Four Tips to Avoid Network Operations Center Finger Pointing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The Set Up: Get Crucial Data from the NOC to the Right Teams—Fast

How do you babysit your network operations center (NOC) for Black Friday and CyberNOC Monitoring Monday to avoid finger-pointing in the war room? Let's face it, the next few days for any retail business is mission-critical and business performance is going to be a direct result of application performance—and a nice time to reflect about IT performance.

First and foremost, you need to get crucial monitoring data to the right teams to avoid finger pointing in the war room. Enterprise IT staff typically have daily, war room meetings around 4 PM in a conference room next to the NOC.

Those who pass the finger-pointing test get to go home while others have to stay and figure out what the heck went wrong with the network, the servers, and/or the apps. Here are four tips to help avoid finger poiting at critical times.

We are at the beginning of a WAN architecture evolution

In the last two months I’ve seen my home broadband double in speed and my mobile phone data plan include 5x more data – with no price increases. This is great since I occasionally telecommute and often use my mobile phone as a hotspot – I need fast, reliable connectivity wherever I am. Right now, my broadband is costing me about $1 per megabit of bandwidth per month. Broadband has never been cheaper – whether you use cable, DSL, fiber, etc. for your home or business.

It’s no secret that most enterprises, including many of Riverbed’s customers are still heavily dependent on MPLS for their WAN connectivity. MPLS has seen some decline in costs, but is still very expensive relative to broadband.

Earlier this month Riverbed held its annual FORCE user conference where we unveiled new innovations that set the stage to revolutionize enterprise WAN architectures with visibility, control, and optimization capabilities for hybrid enterprises.

Infographic: 6 ways to get ready for Black Friday with a modern retail store IT

Imagine the following scenario: you run IT for a large consumer electronics retail chain, and you're pulled away from your Thanksgiving dinner by an urgent phone call. The point of sales (POS) system is down at your flagship location. Eager shoppers are lining up for the midnight Black Friday opening. Black Friday sales make the difference between profit and loss, so it’s critical that the store open on time. Frantically, you ask the branch manager, "When were the DR plans last tested?" A long pause followed by “umm….” confirms your fears. With little optimism, you instruct the branch manager to implement the DR plans.

And scene.

SaaS: The dilemma of visibility and control

The shift to software as a service (SaaS) is the leading agent of change in application adoption as companies seek better business agility, quicker implementation, and a more frequent and less disruptive updating model.

Organizations have embraced SaaS; in fact, a whole generation of users has never loaded software onto a personal computer. It should come as no surprise that those same users carry their experiences and expectations into the workplace for everything from customer relationship tools like to HR software like Workday.

The supply of SaaS solutions is increasing and will continue to do so at an ever increasing pace. According to Forrester Research (Application Adoption Trends: The Rise Of SaaS) SaaS spending accounts for the 23% of the application software budget. However, it grew a whopping 53% over the previous year (4Q 2012-4Q 2013). In addition to customer relationship management (CRM), SaaS adoption is strong in human resources management, collaboration tools, and e-procurement. Forrester is also seeing a dramatic increase in SaaS interest in business intelligence (BI) and several other application categories.

Let’s disrupt the branch office!

At Riverbed FORCE yesterday Geoffrey Moore talked a lot about disruption – investing in it, and deploying it. While the word “disruption” might for some sound negative, when you use it in light of improving on the same ol’ same ol’ ways of doing things – it is a strong positive (c’mon – typewriter or computer…?). 

Riverbed SteelFusion is very much a “disruption” of the traditional ways of provisioning IT in a branch office. It takes the best of virtualization, the best of SteelHead WAN optimization and combines it with new storage intelligence (what we call BlockStream) that lets you move away from heavy server, storage, and backup infrastructure in each and every branch office to something far more streamlined, and far more agile.

This week we are introducing more of our Riverbed customer base to SteelFusion, the branch converged infrastructure concept and what it can do for them from simplifying the branch, eliminating islands of remote office backup, provisioning and recovering in minutes and securing data where you want it – the data center.  Already fans of the innovation we brought when SteelHead was first introduced, the folks here with us in San Jose are getting to see all of the additional things that they can do to further consolidate, centralize and simplify global IT.

Visibility, control and optimization for any app across the hybrid enterprise

Today is a big day at Riverbed and our vision for powering the hybrid enterprise. I am pleased to announce significant updates to our flagship product – SteelHead 9.0 to simplify management for hybrid networks and optimize delivery of all applications to and from the cloud across all networks, while enabling new end user visibility, analytics, and diagnostics.

With SteelHead 9.0, we have extended Riverbed’s leadership in optimization and application and network performance management by:

We made WANs feel like LANs, now we're doing it for cloud across the Hybrid Enterprise

Most people familiar with Riverbed Technology know us for our WAN Optimization product line and leadership – SteelHead -- which is where we started.

SteelHead continues to be the cornerstone of our offering having accerated application delivery over WANs by reducing bandwidth needs by up to 95% and improving application performance by 25x to 100x. It has made it’s mark on the technology industry and has been recognized as such:

  • #1 WAN optimization solution since launch in 2004
  • Named InfoWorld 2013 Technology of the Year 8 times running
  • Over 750,000+ sites

Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance Program to Create Broad Ecosystem

Riverbed is pleased to announce the launch of our new technology alliance program, Riverbed-Ready.  The goal of the Riverbed-Ready program is to build a large and vibrant ecosystem of partners around the Riverbed Application Performance Platform to bring the benefits of Location-Independent Computing to our joint customers.

The Riverbed Application Performance Platform is the most comprehensive platform to enable the hybrid enterprise to embrace location-independent computing, so that business objectives – not technical constraints – drive how applications and data are delivered.

Through the Riverbed-Ready program we will:

  • Integrate exciting new technologies that extend the functionality of our platform
  • Extend the value and functionality of Riverbed solutions for our joint customers
  • Create new opportunities for our reseller and technology partners

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#RiverbedFORCE giveaway: Get a gift card for your Riverbed FORCE photos

We hope you are as ready for RiverbedFORCE as we are!

Not only are we excited to see you, but we can’t wait to see your pictures from Riverbed FORCE.

Each day we will randomly select four pictures on Twitter that use the #RiverbedFORCE hash tag. Those selected will receive a $25 gift card to Amazon!

5 critical factors for driving user adoption and maximizing the value of IT investments

More so than ever before, IT organizations are supporting a dizzying array of complex initiatives. Cloud computing, virtualization, tackling Big Data, supporting BYOD – all while delivering on the day-to-day needs of multiple lines of business.

To make matters more complicated, IT is being asked to do more with the same amount of resources. Budgets are continuing to make a recovery, but most organizations report that their IT spend for 2014 remained relatively flat, and 65% report that containing costs is their No. 1 business priority. And while more IT jobs are emerging, those positions are confined to a few select areas, and the pace of hiring continues to be sluggish.

So how do you balance costs, a scarcity of resources, and move forward with these strategic IT initiatives? For starters, you must get every benefit from the technology investments you’ve already made. More specifically, you must ensure those investments are being adopted and fully leveraged by your IT staff and other intended user groups. Here are five critical success factors for any solution adoption strategy.

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Riverbed delivers the most complete platform for Location-Independent Computing, turning location and distance into a competitive advantage. The Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ allows IT to have the flexibility to host applications and data in the most optimal locations while ensuring applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues are detected and fixed before end users notice. At more than $1 billion in annual revenue, Riverbed has 25,000+ customers, including 97% of both the Fortune 100 and the Forbes Global 100.

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