The US Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) has selected and successfully deployed Riverbed's Steelhead WDS appliances at sites across the globe to enable consolidation of IT resources and to reduce the cost and management overhead of distributed computing.
DCMA selected Riverbed's Steelhead appliances for their ability to quickly and easily integrate into the agency's complex network and accelerate the performance of key applications over wide area networks (WAN), including Microsoft Windows, Exchange, and SSL-encrypted Web applications.
DCMA is the Department of Defense agency responsible for working with the defense industry to help ensure that systems, supplies, and services are delivered on time, at projected costs and meet performance requirements.
DCMA manages 300 000 prime contracts valued at approximately $850-billion and employs about 11 000 civilian and military professionals worldwide. The agency is organised into six divisions: Aeronautical Systems, Naval Sea Systems, Ground Systems and Munitions, Space and Missile Systems, International and Special Programs. The divisions are further subdivided into 60 Contract Management Offices (CMOs) with over 900 employee duty stations worldwide, working with over 16,000 Defense contractor firms.
DCMA recently consolidated its IT infrastructure in the continental US from 17 computing centre sites to two primary data centres to reduce resource costs and management overhead. DCMA did not want user quality to suffer; it wanted its on-network and remote users to both receive LAN-like quality services over its WAN. DCMA accordingly upgraded its WAN, but soon found out that wasn't enough.
"If we had it to do over again, we'd install WAN optimisers before starting consolidation," says Mike Williams, CIO at DCMA. "The additional bandwidth DCMA had added couldn't overcome the latency problems caused by chatty application and networking protocols. Users really let us know that they were not happy with the slowdowns they were seeing as the consolidation was proceeding. So, we ended up having to play 'catch up,' and doing it fast."
Riverbed helped DCMA do it fast. DCMA has deployed 41 Steelhead appliances to date, both in the continental United States and internationally. "Our users are much happier now. No one notices or cares anymore that we've consolidated our data centres," says Williams. "It's completely a non-issue now."