The popularity of cloud-based services is growing within organizations of all sizes. According to Forrester Research, the SaaS market itself is expected to be more than $100 billion by 2017. "While attractive in many ways, the cloud introduces challenges around performance," said Eric Wolford, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Products at Riverbed. "To overcome application performance bottlenecks encountered in unpredictable cloud environments, the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator gives organizations global SaaS performance that feels local.""Seadrill, a leading offshore deep water drilling company, wanted to take advantage of the economics, ease of management, accessibility and storing space offered by cloud technology and decided to centralize their enterprise applications using cloud computing. However, when employees logged into Office 365 in the morning, it could take as long as two hours before their mailboxes were fully synchronized and led to bandwidth constraints for other types of traffic due to saturated satellite links, often leaving users frustrated," said Pal Goran Johansen, Network Engineer, Harris Caprock Communication, a global provider of fully managed communications for remote and harsh environments. "Having reliable and consistent access to Office 365 was mission critical for communication and collaboration between its oil rigs, offices and headquarters. After testing the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator, response times with Office 365 dramatically improved and freed bandwidth for other traffic. The results showed that Seadrill employees would see significant benefit, as employees would be more productive and collaborative across its 45 oil rigs in EMEA, South America and North America, as well as its offices across the world." "In order to unlock the cost savings promised by cloud services, organizations are seeking ways to make IT infrastructure more elastic by using multiple, geographically dispersed cloud deployments," said Melanie Posey, Research VP at IDC. "Bandwidth constraints and network latency impact IT infrastructure performance regardless of location -- private data centers or public cloud data centers. The Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution offers organizations using hybrid cloud networks the same level of accelerated application performance previously possible only in the public Internet with Akamai or in private cloud environments with Riverbed." "As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, we have more than 16,000 users that access Salesforce.com, including those employees that process orders and handle customer service. Backhaul Internet connections that route users across the private WAN before accessing the public Internet introduces additional distance, latency and consumes additional bandwidth, making accessing Salesforce.com problematic," said Lionel Marie, Lead Architect for Global WAN Acceleration at Schneider Electric. "Overcoming the performance challenges was critical for us to effectively process customer orders and provide excellent customer service. We deployed Steelhead Cloud Accelerator to evaluate the solution from Paris and backhauled to the Salesforce.com data center in the US and achieved 80 percent data reduction while utilizing 6x less bandwidth. The test results are really encouraging and demonstrate that the joint solution from Akamai and Riverbed can avoid a costly bandwidth upgrade and address the performance challenges we are encountering." The Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS®) software that powers Steelhead products is activated on the Akamai Intelligent Platform when a customer subscribes to the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution. A version of RiOS enhanced to connect with the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator solution is also installed on the customer's Steelhead solution within their own network. After both instances of RiOS connect, customers can benefit from dramatic performance improvements for a variety of SaaS applications.