SteelCentral NetProfiler

Network reporting and analytics

Formerly Known As: Cascade Profiler appliance(s)

To really understand application performance, you need an end-to-end network and infrastructure view that helps you manage performance through the lens of the application. Riverbed SteelCentral™ NetProfiler gives you that lens to easily troubleshoot and find the root cause of network and application issues before your end users ever know there’s a problem.

Riverbed Performance Management provides a view into the end-to-end health of your network

How It Works
Product Models
Use Cases
  • What is end-to-end network monitoring and reporting?

    Today, network operations engineers are expected to be application fluent. They need a deeper understanding of applications and what end users are actually experiencing. So when applications are slow or fail, network managers must go beyond simply proving that the network is not at fault and start looking at the problem through the lens of the application.

    Features and benefits of SteelCentral NetProfiler

    “We chose Riverbed because it enables us to identify the causes of problems in the network and in the various systems involved in the most efficient way.” -Andreas Mayer, Network Administrator, Würth

    SteelCentral NetProfiler combines network flow data with packet-based performance metrics from information collected by SteelCentral NetShark, SteelCentral Flow Gateway, and SteelHead to provide proactive monitoring, analysis, and reporting. It can also do automated discovery and dependency mapping, and capacity and WAN optimization planning and analysis. The key benefits include:

    • Diagnose and monitor application performance over your network
    • Easily distinguish business-critical applications with deep packet inspection
    • Leverage your existing SteelHead footprint for increased application and QoS visibility
    • Automate discovery and dependency mapping
    • Gain a complete picture of performance by combining flow data and packet data into a single logical record
    • Automate detection of performance and security anomalies

    30-day Free Trial of SteelCentral NetProfiler

    Reduce application downtime, improve infrastructure planning, and automate network management operations with SteelCentral NetProfiler

    “Every dental office is 100% digital. Patient charts, scheduling, x-rays – it’s all digital. So when there’s a problem with the network, the affected offices can’t function normally until the problem is resolved. Riverbed helps us identify issues in seconds and fix them in minutes. It’s fair to say that Riverbed has saved and is saving us hundreds of hours of potential downtime.” - Jason Irby, Network Administrator, Pacific Dental Services

    Monitor all network and infrastructure components involved in application performance, such as users, web servers, load balancers, application servers, authentication and DNS servers, databases, and the links between them.

    The SteelCentral™ NetProfiler offers a unique record known as Integrated PacketFlow (iP/F), for a view of application performance from two vantage points – flow and packet, which lets you easily identify, diagnose, and resolve complex network and application performance issues across your entire enterprise network.

    Download report: Eight companies achieved an average of 519% ROI from Riverbed network performance monitoring

    Back To Top

    Sign up for the Network Performance Management Newsletter

  • Eight companies achieved an average of 519% ROI from Riverbed network performance monitoring

    Top-to-bottom visibility is an indispensible ingredient for limiting downtime, improving utilization, and getting the most from your network investment.

    According to a study by independent analyst firm IDC, "Realizing Business Value and ROI with Application-Aware Network Performance Management," the Riverbed solution delivered a remarkable 519% average ROI and saved $5.1 million per year on average for eight companies.

    Riverbed Network Performance Monitoring customers in the study were able to:

    • Reduce their lost user productivity by 67%, restoring 73 hours of productivity to each end user, saving $26,057 per 100 users, on average
    • Lower their annual IT expenses by $12,047 per 100 users, on average
    • Boost productivity for IT staffs devoted to networking management by 12,000 hours, saving $5,497 per 100 users, on average
    Back To Top


    NPM ROI Calculator shows you how you can reduce costs of delivering applications to users.
    Launch ROI Calculator >

  • Where SteelCentral™ NetProfiler gets its data

    Utilizes network flow data and complements it with packet based performance metrics

    • Typically used with the SteelCentral Flow Gateway appliance collects, de-duplicates, and forwards flow metrics (NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFix and other popular flow statistics) from network devices such as routers and switches.
    • Other Riverbed products such as Riverbed SteelCentral™ AppResponse appliance, SteelCentral NetSensor appliance, SteelCentral NetShark appliance, and even the Riverbed SteelHead product family can send performance metrics, including packet and/or flow data, to SteelCentral™ NetProfiler for end-to-end monitoring, analysis, and reporting.

    Feature Brief: SteelCentral NetProfiler

    Create a complete picture of your environment

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler enables you to build an automated baseline of performance from multiple gateways across the enterprise infrastructure, including the WAN and LAN, at a macro level from a single console. With an automated discovery wizard, you can map transactions to their underlying transactions for more accurate service definitions. You can easily view service monitoring dashboards for insight into the end-to-end application performance over the network.

    Automate performance monitoring with advanced analytics to provide early warning of problems

    The advanced behavioral analytics available in SteelCentral™ NetProfiler are robust and feature rich – they’ve been a stable part of the product since inception. You can track dozens of performance metrics, built upon your historical baseline and automatically detect and alert on meaningful changes for an early warning of problematic trends and proactive notification of developing or chronic issues — often before the user calls in a problem to your help desk. 

    Gain deep application recognition and monitoring

    Available with both SteelCentral™ NetShark and Riverbed® Optimization System (RiOS®) 8.5, you can gain deep packet inspection (DPI) of application traffic for analysis by SteelCentral™ NetProfiler to help you quickly and accurately identify the applications that are running across the SteelHead WAN optimized environment or in locations where a SteelCentral™ NetShark or software is deployed for packet capture. Recognize and monitor application types, including well-known, custom-developed, virtualized, peer-to-peer, VoIP, and web-based applications and URLs.

    Robust analysis of optimized WAN environments

    You can use your SteelHead investment as a packet capture appliance, making it easy to gather packet data and to receive flow data from the branch. In addition, SteelCentral™ NetProfiler provides robust analysis of optimized WAN environments and quality of service (QoS) settings, enabling you to easily plan for WAN optimization, assess the impact of the deployment, and quantify benefits.

    Monitor your virtual data center

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Virtual Edition is a virtualized version of the SteelCentral™ NetProfiler that runs on VMware vSphere to provide you with added deployment flexibility for virtualized data centers and software-defined networks. Now, you gain visibility everywhere: from the branch LAN, across the WAN, and deep into the datacenter — across physical, virtual, and load balanced environments.

    Back To Top
  • Which SteelCentral™ NetProfiler solution do I choose?

    When determining what kind of equipment you need at each site — data center, a branch office, or a large building on a corporate campus — you might consider the following:

    • What kind of information do you want to know about this location? Do you need information about response-time, optimization, bandwidth, and application usage?
    • Do you have an extensive virtualized environment already in place?
    • How many users and how much traffic are you expecting at this location, now and in the future?
    • Will you need to monitor virtual machine traffic?
    • How much visibility do you need at remote sites?
    • Do you need packet-level visibility to view objects calls and individual transactions within the application?

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler comes in a variety of model types based on your needs, size, and environment, the chart below is a quick summary and below are more details. A complete specification sheet is available for all SteelCentral models.

    Environment Types


    Medium to enterprise-size environments

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler appliance

    Virtualized environment, virtualized data centers or SDNs

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Virtual Edition

    Small environment or remote office needing a single appliance solution with both flow and packet capture SteelCentral™ NetExpress 460


    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler appliance

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler is licensed on a flow-per-minute basis, after all flows have been deduplicated. Consider the following factors when you are deciding which type and model of SteelCentral™ NetProfiler to install:

    • The size of the current network you want to profile
    • The planned expansion of coverage
    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Appliance
    Model CAP-2260 Series CAP-4260 CAP-4260 Expansion
    Configurations L M H CAP-
    Flow Capacity 150,000 300,000 600,000 N/A N/A 800,000 400,000 N/A
    Disk Capacity 12 TB 2 TB 2 TB 24 TB 24 TB 2 TB
    Optional fibre channel SAN support - - -
    RAID 10
    RAID 1/ 
    RAID 10
    RAID 1
    Front-Swappable Disks 12 2 2 12 12 2
    RAM 32 GB 32 GB
    Serial Port (9-pin D-subminiature connector)
    Available Sensor Ports -
    Primary Cascade Management Port
    Flow as Data Source Requires Cascade Gateway or OPNET AppResponse Xpert


    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Virtual Edition

    This software is virtualized version of the SteelCentral™ NetProfiler appliance that runs on VMware vSphere to provide added deployment flexibility for virtualized data centers and software-defined networks.

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Virtual Edition









    Flow Capacity









    Vmware ESXi 41., 5.0


    SteelCentral™ NetExpress appliance

    This all in one solution couples flow data and packet capture into a single network performance management appliance. The SteelCentral™ NetExpress 460 appliance accommodates flow rates ranging from 15,000 to 120,000 flows per minute.  The SteelCentral™ NetExpress appliance is best suited for smaller organizations or a small subsection of a larger network.

    SteelCentral™ NetExpress 460
    Model CAX-460 Series5
    Configurations U L M H VH
    Flow Capacity (Flows per Minute)1 15,000 30,000 60,000 90,000 120,000
    Disk Capacity3 6 TB
    Front-Swappable Disks4 4
    RAM 16 GB
    Serial Port (9-pin D-Subminiature Connector)
    Available Traffic Monitoring/Packet Capture Ports 4-port copper (build-in)
    Primary Cascade Management Port2 (10/100/1000 RF45)
    Flow as Data Source6

    SteelCentral™ NetProfiler is typically deployed with SteelCentral™ Flow Gateway which collects and forwards flow metrics from network devices such as routers and switches as well as with Cascade Shark, SteelHead or Cascade Sensor for layer 7 visibility.  SteelCentral™ AppResponse appliance,  SteelCentral™ NetShark appliance, and even SteelHead products can optionally send performance metrics, called CascadeFlow, to a SteelCentral™ NetProfiler for centralized monitoring, analysis, and reporting.  Lastly, SteelCentral™ NetProfiler also integrates with SteelCentral™ NetShark and SteelCentral™ Packet Analyzer for packet capture analysis.


    Back To Top
  • You can use SteelCentral to monitor and troubleshoot network and application performance as well as for planning and dependency mapping.  But did you know that many others use SteelCentral for the following reasons:

    Increase visiblity of software-defined networks (SDNs) and virtual data centers (VDCs):  Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the cornerstones of the virtual data center, yet it can create blinds spots that prevent operations teams from monitoring and troubleshooting performance issues. SteelCentral is the only application-aware NPM solution that enables you to:

    • Understand and control VMware® Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) virtual overlay network performance
    • Monitor and troubleshoot VDCs and the physical network in a single solution
    • Provide VDC owners isolated views into their own virtual data center performance and SLAs

    Plan strategic IT initiatives: Major IT projects such as consolidation, disaster recovery, and cloud migration have one thing in common: the first step is for you to find out what is currently running on their network. Whether you are consolidating a few servers or entire data centers, SteelCentral products provide a cost-effective way for you to discover application serv­ers and clients on the network and map the dependencies, without using agents or scanning.

    Ensure WAN optimization success: SteelCentral products measure performance accurately in both optimized and non-optimized environments, enabling you to plan for WAN optimization, assess the impact of the deployment, and quantify benefits.

    Establish audit and maintain compliance policies: SteelCentral products come with automated discovery capabilities that can help you with establishing and reviewing security and compliance policies. Understanding where IT assets sit in the network and their dependencies enables you to uncover all the moving parts of an application, identify and secure any gaps in coverage, and find unrelated systems that need to be treated at the same trust level due to proximity. 

    Moreover with built-in analytics, you can automatically monitor for unusual changes in behavior and proactively alert about changes that could indicate an emerging security issue. You can use SteelCentral products to detect unusual surges in bandwidth that are characteristic of denial of service (DoS) attacks, host or port scans and to identify the addition of new hosts or server ports, and suspicious connections.

    Feature brief: SteelCentral NetProfiler

    Back To Top

    SME Network Performance Management

    Cascade Express is a network troubleshooting appliance designed just for the small to medium enterprise or branch office.

    • Easy to deploy
    • Cost efficient
    • Designed to grow with your business
    Learn more >
  • Resources

    Expand All

    Back To Top

Contact Sales Rep
$mainImageBigHTML ×

Riverbed. WAN optimization for your network: Application acceleration, WAN bandwidth optimization, and IT consolidation. Riverbed is the IT performance company. WAN optimization solutions from Riverbed liberate businesses from common IT constraints by increasing application performance, enabling consolidation, and providing enterprise-wide network and application visibility – all while eliminating the need to increase bandwidth, storage or servers. Thousands of companies trust Riverbed to deliver greater productivity and cost savings by making their IT infrastructure faster, less expensive and more responsive. Riverbed solutions are also available as managed services through select providers.

We need your email to add to briefcase!


Update your Profile!