Cut Diagnosing Performance Issues from Days to Hour with Joint Riverbed and IXIA Solution



This week we’re excited to join Ixia’s Partner Summit in Scottsdale Arizona. Let’s start with a quick overview of how Riverbed SteelCentral integrates seamlessly with Ixia’s Network Tool Optimizer (NTO), and then see how a customer has been able to solve their application performance and visibility challenges with this joint solution.

The Ixia Net Tool Optimizer (NTO) complements Riverbed SteelCentral solutions by extending access to all the network traffic needed for analysis. The joint solution helps customers to address application performance and visibility challenges by providing:

  • Complete visibility into network and application traffic
  • A highly scalable system that is easy to deploy
  • Enhanced monitoring accuracy to help solve IT performance issues more quickly

The Ixia NTO passively directs out-of-band network traffic from multiple access points – SPAN ports or TAPs – in the network to SteelCentral NetShark or SteelCentral AppResponse appliances for analysis.  Traffic is aggregated from all needed access points in the network to provide comprehensive visibility and to address shortages in monitoring access points. The SteelCentral appliances then record and analyze the traffic to monitor end-user experience, and speed network and application troubleshooting.

Let’s take a look at a specific use case with our joint customer, Cook Children’s Hospital. The organization currently leverages Riverbed and Ixia’s joint solution to overcome application performance and visibility challenges.

Networked applications, such as electronic medical records, are vital for Cook Children’s Hospital to provide outstanding service to their patients and physicians. As their network grew in complexity and some applications were remotely hosted, Ross Jones, network manager at Cook Children’s Hospital, identified a range of issues:

Application Performance

  • End users’ experience with ‘slowness’
  • Problems not being identified until customers called in with complaints
  • Root cause analysis often going on for days


  • Need for visibility into multiple 10G links
  • High quantities of duplicate packet data
  • Need to share SPAN traffic with multiple tools

After a careful search for solutions, Ixia’s NTO was implemented between network access points to enhance network traffic visibility for the Application Performance Management (APM) platform. Riverbed AppResponse Xpert was selected to meet the APM requirements.

Together, Riverbed and Ixia were able to provide a joint solution that benefited Cook Children’s Hospital in the following ways:

  • Faster troubleshooting by reducing problem isolation from days to hours
  • Proactively seeing and resolving issues before they even become problems
  • Complete network traffic visibility for application performance analysis
  • Improving efficiency of the APM system by removing duplicate packets
  • No interference with other department’s network probes thanks to SPAN/Tap sharing

Find more on Riverbed and Ixia’s joint solution here.

Be sure to read the full Cook Children’s Hospital case study and find out more about Ixia’s offerings here.

For more about Riverbed’s SteelCentral, visit our product page.


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