Riverbed 9.1: Step on the Gas to Accelerate Cloud Adoption in the Hybrid Enterprise

The cloud, which has been a consideration, a distant dream or even dismissed as hype, is now being taken far more seriously, particularly due to software as a service (SaaS) applications. Office365, Salesforce, YouTube and other cloud applications have become mainstays in many enterprises. These applications are relatively low cost for enterprises to try before they buy, pilot in phases and be consumed as an OPEX without upfront investments.

Once they are in, enterprises enjoy the flexibility, economies of scale and the scalability of the cloud. Cloud applications, especially SaaS, relieve the enterprise from complexity of deployment, administration, security, and other operational overhead associated with on-premise enterprise distributions. As one SaaS app begins to take hold, lines of businesses and IT feel that they have a powerful option to consider for their business needs and very soon many more SaaS applications find their way into the enterprise. At Riverbed, we consume well over ten SaaS applications to get our jobs done and we are helped by the close collaboration between our business units and savvy IT teams.  

As enterprises get into production with SaaS, and as SaaS becomes available outside of the pilot group in headquarters, to all their global locations and branches, they begin consuming more and more SaaS and before they know it, there are issues with end user experience or productivity for reasons pretty unknown or well... cloudy! Network administrators realize that the networks they built for enterprise applications have to be rethought. SaaS applications are served dynamically by SaaS vendors, leveraging their assets across the globe to get within proximity to the user. So, unlike an enterprise app that gets served deterministically, a SaaS app can be far more dynamic in its delivery across the globe. 

Infrastructure Monitoring: The Rodney Dangerfield of Performance Management?

There’s an unspoken hierarchy in performance management. Application performance management is given the most respect. After all, the end all, be all is the application. The application is the business.

Next is network performance management.  The poor network is always getting blamed for everything that goes wrong. It’s the scapegoat.  Still, it’s better than the infrastructure.

Infrastructure monitoring is the Rodney Dangerfield of performance management. It gets no respect. It’s often an afterthought, a third-class citizen, even though, neither the network, nor applications can run without infrastructure—routers, switches, servers, etc. They are the building blocks from which all else stems. If your infrastructure is down, nothing works right!

Today’s release of Riverbed® SteelCentral™ NetSensor 3.0 brings the focus back on infrastructure monitoring. NetSensor provides agentless infrastructure component monitoring (both SNMP and WMI polling) and synthetic testing to deliver a comprehensive picture of how infrastructure is affecting network and application performance. NetSensor analytics offer a broad overview of how the devices on the network are performing to complement network and application performance management visibility.

Why enterprises aren't getting the full value they expect from cloud services

A recent opinion piece in Forbes discusses a new report from HfS Research, which found that large enterprises are struggling to realize value from as-a-service platforms. Managers are implementing insufficient, temporary fixes by partnering with vendors that aren’t up to the task and can’t offer adequate optimization, analytics, or automation. 

Researchers found that 71% of large enterprises surveyed saw leveraging as-a-service offerings for core enterprise processes as something of a distant dream: they don’t expect it to become a reality for five years or more. Negative perceptions of vendors have left decision-makers hesitant to adopt as-a-service platforms, as nearly half of the surveyed respondents feel their service providers are unwilling to cannibalize their existing revenue models.

Another reason for slow adoption may be a lack of consensus within organizations about the benefits and value as-a-service offerings can provide. When asked how important adoption was, 53% of operations leaders saw it as business-critical, while only 29% of middle managers agreed when asked the same question. With these concerns in mind, it’s no wonder that enterprises are being extremely methodical when it comes to cloud migration.

Solve your Network Monitoring Issues! APCON completes Riverbed-Ready certification testing.

APCON recently completed certification testing through the Riverbed-Readyâ Technology Alliance program for their newest network monitoring solution, Intellastore II. This hot collaboration with Riverbed SteelCentral virtual network performance management (NPM) solutions enables midsize companies to identify and resolve complex network issues quickly, a must-have to remain competitive in today’s digital landscape.

Typically disparate approaches to network visibility management and poor performance issues impact the bottom line and this is a constant challenge for IT operations in midsize organizations. The APCON Riverbed-Ready solution offers midsize businesses the ability to monitor any point on their network, spot and prevent slowdowns and outages, and resolve problems quickly.

When installed with Riverbed SteelCentral virtual network performance management (NPM) solutions—including SteelCentral™ NetProfiler, SteelCentral™ NetShark, and SteelCentral™ NetExpress—IntellaStore II enables customers to identify and resolve complex network issues quickly. APCON’s IntellaStore II is an all-in-one network visibility solution for midsize data centers and remote locations, and combines an advanced network monitoring switch with a dedicated application processor that is Riverbed-Ready, compatible with VMware ESXi. Organizations can implement an all-in-one monitoring solution into their network that reduces upfront costs while also simplifying installation and operation.

AppInternals 10 is now Azure certified!

We’re excited to have another Azure-ready product. SteelHead was Azure certified right around this time last year, during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference. It’s that time of year again, and we’re pleased to show our ongoing commitment to the cloud by getting the APM side of the platform certified for Azure.

What does AppInternals offer for customers moving to Azure? It provides real-time analytics to improve performance, optimizes user experience, and measures business impact of any application. Let’s dig a little deeper into how it makes this happen:

Three new ways to expand the business value of Riverbed solutions

Today’s IT organizations are justifying more of their investments based on the projected business process improvements enabled by the purchased technologies. In fact, 70% of IT buyers state that business value and outcomes take precedence over cost-based decision-making when selecting a given technology1.

At Riverbed, our customers know that application performance equals business performance. That’s why they rely on the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ to gain unparalleled visibility, optimization, and control over all critical applications and IT services across the hybrid enterprise.

It’s this prevailing customer objective, coupled with an increased focus on accelerating and amplifying the business value of technology investments, that inspired Riverbed Professional Services to engineer three new service offerings, generally available today, as part of a robust suite of Optimize Services. These service offerings help drive the business outcomes customers expect by optimizing solution performance, ensuring widespread adoption, and linking the value derived from the Riverbed Application Performance Platform to the metrics that matter to their business.

Troubleshooting Branch Issues with NEW SteelCentral NetShark Virtual for SteelFusion Edge

As organizations get more distributed and the IT environment increasingly hybridized, it’s more important than ever to have visibility into the branch and other remote sites. Today, many site-to-site applications like VoIP or SaaS applications completely bypass traditional centralized monitoring in the data center and that means IT is essentially blind when problems happen. In the past, they’ve typically had to install smaller versions of dedicated monitoring appliances in the branch to get the visibility they need—an expensive and time-consuming proposition—or just go without.

There is a superior and cost-effective solution to this problem. Use SteelHead or SteelFusion together with SteelCentral performance management.

Every SteelHead can send a special SteelHead-aware version of NetFlow called SteelFlow to the SteelCentral NetProfiler performance management solution for enhanced visibility and reporting into what is occurring on the optimized WAN and in the branch. Sending SteelFlow to NetProfiler provides so much rich information—information that you simply cannot get from using any other performance management solution with your SteelHeads. With NetProfiler you get:

  • Enhanced SteelHead WAN optimization analysis and reporting
  • Real-time intelligence and visibility into more than 1300 business and recreational applications
  • Centralized reporting and monitoring of SteelHead QoS classes and sites
  • Accurate response time analysis of optimized applications
  • The ability to understand and monitor path selection

Three guidelines to follow when evaluating legacy apps for the cloud

It probably comes as no surprise that 81 percent of businesses are using or are planning to use the cloud for mission-critical apps within the next two years.

But while cloud has hit the mainstream, remember this: not every application will be suitable for it.

In particular, legacy or in-house developed applications are often not viable candidates for the cloud. These apps are typically more complex than an organization’s non-legacy counterparts. They may also have critical local dependencies and rely on legacy protocols or operating systems that are not even available or supported by cloud providers.

Even if deemed technically possible to migrate, without understanding the ramifications of such a move on the performance, end-user experience, and costs to the business, such a move could be disastrous.

Of course, this doesn’t mean all is lost if you are considering moving a legacy application to the cloud. To minimize the risks and ensure migration success, follow the three guidelines outlined in this post (and be sure to download our free white paper for a more in-depth look at this topic).  

Make Your Troubleshooting Routine Work for You

Or the Value of Troubleshooting Routines

If you’re like most people, you have a morning routine so you can get out the door by a specific time and beat the traffic. You take a quick shower, brush your teeth, then grab underwear and socks from the dresser and pants and a shirt from the closet, then eat in the car (bad, but you know we all do it). Whatever your routine, you have one and you probably don’t vary it much because it works for you.

Believe it or not, the same thing is true for network operations managers. They also rely on routines to identify and diagnose common performance issues. 

Before designing this version of SteelCentral NetProfiler, Riverbed observed about two dozen customers while troubleshooting everyday performance problems. 95% of them took the exact same steps and looked at the exact same metrics to determine if a user’s complaint of application slowness was caused by an obvious network issue or not. The biggest issue they typically face is the number of places that they have to look in order to review these metrics. The multi-step data gathering approach takes longer and is more prone to error.

This new version of SteelCentral™ NetProfiler, version 10.8.5 (don’t let the number fool you—it’s much cooler and more important than a dot release), is designed to help network operations managers solve everyday problems faster and more easily. With NetProfiler 10.8.5 you get:

  • Answers to basic questions more quickly in a single view with new operations-centric dashboards 
  • Context – like business hour reporting and time comparisons – to help understand trends and make decision-making easier
  • Faster management of related dashboard widgets by editing widget criteria in one place and applying it to all other related widgets automatically

Become Alexander the Great of Your Application Performance World

Recently, IDC produced a white paper titled Conquering Next-Generation Application Performance, which takes a close look at the performance of next generation application workloads as it applies to a businesses’ success.

Combine the reliance that businesses are placing on mobile and data mobility with rapidly rising cloud technology, the virtualization of everything, and the sheer unprecedented mass of data that is being generated on a scale that has never been seen before—and you get application performance turning out to be more important today than in the entire history of IT.

With this in mind, IDC’s white paper poses the obvious question: How are organizations meeting the challenge?

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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 26,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 98% of the Forbes Global 100.

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