Riverbed Shifts From WAN Optimization-Only to Application Performance Management

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Riverbed Technology is expanding from its roots as a hardware-centric WAN optimization company to offering platforms suitable for the cloud and as-a-service world.

To that end, the company this week said it now focuses on four major areas, which it debuted at its analyst day on Nov. 18, alongside higher 2014 revenue and earnings-per-share projections. Recent executive changes, along with those growth forecasts and the refreshed product strategy, spurred financial firms Wunderlich and Jefferies to raise their target prices on Riverbed, while Janney raised its fair value.

The new products come as Riverbed is said to be working with Goldman Sachs to secure a buyer. Publicly held Riverbed faces pressure from an activist fund to buoy shareholder value. Reuters and other media outlets reported last week that Riverbed is attracting interest from private equity firms keen on a leveraged buyout.

In the meantime, Riverbed says it has emerged from four years' worth of effort to transform from a single-product company to a platform supplier. Riverbed is keeping WAN optimization in its portfolio, while adding storage delivery, network performance management and application performance management to specialize in application performance infrastructure. Riverbed says that market -- which it defines as including  WAN optimization, branch converged infrastructure, ADCs, and network and application performance management — presents an $11 billion opportunity.

Riverbed is positioning its strategic shift as one that enables "location-independent computing," so IT departments can assure low latency and high bandwidth availability in their applications, data and wide area networks.

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