Being a roadwarrior

As someone who mainly works from home or at the customer site I need to make sure I can access my companies resources wherever I am, I do own a smartphone and can read my emails on the road without issue but a lot of the time you just need a keyboard and some reference documents to get things done. (one of the reasons I don’t believe the tablet/smartphone is going to replace laptops hype, one is for consuming the other for creating).

So the first thing I needed was a mobile connection, I did already have a Mobile Vikings account from the past (for use on the iPad which I no longer own) so I bought the Option iCON XY mobile broadband USB modem that is compatible with my MacBook.

Mobile Vikings uses the BASE network in Belgium to provide UMTS or HSPA connections.

In this case I happened to get a HSPA connection.

So now I have high speed mobile access to the internet and can do my work more efficiently, the drawback in Belgium is that mobile internet is rather expensive and the data amount is capped (in my case 12 Euro for 2GB/monthly).

Bring in deduplication!

With the Riverbed Steelhead mobile client on my MacBook I get acceleration and data reduction when connecting to my corporate resources (being a symmetrical solution you need to have a Steelhead device on both ends of the connection, in my case the steelhead in our San Francisco office and the Steelhead Mobile Client on my laptop).

So I fire up my VPN client and connect to the corporate network.

As you can see I am connecting over 3G.

Connecting through VPN automatically connects the Steelhead client to the Steelhead Mobile Controller (pointing to me to the right steelhead) and optimization kicks-in.

This automatically starts to optimize all connections going to the office, all other connections (i.e. internet, spotify, and whatnot) are passed trough unaffected.

In this case I needed a powerpoint deck to show my customer so I went ahead and downloaded it from our internal website.

Through the magic of dedupe and application and tcp acceleration I was able to download the 4.1MB file using 464KB of data, which comes in handy seeing my 2GB cap and mobile connection.

After the meeting with the customer was over he asked me to email the slidedeck for reference (why did I not bring a USB stick?!)

So I take the same file and e-mail it.

Because of the Riverbed dedupe technology, which is based on byte-level dedupe, the system understands that it is the same data (even if I first downloaded the file using HTTP and am now going to email it using MAPI) and still is able to reduce the data significantly.

NOTE: the numbers don’t match up completely because in this case outlook reused an open connection (that had already passed data) to send the data, but you can clearly see a great level of reduction.

So being a road warrior in this day and age sucks just a little bit less 🙂

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