5 Ways Riverbed SteelConnect Will Revolutionize Your Network

Ask almost any network administrator: managing a network in today’s distributed and cloud-centric world isn’t easy. Supporting the rapid adoption of cloud services, an insatiable demand for bandwidth-intensive apps like voice and video, and the tens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of business-critical remote sites is difficult enough. Having to do so with an underlying networking infrastructure that hasn’t changed much in 20 years? Yikes.

But it’s true: While businesses are going digital to better align with customer expectations, they’re still tethered to legacy, hardware-bound networks that are far too:

  • Complex: It takes businesses four months to implement network changes, router by router1

  • Costly: Gartner estimates that enterprises will need 28% additional bandwidth each year through 2017 “due to the use of cloud computing, mobile devices and video”

  • Fragile: Because of the high touch required to configure routers, much human error is introduced, which accounts for 35% of all network downtime2

Clearly, it’s time to rethink the enterprise network, particularly in a digital era that demands unrivaled business and IT agility. That’s where Riverbed SteelConnect comes into play.

4 New Riverbed-Ready Partners Delivering Bigger and Better Solutions

The Riverbed Technology Alliances program proudly introduces four new Riverbed-Ready partners joining forces to deliver superb joint offerings and enhance solutions for customers. Let’s dive into the details of each one to learn a little bit more of how we integrate with these new partners!

Riverbed SteelConnect Brings The Network Into The 21st Century

April 26, 2016 will go down in history as the day SD-WAN fulfills its promise to revolutionize enterprise networking. SD-WAN is an important first step, but it alone cannot align the network to the needs of the business. There's something more fundamental that needs to happen to transform networking. Today we introduce a radically new approach to networking: Riverbed SteelConnect, an application-defined SD-WAN solution for a cloud-centric world.  Today we're bringing distributed networks, and the experience of the professionals who build them, into the 21st century. 

Official Support for Optimizing Office 365 via Azure ExpressRoute

Last September, Microsoft announced the general availabilty of Azure ExpressRoute (ER) for Office 365.  Since then, customers have been asking us whether we would support this architecture. 
I'm excited to announce our official support for this architecture using the Exchange Provider model (EXP) and specifically for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online/OneDrive workloads.  
When I talk to our customers about ER, a recurring queston I get asked is: why do I need WAN optimizaton if ER promises lower latency and better connectivity? To answer that question, let's remind ourselves the three main reasons why applications are slow:
Insufficient bandwidth;
TCP inefficiency especially in the presence of packet loss; and
Inefficient applications
ER addresses points 1) and 2) to an extent because ER uses a private peering with Microsoft 

Last September, Microsoft announced the general availabilty of Azure ExpressRoute (ER) for Office 365. Since then, customers have been asking us whether we would support this architecture. 

I'm excited to announce our official support for this architecture using the Exchange Provider model (EXP) and specifically for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online/OneDrive workloads.  

When I talk to our customers about ER, a recurring queston I hear is: "Why do I need WAN optimizaton if ER promises lower latency and better connectivity?" To answer this question, let's revisit the three main reasons why applications perform suboptimally when accessed across the WAN:

  1. Insufficient bandwidth
  2. TCP inefficiency especially in the presence of packet loss; and
  3. Application inefficiency

Remember, the above issues do not appear in isolation and if they're not all addressed at the same time, then it's likely an application would continue to function suboptimally.

The Guide to Federal Security Best Practices for SteelHead

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) ability to keep a safe and consistent security posture for its network devices is no small feat.

There are many components in play to ensure systems are secured and frequently monitored for changes. Devices and applications are not typically configured by default to operate in the most secure manner, which results in less obvious configuration settings and security risks.

To keep federal networks secure, the Defense information Systems Agency (DISA) sees to it that the DoD has an established way to apply a security “profile” for different devices and applications, across its network. This is accomplished by applying a Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), a tool that is created for the device type and allows each agency to configure and audit their systems for compliance.

Riverbed at EMC World 2016: Seeing is Believing

I am excited about EMC World 2016. Join us on May 2-5 in Las Vegas where you’ll be introduced to a New World Order when it comes to your relationship with data. Learn how you can bring simplicity to chaos by protecting all of your most critical assets while being as agile as you can be. At the event we will conduct impactful booth demonstrations and theatre presentations, host a customer led breakout session, have daily prize giveaways, and entertain you with special guests.

 

What It Takes for CIOs to be CEOs

Before 1986, nobody knew what a CIO was. The role didn’t exist. When Businessweek published “Management’s Newest Star: Meet the Chief Information Officer” that year, it was the first use of the term. Fast forward 30 years, and the situation couldn’t be more different. At a gathering of 100 CIOs this year at the Forbes CIO Summit, Marc Benioff, CEO of SalesForce, proclaimed “I don't think that you can separate the CEO and CIO relationship any longer...The CIOs are going to become the CEOs.” 

SteelCentral AppInternals version 9 vs version 10 Licensing

In the last couple of weeks, several existing SteelCentral AppInternals version 9.x clients have asked me about changing over to the new AppInternals 10. So, I went through all the specifics including the differences in licensing between the two versions. So, after going though this a couple of times, I thought, “What a great blog entry!” So, from now on, when people ask, I’ll just direct them to a video!

So, I put together this relatively quick video of the differences between the two. And so, since the questions were related to changing over, I thought I would include a quick overview of the steps you go through to get the new version up and running.

NetProfiler and SteelScript: Giving 110%!

We all want to know what is happening on our networks. That’s why we use tools like SteelCentral NetProfiler and SteelCentral NetShark. What hosts are communicating with what other hosts? How much traffic are those hosts sending? What ports is that data being sent on? However you look at it, this sort of information is the bread and butter of the network performance monitoring (NPM) product world. Traffic reports, user-defined policies, analytics, and all sorts of other tools are built into the product to let you take advantage of that information.

But what about those times where you need to think a little bit outside the box. What about when you need some information or you need some piece of data or some type of monitoring that the system does not provide baked in? Or what if you want to take some data out of the NPM device and use it to feed or manipulate another system? A solution that provides the bread and butter capabilities and then all this added flexibility on top is critical.

Microsoft Publishes Paper on SteelHead Optimization of Azure Site Recovery

With the Azure hosted SteelHead CX you can optimize various Azure workloads including Azure Site Recovery (ASR). ASR is a service that replicates your on-premise Hyper-V or VMware virtual machines to Azure. Once replicated the images are updated at intervals you specify. In the event of a failure on premise, you can fail over to a VM in Azure and failback to your on premise system. The initial replication of the VMs is a network intensive task. Some customers have 100 or more virtual machines. Virtual disk sizes can be large with 50GB or more being common. That’s a lot of data that needs to get into the cloud quickly keeping in mind that you can’t consume all your bandwidth in the process. Seems like a perfect candidate for SteelHead optimization, and in fact, the benefits are signficant.

Microsoft has published a paper on the benefits of using SteelHead with Azure Site Recovery. The image below show optimizatoin of VMware virtual machines replicating into Azure on the initial synchronization.

More than 72% Reduction in Bandwidth on Initial Replication for VMware Virtual Machines


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Riverbed, at more than $1 billion in annual revenue, is the leader in application performance infrastructure, delivering the most complete platform for the hybrid enterprise to ensure applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues can be proactively detected and resolved before impacting business performance. Riverbed enables hybrid enterprises to transform application performance into a competitive advantage by maximizing employee productivity and leveraging IT to create new forms of operational agility. Riverbed’s 27,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 98% of the Forbes Global 100.

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