Five New End User Experience Monitoring Moves with SteelCentral Aternity: Device Troubleshooting

Mike Marks


As mentioned in the kick-off blog to this series, Riverbed’s acquisition of Aternity brings five new end user experience monitoring capabilities to our customers. SteelCentral Aternity addresses new use cases for IT teams that SteelCentral APM and NPM haven’t traditionally addressed. In this series, we’ll cover each of these in depth, including an overview of product capability.

With Aternity on board, SteelCentral’s application and network performance management capabilities now provide desktop services teams deep dive analysis of the devices used by the enterprise workforce. According to analysts like Forrester, the average enterprise end user relies on at least three devices throughout their day. No other APM or NPMD vendor has the ability to monitor the performance and health of physical, virtual, or mobile devices used by the workforce.

Monitor device health and performance

SteelCentral Aternity automatically discovers key attributes of every physicalvirtual, or mobile device, including make & model, number of cores, disks and shared drives, OS type, version & service pack, boot services, running processes, and the top processes consuming CPU, memory, and I/O resources. With this data, desktop services teams can assess how performance is affected by device configurations. SteelCentral Aternity also provides information on the applications running on this device, including those that were recently installed, and an indication of the end user experience for these applications.

Inventory devices across the enterprise

The Device Inventory dashboard offers a detailed overview of all monitored devices, including attributes like the operating system details, the model name, memory, CPU and so on. This inventory applies to all device types, including mobile devices and virtual deployments. With this dashboard, Desktop Services teams can perform a detailed inventory of monitored devices to identify outdated hardware, and determine the cost of any upgrades.

Troubleshoot excessive boot times

With the Troubleshoot Boot dashboard, Desktop Services teams can perform an analysis of device boot issues, by looking for common features of the devices across the organization. Long boot times or slow startups directly contribute to a loss of productivity. With SteelCentral Aternity, Desktop Services teams can troubleshoot any boot problems without having to visit the devices or to remotely log in. This dramatically reduces business disruptions and increases user productivity. For example, a slow Windows startup might be caused by an outdated driver, or a slow program/service running startup tasks. In the worst cases, this can delay boot times by up to 30 minutes.

Advantages over device monitoring products

SteelCental Aternity’s advantages over device monitoring products is that device health and performance is only one aspect of end user experience. While a poorly performing device certainly affects end user experience, for a comprehensive view of end user experience, IT needs to correlate device health and performance with two other sources of data. First of course is the application performance, as seen by the end user. That is to say, as the application renders on the screen of the user’s device. And second is the user behavior—the actual workflow or business activity that the end user is performing using the application on their device.

Only SteelCentral Aternity correlates together these three streams of data that together impact end user experience. Other device monitoring products have no insight into the performance of applications as they render on the device, nor into the business activity being performed by the end user.

More information on end user experience monitoring to follow

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore each of the five new moves in more detail. We’ll illustrate SteelCentral Aternity’s capabilities with use cases and dashboards. In addition, you can see and hear more about these by attending Riverbed Disrupt in New York City. You can also register for a free evaluation of SteelCentral Aternity here.







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