I have yet another story up today about the AutoCAD issue with WAN optimization products. This time, Riverbed did some testing and had Taneja Group validate it. That story is here.
In the meantime, space limitations made it impossible to include the entire response we got from Silver Peak’s director of marketing Jeff Aaron in the story, but here is more of what he had to say:
From: Jeff Aaron
Sent: Thu 5/1/2008 8:38 PM
To: Pariseau, Beth
Subject: RE: Beth Pariseau’s latest article on AutoCAD issue
Hey, Beth. The numbers that Riverbed quotes in their report for Silver Peak don’t jive [sic] with numbers we’ve seen in-house, in the field, and in tests done with AutoDesk. I am not sure if they configured our box incorrectly or if there are some other factors at play. The fact that we show negative data reduction in some examples and that Riverbed comes in first in EVERY single test should be the first indicator that these results are biased and incorrect…
I don’t see much value in going through the results line by line to point out inaccuracies as that will just continue to propagate the “he said” “she said” scenario. Furthermore, lab results are meaningless as there are dozens of variables that affect performance in live networks – including bandwidth, latency, loss, and whatever other applications are sharing the link with AutoCAD. That having been said, we only care about how we perform in real customer networks, and are comfortable that our claims will stand up if any end user decides to put us to the test (just like AutoDesk did). To that end, we encourage anyone concerned about AutoCAD performance to give us a try and see for themselves.
Just wondering – what exactly was Taneja’s role in this? They have never seen our boxes and have no hands-on experience with WAN optimization, so there is no way that they are capable of “verifying” anything about our product. Who confirmed that our boxes were correctly deployed (we certainly didn’t)? Who verified that the same tests were run on each vendors appliances in the exact same environments? … Make no mistake – this is a Riverbed report with jacked-up numbers – this is by no means a valid 3rd party verification.
A little context for the section below: Aaron had also pointed out to me that Riverbed will struggle with more recent versions of Microsoft Excel files, which he says also do some bit-scrambling. Riverbed responded that he was referring to an issue with overlapping opens of Excel files which was fixed a long time ago.
Re. Excel – we provided a “diff file” that illustrates how the bytes are being scrambled from one save to the next (without any modifications). It is clear from that that there is a scrambling issue that is similar to what is happening with AutoCAD. My point is not to dispute what Riverbed can or cannot do wrt to Excel (even though the problem they said they fixed is a completely different issue). My only goal was to point out that it demonstrates a data scrambling problem that is similar to AutoCAD, and that we don’t seem to be affected by it.
That is also why I keep referring to other applications, like Citrix and video streaming. My point is to show that we handle these applications very differently than other dedupe vendors. What are Riverbed’s thoughts on that? That is the bigger story, in my opinion. AutoCad is just the latest symptom of a bigger problem – that there are different application types that fundamentally behave differently across the WAN, and you need the right architecture to address ALL of them…
Thanks for giving me a chance to comment.