Riverbed Technology, Inc. is an American IT company that develops products to improve application performance across wide area networks (WANs), a technique known as WAN optimization. Its products reduce latency and bandwidth constraints in delivering applications via WANs to multiple locations across long distances. It also develops products to support network and application performance management.
Riverbed has its headquarters in San Francisco. In December 2014, the company agreed to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, and the transaction was completed in April 2015.
Jerry Kennelly, CEO, and Steve McCanne, CTO, founded a technology company in May, 2002, originally named NBT (Next Big Thing) Technology. The company became Riverbed Technology in 2003. Kennelly and McCanne led internal development of the first SteelHead appliances, the 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 models, and the first SteelHead shipped in April 2004 to Environment Canada.
Riverbed stock began trading on NASDAQ September 21, 2006. Riverbed opened up an off-site location at Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before 2009.
In February 2014, the US hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation made a $3.36 billion offer to acquire Riverbed (after a bid of $3.08 was rejected).
In October 2014 ZDNet reported NetApp's acquisition of Riverbed Technology's SteelStore line of data backup and protection products, which NetApp later renamed as "AltaVault".
On December 15, 2014, Riverbed announced it would be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The value was estimated at approximately $3.6 billion, and closed in April 2015.
Using software-defined network technology acquired from a German company called Ocedo it acquired in January 2016, Riverbed announced the SteelConnect product in April 2016.
On February 20, 2009, Riverbed completed the acquisition of Mazu Networks. The Mazu products, which were initially renamed Cascade (and in 2014 became part of Riverbed SteelCentral), analyze network traffic to provide information about the interactions of and dependencies between users, applications and systems.
On October 21, 2010, Riverbed acquired CACE Technologies, and folded its Shark network analysis product and Pilot interface product into the Riverbed Cascade product suite. CACE was also the corporate sponsor of the open source network protocol analyzer product Wireshark. Riverbed assumed corporate sponsorship.
In November 2010, Riverbed acquired Global Protocols, LLC, a provider of Satellite optimization to the defense marketplace. Its SkipWare product, a proprietary commercial implementation of the Space Communications Protocol Specifications (SCPS), is used in US Department of Defense communications satellites.
On July 19, 2011, Riverbed acquired Zeus Technology, a provider of high-performance software-based load balancing and traffic management for virtual and cloud computing environments. Its primary product was the Zeus Virtual Application Delivery Controller (vADC) which evolved into Riverbed SteelApp. Brocade announced its intent to acquire the Riverbed SteelApp business in February 2015. On the same day, Riverbed acquired Aptimize Limited, a provider of web content optimization technology, based in Wellington, New Zealand.
On January 11, 2012, Riverbed purchased assets of Expand Networks, including its intellectual property, out of liquidation in Israel.
In December 2012, Riverbed acquired OPNET Technologies for $1 billion. OPNET, based in Bethesda, MD, provided performance analysis software for applications and networks, which evolved into Riverbed SteelCentral.
On June 1, 2011, Riverbed served Silver Peak Systems with a lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of certain patents. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief. On July 22, 2011, Silver Peak Systems denied the allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement.
On August 17, 2011, Silver Peak Systems amended its counterclaims against Riverbed, alleging infringement by Riverbed of three U.S. patents: 7,630,295, titled “Network Device Continuity”; 7,945,736, titled “Dynamic Load Management of Network Memory”; and 7,948,921, titled “Automatic Network Optimization.” The patents purport to cover certain features offered on the Riverbed SteelHead products. Silver Peak seeks unspecified damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Riverbed from offering those features. On September 20, 2011, Riverbed denied Silver Peak Systems’ allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. On December 21, 2011, Riverbed amended its lawsuit against Silver Peak Systems to allege infringement of an additional patent.
Trial of Riverbed’s claims against Silver Peak Systems is currently stayed pending a separate U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proceeding. In anticipation of the trial of Silver Peak Systems' claims against Riverbed, the Court issued a partial summary judgment finding of direct infringement of U.S. patent number 7,948,921, but reserved for trial a number of additional factors that have yet to be proved but are required for a verdict of infringement, and has not yet addressed the validity of that patent.
On June 28, 2013, Riverbed served Silver Peak Systems with an additional lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging infringement of two patents that are not covered by the lawsuit in Delaware. The California lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief. On July 22, 2013, Silver Peak Systems denied the allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. On August 12, 2013, Silver Peak Systems amended its counterclaims, alleging infringement by Riverbed of U.S. patent 8,392,684, titled “Data Encryption in a Network Memory Architecture for Providing Data Based on Local Accessibility”.
On August 26, 2013, Riverbed denied Silver Peak Systems’ allegations and requested declaratory judgments of invalidity and non-infringement. In April 2014, a verdict was declared in favor of Silver Peak in a trial in which Silver Peak asserted infringement of two of its patents against Riverbed. On September 12, 2014, Riverbed announced that the stay in its patent infringement case against Silver Peak in the US District Court for the Northern District of California has been lifted following a failed re-examination effort by Silver Peak. A trial date for the court to hear Riverbed’s claims against Silver Peak has not yet been set. In addition, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, in response to post-trial motions on the litigation before that court, affirmed the jury’s findings from April but ruled against Silver Peak’s motion for a permanent injunction.
In connection with Riverbed’s July 2011 acquisition of the outstanding securities of Zeus Technology Limited (Zeus), the share purchase agreement provided for certain additional potential payments (acquisition-related contingent consideration) totaling up to $27.0 million in cash, based on achievement of certain bookings targets related to Zeus products for the period from July 20, 2011 through July 31, 2012 (the Zeus Earn-Out period). The share purchase agreement also provided for a potential $3.0 million payment as an incentive bonus to former employees of Zeus, based on achievement of certain bookings targets related to Zeus products for the Zeus Earn-Out period. In October 2012 Riverbed served the representative of the Zeus shareholders, as lead defendant and proposed defendant class representative for all other similarly situated former shareholders of Zeus, with a lawsuit, requesting declaratory judgment that, among other things, (a) Riverbed is not in breach of the share purchase agreement, and (b) Riverbed does not owe any acquisition-related contingent consideration under the share purchase agreement because the necessary conditions precedent to the payment of acquisition-related contingent consideration did not occur.