Four trends to watch in the hybrid IT world


This is an era where connectedness of a global workforce is cliché, where the remote employee is expected to use Hybrid+computingonline collaborative platforms to make once-unimaginable processes run like clockwork, and where data is more important than a ‘gut-feeling.’ Unfortunately, this revolution has brought technical complexities with it. Enterprises that continue to deliver performance in the face of these complexities will enable their workforce for increased productivity, and eventually, improved bottom-line performance. Here is the skinny on some of the critical technological trends in the industry and our two cents on surviving them. 

XaaS: XaaS isn’t just hip – it gives agility and simplicity along with an efficient ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing model. Based on a research by Forrester[1], 63% of large, global companies with annual revenues of over $1B consider adopting SaaS as an important initiative. Of the research respondents, 69% realize that the ability to detect, alert on and potentially self-heal issues is an important hurdle to cross. They have good reason. With critical applications running off the cloud, network and application managers are answerable when sales teams cannot access customer information on, or when employees across the organization cannot collaborate due to performance issues with SharePoint. Since data flows over the public Internet to the cloud, it is hard to pinpoint the source of performance issues…unless probes can be installed near the end user and at the cloud to get this information. This is unique End-user Experience (EuE) visibility via Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) that Riverbed can provide in addition to its industry-leading optimization and control functions. SteelHead improves SaaS application performance by up to 33x. This is full visibility, control and optimization for SaaS. It doesn’t get sassier than that!

Hybrid Networks: Gartner states that ‘Hybrid will be the new normal for next generation enterprise WAN.’ With the cost of an MPLS circuit being 3x to 5x the cost of a direct Internet link, enterprises have transitioned to using public links to transport non business-critical traffic flowing between branches or between a data center and a branch. This is easier said than done. With the average enterprise using thousands of applications, it can be daunting to manage each application, let alone understand the End-user Experience for the critical ones. Riverbed takes care of this by providing a simple but elegant UI that categorizes all active applications based on business-intent policies and provides tools to ‘Path Select.’ This allows you to leverage the OpEx advantages of hybrid networks while still maintaining control over the distributed architecture.   

Remote Branches and Workers Are Everywhere: Remote workers are common. Having employees anywhere allows enterprises to hire from a larger talent pool by eliminating geographical restrictions. It makes little sense to hire top talent, however, and not enable them to go direct to the Internet or cloud – just like enabling someone on the LAN. Features such as GeoIQ on the latest SteelHead appliances guarantee that users always have optimal optimization for their Office 365 mailbox, no matter where the mailbox or the user are located. Via its mobile solution, Riverbed also extends its optimization capabilities to workers on the move, such as insurance agents, business professionals, and workers in the field. Hence, pulling up a database when sitting next to a customer at their manufacturing plant in a remote location isn’t going to take as long anymore.    

Security: All of these trends add up to increased security needs. In fact, security hacks are now common, and network teams need to put all measures in place to ensure full data protection while still meeting performance goals. With native Secure Transport, Riverbed SteelHead encrypts all transported data. In addition, a partnership with zScaler provides security from malware for outbound and inbound traffic in real-time. The SteelHead CX 70 Series comes with a higher capacity SSD-based architecture that can optimize secure applications using superior methods that do not breach the SSL/TLS Trust Model – the security certificate remains within the secure data center.

In a survey by Deloitte in 2014[2], 71% CIOs said that ‘supporting new business needs’ was their priority for the next 12-18 months. Though this may be a broad spectrum of activities, it makes sense to be prepared and Riverbed can help you do that. Riverbed simplifies application, network and end user performance management for your network and application teams so they can spend more time on planning for tomorrow rather than dousing today’s fires.

[1] Source: ‘Simplify and innovate the way your Consume the Cloud’ by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Infosys:{799d7775-3589-4d93-98ef-1542e3aa467a}_consume-cloud.pdf

[2] Source: ‘CIOs: At the Tech Junction’ by Deloitte:

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