New Riverbed SteelCentral advances performance monitoring for digital business and cloud



Riverbed released on Thursday Riverbed SteelCentral with significant enhancement of its digital experience management (DEM) platform that helps enterprises ensure the performance of their digital services and optimize the experience of their users.

Whether the components of a service are on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid of both, Riverbed is extending its holistic, DEM capabilities and services to enhance customers’ ability to manage and troubleshoot the entire digital experience chain.  

With this release, SteelCentral is extending the interoperability of the Digital Experience Management platform to deliver seamless monitoring workflow between end user experience and network performance. When investigating performance issues, SteelCentral users are able to analyze device, application, network or infrastructure health traffic in one seamless workflow.  

With this advancement, Riverbed SteelCentral solidifies its position as the only solution that can seamlessly manage all aspects of the digital experience. In addition, SteelCentral Aternity also introduces a new integration with ServiceNow, a leader in IT Service Management, to create a closed loop troubleshooting-ticketing solution that automatically generates tickets if certain performance thresholds are exceeded, and provides tier one support professionals with rich performance information to vastly improve first call resolution.

The latest release of SteelCentral extends its DEM capabilities by creating a seamless link between end user experience and network performance management; accelerating DevOps application lifecycle with improved container monitoring and enriched application performance troubleshooting; adapting to the big data requirements brought on by digital transformation; accelerating transition to DEM with new Performance Command Center (PCC) for AWS and Azure; and delivering SteelCentral Aternity integration with ServiceNow to improve first call resolution.

“Many organizations do not understand how all the infrastructure, networks, apps, cloud and end user device elements of their environment impact end user experience while being tasked to become faster and more agile in delivering critical digital services to customers and employees,” said Mike Sargent, senior vice president and general manager of SteelCentral at Riverbed. “The latest release of SteelCentral furthers our vision in being able to provide the comprehensive visibility needed to optimize the performance of the entire digital service chain and achieve business growth.”

The prevalence of container-based approaches to application development has fundamentally shifted DevOps, demanding agility and flexibility as companies release, manage, and troubleshoot new digital services.

With this release, SteelCentral introduces a new approach to container monitoring which manages container and application performance without requiring modifications of the container image itself. This enables companies to instrument a broad array of containerized applications without the burden of having the development team modify how they build the application or the container. This new dynamic approach also works transparently with container orchestrators like Kubernetes or Swarm.

In addition, the release introduces the ability to “stitch” application log messages into application performance data to a full end-to-end transaction record for every transaction.

The enriched trace and log data vastly simplifies the effort in troubleshooting performance issues and application errors. Application developers/support can search for a log message and locate every application activity that generated the log message. Further, they can explore the application trace and locate exactly where in the call stack a message was generated. Without this capability, engineers have to resort to using a silo log analytics solution and then taking hours to try to correlate log messages to their code and to their APM data.

As digital transformation drives change, the proliferation of big data environments has fundamentally shifted many companies’ networking environments. Industries such as financial services, healthcare, retail and government leverage robust networking environments to enable their day-to-day operations, but maintaining performance and continuity in these environments can be a mission-critical challenge.

With this release, Riverbed vastly increases the ability for companies to manage network performance in large-scale, large-volume environments by improving the ability to capture network information and improving the resiliency of this process. SteelCentral enables companies to capture network performance at greater speeds with the introduction of a 40 gig NIC card for several Riverbed appliances.

In addition, SteelCentral doubled the flow capacity to 20 million deduplicated or 200 million raw flows per minute, giving the ability to process more comprehensive information and enriched information for analytical capabilities. Riverbed has also added new capabilities to centrally manage large-scale NPM environments, making global changes as required. The result is a more consistent and nimble approach to managing performance for companies with large-scale, large-volume NPM requirements.

As companies instrument and manage DEM performance, finding the knowledge to address performance challenges can present a barrier to success. With this release, Riverbed is helping its customers mitigate this risk by introducing Performance Command Center (PCC), a flexible, modular service offering to help companies leverage Riverbed’s domain expertise and accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.

This modular offering covers each of SteelCentral’s performance domains – End User, Network, Application and Infrastructure – and provides flexible implementation and delivery models that enable companies to deploy on-premise, or in Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Similarly, the implemented service can be transferred to the customer or partner, managed by Riverbed or managed as a service.

“Our extensive research at EMA has determined that network operations professionals consider end user experience visibility to be an essential feature of network performance management solutions. If they can’t acquire that end user insight through their core NPM solution, they often integrate their network management systems with specialized end user experience monitoring tools,” said Shamus McGillicuddy, senior analyst at EMA. “The latest Riverbed SteelCentral launch further consolidates its leadership in end user and digital experience management and in particular its integration of Aternity and NetProfiler products addresses a major need by network operations teams and end user support teams. Overall, Riverbed’s breadth of insight and integrations driven from the end user perspective now leads the industry, with fluid versatility in assimilating network and application performance data and translating it into actionable outcomes, whether for bandwidth optimization, or for ITSM incident remediation or for in-depth application diagnostics.”

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