McData and Riverbed Technologies last week announced that as part of an OEM deal McData would resell Riverbed's wide-area data services product as part of McData's remote office consolidation (ROC) offering.Specifically, the deal involves McData re-branding Riverbed's Steelhead appliance, as the McData SpectraNet WDS to incorporate file caching and TCP optimization to speed data transfer over shared networks. The OEM and product offering is part of an effort by McData to offer remote office consolidation services, including storage-area network extension technology and professional consulting, the company says. Essentially, the OEM agreement would help McData deliver application traffic faster to customers with remote offices that may be consolidating applications in a centralized data center. According to a report by Current Analysis, both vendors and their customers could benefit from the deal."We are taking a slightly positive stance on Riverbed's OEM and reseller agreement with McData, because the partnership opens up specific new channels into Fortune 1000 customers, and specifically customers with an interest in wide-area optimization and application acceleration requirements," the Current Analysis report states. "Such a partnership is a win-win for Riverbed and McData, and it has significant competitive ramifications for other competitors looking to harness consolidation and regulatory trends in the storage market to drive the adoption of WAN optimization and acceleration products."Riverbed, like competitors Packeteer, Juniper Networks and SilverPeak Systems, uses a system of appliances installed at either end of a WAN link to speed traffic. Among the technologies loaded into its devices, Riverbed uses Scalable Data Referencing (SDR). SDR, according to Riverbed, solves customer bandwidth problems. This technology allows Steelhead appliances to decompose the structure of data, find similarities among the bytes, and instead of sending the content over the WAN in its byte form, it sends a data reference. The data reference eliminates the need to send the same data over the WAN and reduces the amount of bytes being sent; only the data that is different is sent.