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Vol. 3 No. 3 May 2004

Firm Licks WAN File Sharing

Wright-Pierce, a small civil engineering firm in Topsham, ME, is seeing its business expand throughout New England, and has added several branch offices, with more on the way. But for Wright-Pierce's staff, that hasn't always been a happy thing. The firm's business revolves around AutoCAD drawings--files between 1MB and 50MB in size. For branch office workers, opening a file can take a few minutes, as can saving it back to the main office, says Ray Sirois, Wright-Pierce's IT manager. But if files are copied locally, "then a file revision problem crops up." Sirois tried many tricks to get around these problems, and they "were pretty slick at the time." But users still weren't happy. "I told them, this is the best I can do; you're asking me to make the sun shine at midnight." Recently, Sirois began beta-testing the Steelhead 500 appliance, a "transaction acceleration platform" from Riverbed Technology in San Francisco, CA. In place at two of the three branch offices, in a few short months it has "made all the other innovations we ...

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