Feeds

Riverbed boosts SSL over WANs

Adds secure enterprise apps to the acceleration list

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Riverbed is the latest WAN optimiser to add SSL capabilities, with a version of its RiOS operating system that lets its Steelhead appliances look into and accelerate SSL traffic. Riverbed said the addition was essential given the number of mission critical Web-enabled enterprise apps which now use SSL for security.

The software will be available to current licensees this month as a free upgrade, the company said. Called RiOS version 4, its other new features include enhanced HTTP streamlining which learns how a URL works and does predictive caching, and adjustments to get traffic through lossy lines faster by preventing TCP from throttling back the window size - but the key is SSL.

Riverbed CTO John Martin noted that the challenge is to avoid having the client authenticate to a local proxy instead of the remote server. The server SSL certificate should never leave the data centre, he said.

So his approach in effect proxies the client into the data centre, where a Steelhead decrypts traffic from the server or its SSL offload engine, optimises and compresses it, and then sends it on. The client-side Steelhead only caches the one-time session key.

"We allow the initial client connection to always go to the server," he said. "Then we have a copy of the server certificate on our box in the data centre. We run one session but in two TCP hops. We break open the connection in the client Steelhead and re-SSL it using the same session key."

He acknowledged that this limits its applicability to WAN links inside an organisation, with a Steelhead at each end. It is a growing issue though - Riverbed estimates that 15 per cent of enterprise traffic is SSL, and that it is growing over 50 per cent a year.

One of Riverbed's RiOS 4 beta-testers said it was able to transfer encrypted documents up to 56 times faster, with no loss of security. Other WAN acceleration developers already handle SSL, for example Blue Coat and F5, and more are working on adding it, including Expand, Silver Peak and Juniper.

"SSL has a tremendous effect on our ability to optimise," confirmed Expand's CTO, Efi Gatmor. "Towards the end of 2007, we will introduce an SSL proxy solution which can maintain a fully secure session without certificates leaving the data centre." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.