By Steve Evans
Riverbed is always adding new features. Given their position in the magic “squares”, I’d expect them to be leading innovation. But with such frequent upgrades, do you upgrade or not? The new RiOS 7.0 has some stellar features that one could very well take advantage of. And that really is the answer. Can you take advantage of the new features? If not, maybe you should wait. Riverbed maintains several “tracks” of code so you should never be compelled to upgrade to a new major version just to stay current. Your current major version is also being kept up to date with bug fixes and minor enhancements. The following are all currently maintained major RiOS versions: 6.5, 6.1, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, and 4.1.
Although I’ve had some recommend upgrading to the latest code, I prefer the more conservative route of upgrading to the latest code in the current release unless you are looking to gain access to features of a new major version. Below is a list I compiled of the new features for 6.0, 6.1, 6.5, and 7.0 to help you decide if you would like to jump up to one of the newer versions. If you are not interested in taking advantage of any of these new features, I recommend the latest RiOS version at your major release level. If you would like some help deciding whether you need to upgrade, feel free to contact us and we’ll do a personalized assessment for you.
How about those engineering releases? Are those safe? Unlike the “Official Release” versions, the engineering releases have not yet undergone extensive Q&A testing. However, usually they are worth considering due to the bug fixes they provide. In my conversations with Riverbed engineers, I’m always encouraged to upgrade to the latest engineering release if it is available. Although I’ve never yet had a problem upgrading to the latest engineering release code, if you’re not currently having any problems, it’s probably best to stay on the “Official Release” version which has been extensively run through their Q&A process. However, if you do upgrade and have an issue, don’t forget that the Riverbed allows you to easily boot back into the previous version.