The information-technology firm Riverbed is betting it can outdo giants like Cisco, worth about $172 billion, in the observability-tools space. But it'll take a big product pivot to do so.
In a switch from its networking hardware roots, Riverbed is launching more software products that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor a firm's IT infrastructure, known as observability tools. And it's proving fruitful, Daniel Smoot, the CEO of Riverbed, told Insider. After years of hardship, Riverbed's suite of observability tools generates more sales than its hardware, making it pivotal to the firm's recovery strategy. Its big ambitions include a full market takeover in a hotly contested space, according to Smoot.
"We are going to dominate the unified observability marketplace," Smoot said.
The firm had a market cap of $3.5 billion when it went private in 2015.
Before Riverbed entered the observability-tools business, the company generated most of its revenue selling WAN hardware, devices that companies use to transfer data between data centers and remote locations. But as clients moved to the cloud and the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the firm's factories, hardware sales dropped and increased the company's debt to $1.9 billion.
As a result, Riverbed entered a restructuring-support agreement in 2021 with its lenders and private-equity sponsors to reduce its debt by more than $1 billion. Through the agreement, Riverbed received approximately $65 million to develop observability products such as network-performance-management software.
Riverbed's focus on observability software is especially important now that the chip shortage is slowing down the production of its WAN optimization devices, another blow to its hardware sales, Smoot said. The shortage has also animated public-networking vendors — like the $1.72 billion Extreme Networks, the $8.57 billion Juniper Networks, the $35.24 billion Arista Networks, and even Cisco — to strengthen relationships with suppliers as they scramble to build their servers, routers, and other data-center equipment in a timely manner.
Riverbed's latest product, Alluvio IQ, combines all network data into one place for business use, similar to full-stack observability tools that competitors like Cisco and Datadog, worth $29 billion, provide. Riverbed has seen new Alluvio product sales rise by 20% over the past year, a significant win given its severe drop in hardware sales, according to the firm.
"The total available market for this is incredible," Smoot said. "And its not shrinking."
But it's a crowded space. Legacy tech companies like Cisco, IBM, and VMware have acquired startups that specialize in observability software. And firms like the $4 billion New Relic and the $13 billion Splunk that haven't been bought have been specializing their tools for decades.
Smoot, who has previously worked at Cisco and VMware, said he believes that Riverbed can beat the competition because it already has decades of complex networking data with thousands of its customers. Smoot added that Alluvio IQ can help businesses access that historically siloed data, something new vendors might not have.
"For a new startup to come and say, 'I'm going to go capture all that data,' that's an impossible task," Smoot said.
But Riverbed now faces its biggest challenge yet: the market downturn. Many of its clients in finance, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals are not recession-proof, so the company could lose business, Smoot said. That's why it's not discontinuing its hardware business despite hinging future growth on the observability market.
"What makes me the most nervous is the unknown," Smoot said. "I think every CEO right now is thinking about what the recession could bring. It keeps us all up at night."
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Riverbed today announced Alluvio IQ, a new cloud-native, SaaS-delivered Unified Observability service that empowers IT with actionable insights and intelligent automation to fix problems faster and Improve digital service quality. Alluvio IQ leverages full-fidelity network performance and end-user experience data across every transaction in the digital enterprise and applies AI and machine learning to contextually correlate data streams and alerts to identify the most business-impacting events. The new service enables IT organizations to “shift left,” empowering all staff to do the job of more experienced IT experts, freeing-up senior IT staff to focus on strategic business initiatives.
“We are thrilled to unveil Alluvio IQ and deliver on our vision to create a highly innovative, differentiated SaaS-delivered Unified Observability service,” said Dan Smoot, CEO of Riverbed. “Observability today has evolved in the market to deal beyond the challenges of application monitoring, testing, and management. As IT teams continue to face issues managing complex, highly distributed environments, Riverbed saw the need for a broader definition and approach to solve an expanded set of challenges. We believe a unified approach to observability is key to allowing organizations to take back the reigns of IT by transforming massive amounts of data into actionable insights that drive enterprise performance and deliver exceptional digital experiences.”
Alluvio IQ – A More Comprehensive, Unified Approach to Observability
Alluvio IQ was designed to help IT teams address the challenges caused by today’s complex IT environments, resource constraints, and data silos. Alluvio IQ leverages full-stack, full-fidelity telemetry about the end user, the network, and application to analyze 10+ million data points per minute for complete visibility, even into remote and hybrid work environments. Unlike other products that correlate events primarily based on time, Alluvio automates the process of gathering and correlating 10,000+ metrics per minute across time, device, location, and applications. Alluvio IQ also provides automated investigative workflows designed to replicate the best practices of expert IT teams enabling enterprises to filter out noise, reduce escalations, set priorities, and scale knowledge residing in the minds of a few across the broader IT team.
Alluvio IQ enables IT organizations to move from simple monitoring and visibility to reap the full benefits of unified observability. Some of those benefits include:
Alluvio IQ is the first service built on the new Alluvio Unified Observability platform, a secure, highly available and scalable SaaS platform for cloud-native observability services. Alluvio IQ and the Platform are part of the Alluvio by Riverbed portfolio, which also include industry-leading visibility tools for network performance management (NPM), IT Infrastructure Monitoring (ITIM) and Digital Experience Management (DEM), which encompasses application performance management (APM) and end user experience monitoring (EUEM).
“Modern IT environments are highly distributed and increasingly complex, making it more difficult to effectively or efficiently manage these environments and deliver positive experiences,” stated Bob Laliberte, principal analyst, ESG. “Compounding the issue is the “Great Resignation” reducing the number of experienced operations team members. Riverbed’s Alluvio IQ enables organizations to transform vast amounts of data into actionable insights so operations can regain control, drive greater operational efficiencies, (even with less experienced team members) and deliver enhanced customer experiences.”
For more information on Riverbed Alluvio IQ, please visit www.riverbed.com/alluvio-iq
Firefighters battled a small but stubborn vegetation fire Wednesday night in the riverbed west of Santa Maria, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Crews were dispatched shortly after 6:15 p.m. to the blaze in the riverbed near Bonita School Road, fire Capt. Scott Safechuck said.
The fire was burning in thick vegetation, and blackened four acres before being contained, Safechuck said.
At 9:45 p.m., he added that firefighters would need another two to three hours of hard work to completely douse the fire.
Assisting on the incident were two ngines from the Santa Maria Fire Department.
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Ahead of its participation at GITEX Global 2022, Riverbed today unveiled the findings of a new survey from leading market research firm IDC, which revealed that a unified view of digital infrastructure is essential for IT teams that must Improve the digital user experience while boosting overall organisational productivity. Informed by the findings of this survey, Riverbed is focusing its presence at the show around helping customers address this important market need and will demonstrate leading Alluvio unified observability and Riverbed acceleration solutions. At GITEX, Riverbed can be found in Concourse 2 – Stand CC2-26, and the
theme for this year’s stand is ‘Illuminate, Accelerate and Empower Every Digital Experience.’
“The UAE and other countries in the region have clear ambitions to significantly grow their digital economies over the coming decade. But the challenge of an increasingly strained technical talent pool must be overcome if organisations are to deliver the flawless digital experiences that underpin this vision,” said Mena Migally, Regional Vice President, META at Riverbed. “At GITEX, we will demonstrate how Unified Observability empowers all IT professionals with insight that they can action upon, thus allowing senior IT leaders to direct their attention to strategic initiatives that drive business outcomes. This is especially important given our survey shows that 44% of UAE respondents agree their organisation struggles to hire and retain highly skilled IT staff.”
Sponsored by Riverbed, the new survey revealed that IT teams are struggling to effectively manage highly distributed digital infrastructures and deliver digital experiences that meet increasingly high customer expectations. The survey of 1,400 IT workers across 10 countries uncovered the following in the UAE:
As observability becomes the responsibility of C-level technology executives (CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, etc.), companies in the UAE are also investing more dollars in observability solutions. In the survey, 86% of UAE respondents said their observability budgets will rise in the next two years, and 41% said their budget will increase more than 25%.
At GITEX, Riverbed will showcase its Alluvio Unified Observability and Riverbed Acceleration portfolios that help organisations overcome today’s complex IT environments and sprawling data, to deliver seamless and secure digital experiences to users everywhere and accelerate performance. For the first time in the region, visitors to the company’s stand will also have the opportunity to experience hands-on demos of Alluvio IQ, Riverbed's newly launched cloud-native, SaaS-delivered service that helps IT teams address the challenges caused by today’s complex IT environments, resource constraints, and data silos through AI and machine learning.
“The demand for and participation at in-person events has rebounded this year so we expect a heavily attended show that will present us with the opportunity to engage with customers, partners, and prospects from across the region. We have set clear objectives for our presence at GITEX which include educating attendees and organizations on the importance of Unified Observability– a segment which is growing and set to be a US$19billion global market within a couple years,” concluded Migally.
Top executives from Riverbed’s regional leadership, sales, and pre-sales teams will be attending GITEX Global 2022. Attendees can meet them at the Riverbed stand, Concourse 2 – Stand CC2-26, the Riverbed kiosks on the stands of our distributors, Mindware (D1 in Hall 3); StarLink (B1 in Hall 1); and Crestan (C30 in Hall 2), as well as on the stand of our valued partner, Microsoft (D1 in Hall 7).
IDC surveyed more than 1,400 IT professionals from across 10 countries on the current and future state of observability. The survey respondents came from seven industries (financial, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, technology, government, and professional services). Over 75% of respondents represented large enterprises (1000+ employees) and 70% held Director or above positions within their respective IT organisations. All had managerial responsibility for observability and/or IT performance management functions, use, staff, and budgets.
Riverbed is the only company with the collective richness of telemetry from network to app to end user, that illuminates and then accelerates every interaction, so organisations can deliver a seamless digital experience and drive enterprise performance. Riverbed offers two industry-leading portfolios: Alluvio by Riverbed, a differentiated Unified Observability portfolio that unifies data, insights, and actions across IT, so customers can deliver seamless, secure digital experiences; and Riverbed Acceleration, providing fast, agile, secure acceleration of any app, over any network, to users anywhere. Together with our thousands of partners, and market-leading customers globally – including 95% of the FORTUNE 100 –, we empower every click, every digital experience.
Riverbed. Empower the Experience. Learn more at riverbed.com.
Riverbed, Alluvio and certain other terms used herein are trademarks of Riverbed Technology LLC. All other trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.
Procre8 for Riverbed
Corrections & Clarifications: The homeless encampment area is scattered across about 70 acres, according to Google Maps. That size was calculated incorrectly in a previous version of this article.
Tempe officials are taking a hard line against a large homeless encampment in the Rio Salado riverbed, ordering those living there to move out by Aug. 31 — a move that could displace anywhere from 20 to 200 people, according to estimates by the city and local activist groups.
It’s part of a longer term effort to clear the roughly 70-acre corridor where Paul Bentley, Tempe deputy human services director, said city staffers have been conducting outreach efforts for years.
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Bentley added that flooding on the site — between the Tempe Town Lake dam and Priest Drive — makes it unsafe for those living there. He said the city increased its clearing efforts in June after a surge in emergency calls to the riverbed.
“We have the flooding concern and then we have seen an increase in fire responses,” he told The Arizona Republic on Aug. 31, the deadline date for those living in the riverbed to move out or be considered trespassers. “The severity of the fires is increasing, as well as the amount of emergency response requests going into the area that are just as significant.”
Emergency response calls at the site jumped to 71 in 2021 from six in 2017, for example, and at least one exact fire in the riverbed caused officials to close Loop 202.
Bentley said the city will not be razing the encampment or making any arrests for now, but the evacuation deadline still sparked concern among activists who picketed along the riverbed the day of the deadline.
A handful of groups showed up to the encampment — including the Fund for Empowerment, National Lawyers Guild, Arizona Poor People's Campaign and What About Rent — arguing that Tempe is violating the rights of those living in the area and that the city’s offer to store the campers’ personal belongings for 31 days is far too short of a time frame.
“Tempe doesn't have any beds in their shelters — they're full — yet they're still kicking these citizens out of the encampment area,” said Jesston Williams of the Fund for Empowerment. “Another concern is their belongings. The city is supposed to provide the homeless with storage for 90 days, and they're providing it for only 30 days.”
Tempe officials said the California court decision that required Los Angeles to hold property for 90 days does not apply here, and that same-day housing is available between shelters in Tempe and other nearby cities for riverbed residents — but that’s only if the displaced individuals want to accept it.
A more likely scenario, according to those living at the site, is that those who get kicked out will instead move elsewhere in the city, like to the nearby Tempe Beach Park.
Aside from offering shelter services and citing the affected individuals for trespassing, there’s little the city can do to stop people experiencing homelessness from flooding into public spaces once they are removed from the “out-of-the-way” riverbed.
“We have nowhere to go. We're all going to end up at the park and it's going to be overpopulated with the homeless, and then the community is going to start to complain,” said Chrastal Barnes, who said she has lived in the riverbed for seven years. “What are we supposed to do? This is our home.”
City officials said the clearing of the riverbed will be an ongoing process and that they plan to continue working to find a “positive housing solution” for the residents, who the city now estimates include about two dozen people rather than the 200 estimated by activists.
People found in the riverbed after Wednesday first will receive a warning, then a citation and eventually could be arrested depending on the nature of their encounters with city staffers.
Tempe plans to continue offering the same support services to displaced individuals who spread out into other parts of the city.
“The rights of the encampment citizens (are) being violated," Williams told The Republic. “People who live in this encampment are all going to be displaced with nowhere to go.”
The 885-foot-wide riverbed is split down the middle by a swampy creek that begins at Town Lake and runs through the Priest Drive overpass, and is surrounded by dense brush to either side that becomes sparser near the riverbed boundaries — where most campers hole up.
It’s relatively out of the way, being bordered by major roadways, Tempe Town Lake Dam, a city operations yard and a dirt parking lot rather than stores or homes, and city officials said the location has “historically” been an encampment site.
Homeless residents told The Republic they’ve been living there for years or even decades, adding that the problems only began recently.
“There's been people down here for 20 years,” Barnes said. “(The city has) come down before and told us we need to clean up the mess a little bit or else they're going to kick us out. But they've never followed through with it. We've never had them go this far.”
Bentley said the city’s efforts to move people out of the riverbed is not new, however. He pointed to a help station next to the site where medical services are available, and said Tempe has consistently offered shelter options to homeless campers.
But the push to clear the site ramped up this summer after a string of emergency-related calls and flooding incidents, according to Bentley, who explained that Town Lake runoff — which locals said can get waist-deep in the riverbed — has increased during exact monsoons.
He said the heightened efforts involve sending additional social workers, medical providers and “outreach specialists” into the riverbed to help people find alternative living options.
“We have provided resources, services and shelter options for those who are in the river bottom. We've done that over time, but we've provided an enhanced response since the end of June of this year,” Bentley said. “We’ve had significant challenges recently with monsoon seasons and flooding. Individuals having to vacate for fear of the flooding itself.”
The number of emergency calls to the riverbed has increased by 1,200% since 2017. In addition to flooding-related issues, city staffers said the call spike also had to do with “criminal activity,” but did not provide a breakdown of the specific crimes being committed.
“There has been criminal activity in the area,” Bentley told The Republic. “Some individuals have been brought out of the river bottom for medical care due to some form of assault or aggravated assault.”
On top of that, the “severity” of fires thought to be caused by campers has also been increasing. Bentley cited a fire that caused the “freeway to be shut down” because the flames got so high, but staffers could not explain what exactly started the flames.
Such incidents seem to have been occurring in the area for a while, given that the nearby Arizona Historical Society Museum was damaged by flames from a homeless encampment in 2016.
The steep-sided and brush-heavy riverbed makes it difficult for first responders to access during any kind of emergency, putting Tempe staffers at risk when they’re called down.
“Emergency response, whether it's police or fire, are at risk because of how difficult it is to move within this area,” Bentley said. “There's no sewage, there's no water. Those who have gone into the area have seen a significant amount of debris waste, as well as syringes and needles. It's just an unhealthy place to be.”
The encampment is right next to the proposed Arizona Coyotes stadium and entertainment district that may be built on the 46-acre plot of land currently housing a city operations yard.
The City Council approved opening negotiations for the development in early June, when Tempe ramped up its clearing efforts, although staffers said the project did not influence their decision to remove the encampment.
Activists and riverbed residents challenged the city’s narrative on nearly every point ranging from the outreach efforts to shelter availability to crime.
Williams, the activist with Fund for Empowerment, said Tempe “failed” to do proper outreach and provide those in the riverbed with a place to stay, a requirement under federal law before cities can arrest homeless people for living on public property.
He added that Tempe’s “busing” of homeless people to shelters in Phoenix, such as Central Arizona Shelter Services or CASS, is ineffective because some people who are moved “can’t get in.”
“Tempe provides someone to come out and talk to them and make plans, but everyone I’ve spoken to down here is saying that that has not happened,” Williams said. “What they do is they drop them off down at CASS and some of them can't get in. I spoke to a lady from CASS a couple of weeks ago and she said, 'They're being dropped off here and a lot of them just sleep outside.’”
Tempe spokesperson Susie Steckner challenged the activist's claim, saying they haven't "worked with anyone who has accepted shelter at CASS in more than six months" and that they always ensure bed availability before individuals are transported to out-of-city shelters.
Williams also took issue with the city’s policy regarding property that’s found in the riverbed once people are moved out.
Tempe will store those items for up to 31 days and trash it afterward. Williams believes it should be held at least 90 days, citing a California court case in which Los Angeles agreed to hold belongings for that long.
“When they lose their belongings, they've collected these things over a period of (months or) even a year. That's literally all they have, and then the city comes in and takes it.” he said. “It's devastating. It's completely devastating to these people.”
Tempe’s ordinance requires the city to provide a months-worth of storage, and staffers at the City Attorney’s Office said the California court case does not apply to cities in Arizona.
Tempe officials also deny that homeless individuals who are moved to a shelter don’t have a place to stay, saying that same-day housing is available for all riverbed residents who want it.
Tempe’s claims that the riverbed is dangerous was another point of contention for those living in the encampment, who contend the site is only unsafe when Tempe makes it so.
They argue that they’re being “flooded out” because the city controls the Town Lake floodgate release, adding that alarms — which usually sound when excess water is being poured into the riverbed — haven’t been used recently.
“They're the ones that make it dangerous. They flooded us,” said Barnes, the seven-year riverbed resident. “On the 13th of this month at midnight, they opened all (of the) floodgates. No warning, no nothing. A cop sat on each corner and watched us struggle to get up out of that water at 12:00 at night.”
Steckner, the city spokesperson, said that the floodgates were not opened in that instance, but that the water instead flowed over the dam because of heavy rainfall, meaning the alarm did not sound because the city had no control over the flooding.
The riverbed is designed to be a runoff reservoir rather than a place where people live and it’s unclear where Tempe could direct the lake runoff if it no longer used that corridor.
Barnes also objected to the uptick in crime being used as a justification to kick everyone out of the encampment, saying the problem was only caused by a few individuals rather than the whole community.
“They're holding this whole area responsible for somebody else's actions. We had nothing to do with it,” she said. “The person they claim did it, they need to hold that person responsible. Not us, not the whole homeless community down here.”
Regardless of whether Tempe did its “due diligence” in offering services to those in the riverbed, Barnes said she finds the process to get housing “hard to navigate.”
She described gaining entrance into local “motel voucher” programs as a “lose-lose situation,” where affected individuals are required to attend drug programs to qualify, even when they aren’t addicted to any drugs.
“When you tell them you don't have that type of problem, that you don't use whatever it is that you know you're supposed to detox from, then they say, 'Well, you don't qualify,’" she said. “They've promised me that they would help me. They said they put my name in. And as we look back into my file, there's nothing that was ever put in my file the whole seven years.”
Steckner said Barnes's claims do not apply to Tempe's programs, stating that "people are not disqualified from shelter based on whether they need or do not need substance abuse treatment."
Mike Holden, another longtime homeless resident in the Phoenix area and current riverbed resident, said the exact action against the encampment is part of a “repeating cycle" of homeless people being transplanted around the area.
The consensus among many at the riverbed on Wednesday was that they would relocate to the nearby parks if the city follows through on its threat to charge those in the riverbed with trespassing — with riverbed residents migrating from a place where they “don't bother people” to more public spaces.
“It’s either going to be a Tempe Beach Park or Jaycee Park. We have absolutely nowhere to go but two parks,” Barnes said. “Then what are we going to do at night? Walk around after being in the heat all day. We have nowhere to sleep.”
City officials said the belief among activists and riverbed residents that the encampment would be razed on Wednesday was a “misunderstanding.” The deadline was simply when campers would be considered trespassers, and Tempe plans to continue outreach for the time being.
“We're leading with compassion and we're leading with services,” said Bentley, the deputy human services director. “We are assisting folks with personal property. We are promoting individual rights. We are promoting property rights.”
Bentley added that heavy machinery will not be brought in to clear the encampment until the city confirms that everyone has moved out and that Tempe will not be arresting any trespassers in the riverbed for the time being.
When the remaining campers are roused from the encampment, it’s unclear how the city will prevent a flood of displaced individuals from spreading into more populated areas.
Bentley said the nearby help station would be used to assist ousted campers in the immediate term, although the small facility doesn't provide shelter beds.
He added that any individual found trespassing on other city property will be offered the same services — or given the same citations — as those found on the riverbed.
“As a no trespass area, and with communication and outreach (we have) given, we are then moving into the expectation that no one in the community will be down there, regardless of who you may be,” Bentley said. “If anyone chooses to stay in this area, it will result in anything from a warning to a citation to an arrest, depending on the situation that occurs.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 'We have nowhere to go': Tempe cracks down on homeless camps in Rio Salado riverbed
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Moro Hub, a subsidiary of Digital DEWA, the digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (PJSC), signed a strategic agreement with Riverbed Technology, a global information technology company who provides organizations with unified observability and acceleration solutions to deliver a secure, seamless digital experience. The agreement was signed between Mohammad Bin Sulaiman, CEO of Moro Hub and Dan Smoot, President and CEO of Riverbed at the Moro Hub headquarters in Dubai.
In accordance with the agreement, Moro Hub will leverage Riverbed’s industry-leading unified observability and acceleration solutions to help businesses enhance connectivity, reduce operational costs and Improve the performance of the network, as well as easing customers’ transition to the cloud.
Riverbed’s Unified Observability portfolio includes visibility offerings that provide telemetry across the network, applications and end-users, and a new cloud-native, SaaS delivered solution that applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), enabling Moro Hub to correlate data streams and alerts to provide actionable insights. This will further accelerate Moro Hub to automate the investigative workflows of businesses, empowering staff at all skill levels to increase efficiencies.
With Riverbed’s acceleration solutions, Moro Hub will be able to provide fast, agile and secure acceleration of any application for large enterprises to organizations in the SME market. Riverbed Acceleration solutions enables organizations to decrease latency and achieve higher output, including up to 98 percent reduction in data transfer. This will significantly Improve migration and replication services.
“Moro Hub’s goal is to deliver exceptional digital solutions to ensure seamless operations for businesses in the region. This agreement with Riverbed will strengthen our portfolio of unified observability and acceleration solutions, which will help clients turn to cloud easily and stay competitive and productive,” said Mohammad Bin Sulaiman, CEO of Moro Hub.
Leading industry and financial analysts estimate the observability market will reach approximately $19 billion in 2024. Drivers of this growth include the tectonic shifts to hybrid work and networks, multi-cloud environments, and modern application architectures. These shifts make it critical for IT teams to extract actionable insights from data and proactively manage performance using existing tools. To address this, Riverbed’s unified observability solutions have been designed to provide IT teams with a unified view to see through massive complexity and transform data into actionable insights across the entire digital ecosystem and enable automated self-healing. This will enable organizations to provide seamless digital experiences that drive enterprise performance for both the employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX).
“We are excited to embark on this new partnership with Moro Hub, leaders in delivering digital solutions in the region. As businesses in the Middle East look to align with the commendable government initiatives aimed at growing the region’s digital economy, they will find immense benefit in leveraging Riverbed’s industry-leading Unified Observability and Acceleration solutions. Our collaboration with Moro Hub will strengthen our ability to deliver these solutions in the region, ensuring enterprises can effectively transform data into actionable insights in order to Improve decision-making, increase productivity and ultimately exceed user experience expectations,” said Dan Smoot, President and CEO of Riverbed.
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