD-WAN solution, on 4/26/16.


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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13] Brocade announced its intent to acquire the Riverbed SteelApp business in February 2015, which is expected to close in Q1 2015.[14]

On July 19, 2011, Riverbed acquired Aptimize Limited, a provider of web content optimization technology, based in Wellington, New Zealand.[15]

On January 11, 2012, Riverbed purchased certain assets of Expand Networks, including its intellectual property, out of liquidation in Israel.[16]

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.[17][18][19][20]

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]

Products and Services

Application Performance Platform

The Riverbed Application Performance Platform is a set of integrated solutions for delivering, controlling, and optimizing IT resources across an enterprise's onsite and cloud computing resources, known as 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.


Riverbed launched its SteelConnect product on 4/26/2016, which is their main SD-WAN solution. It is aimed at unifying network connectivity and application delivery across hybrid WANs and cloud networks. It is synced with the SteelHead product so that you can deploy to the cloud with one click.

SteelCentral performance management

Riverbed SteelCentral solution is designed to provide 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.

SteelHead optimization, visibility and control for WANs

Riverbed's SteelHead solution is designed to ensure 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's SteelHead solution is designed to help IT departments ensure service levels for applications among data centers, branch locations, cloud networks and end users. SteelHead is also designed to allow IT departments 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 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.

SteelHead plus SteelCentral optimization, visibility and control for the hybrid enterprise

With SteelHead 9.0 and SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 announced[21] 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.

SteelFusion branch converged infrastructure

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 is designed to ensure 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.

SteelScript app performance infrastructure

Riverbed's SteelScript product is designed to enable developers to automate and customize the Riverbed Application Performance Platform with open APIs and developer tools that allow 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,[22] Orange Business Services, SingTel, Verizon, and VMware.

Legal proceedings

Silver Peak Systems

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 Riverbed, 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.

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.

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. 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.

Zeus Technology Limited

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, requesting declaratory judgment that, among other things, (a) Riverbed is not in breach of the share purchase agreement, and (b) Riverbed does not owe any acquisition-related contingent consideration under the share purchase agreement because the necessary conditions precedent to the payment of acquisition-related contingent consideration did not occur.[23]

Media and awards

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Riverbed Investor Relations web site , visited 15 February 2015.
  2. http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Riverbed_Technology_%28RVBD%29/Data/Total_Equity/2013
  3. 1 2 http://www.thomabravo.com/2014/12/15/thoma-bravo-agrees-to-take-riverbed-private-for-3-6b/
  4. "We're hearing about a big layoff going on at newly private Riverbed Technologies". businessinsider.com. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  5. http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=RVBD
  6. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-25/elliott-boosts-offer-to-acquire-riverbed-to-21-a-share-from-19
  7. Gagliordi, Natalie (2014-10-27). "NetApp buys Riverbed Technology's Steelstore business". ZDNet. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  8. Adshead, Antony (2015-05-18). "NetApp launches AltaVault hybrid cloud backup appliance family". ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  9. https://thomabravo.com/2015/04/24/thoma-bravo-completes-acquisition-of-riverbed-technology/ Riverbed launched a new product called SteelConnect On April 26, 2016, which is their SD-WAN solution.
  10. http://www.riverbed.com/about/news-articles/press-releases/riverbed-completes-acquisition-of-mazu-networks.html
  11. 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
  12. http://www.riverbed.com/about/news-articles/press-releases/riverbed-solidifies-federal-market-leadership-with-the-acquisition-of-global-protocols-llc.html
  13. http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/19/riverbed-acquires-zeus-for-140m-a-win-for-cambridge-and-dfj-esprit/
  14. http://newsroom.brocade.com/press-releases/brocade-announces-its-intent-to-acquire-the-assets-nasdaq-brcd-1173610
  15. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/20/riverbed_q2_2011_zeus_aptimize/
  16. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Riverbed-Purchases-Assets-iw-984358404.html
  17. http://www.networkworld.com/article/2161063/data-center/riverbed-to-acquire-opnet-in--1b-deal.html
  18. http://www.eweek.com/networking/riverbed-boosts-apm-abilities-with-opnet-acquisition
  19. http://www.networkworld.com/article/2161159/lan-wan/riverbed-s-billion-dollar-opnet-buy-could-pay-off-big--analysts-say.html
  20. http://www.rttnews.com/2025742/riverbed-technology-completes-acquisition-of-opnet-technologies-quick-facts.aspx?type=bn
  21. http://techchannelmea.com/new-products-enterprise/riverbed-announces-steelhead-90-steelcentral-appresponse-95
  22. http://www.ntt.com/index-e.html
  23. "RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY, INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 07/31/2014". riverbed.com. 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  24. http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1SCJEST&ct=140328&st=sb
  25. http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1RP8ZUP&ct=140311&st=sb
  26. http://www.crn.com/news/networking/300073498/2014-network-connectivity-partner-programs.htm
  27. http://www.varonline.com/spotlightdetails.asp?contentid=54&A-deserving-applause-for-winners-of-Integrator-ICT-Champion-Awards
  28. http://www.resellerme.com/news/rme-crowns-channel-stars-at-partner-excellence-awards/
  29. http://www.mercurynews.com/topworkplaces
  30. http://www.itp.net/598362-nme-innovation-awards-the-results?tab=article&page=2
  31. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/05/influential-women-bay-area-business-2014.html
  32. 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
  33. http://www.infoworld.com/t/networking/stellar-steelhead-wan-accelerator-reduces-network-wait-time-479
  34. http://www.infoworld.com/node/62724
  35. 1 2 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. 1 2 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/riverbed-again-wins-infoworld-technology-133000744.html
  38. 1 2 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

External links

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