Get Peak Performance from SteelCentral AppResponse

Heidi Gabrielson

It’s well known that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spends his off-season and his time off trying to improve his throwing mechanics and to make his throwing motion as consistent and efficient as possible. Given that the Pats are going to the Super Bowl again, it looks like it’s working!

Mechanic tunes up a car, just a Riverbed engineers tune up SteelCentral AppResponse.

Just as professional athletes spend time tuning up, our crack engineering team recently gave SteelCentral AppResponse a tune up. As a result, SteelCentral AppResponse version 11.6 is now faster and more efficient.

You will experience speedy access to data, fine-grained controls for operations and administration, and easy integration with other monitoring tools and popular enterprise dashboards. New features that should make your life easier and your work faster. Check out the details below.

Packet search/download acceleration

For this release of SteelCentral AppResponse, the feature you will probably be most excited about is…a huge bump in performance for packet searches or downloads.

Packet search/download acceleration enables faster access to packets written to disk in capture jobs. In turn, this feature speeds up packet analysis workflows in AppResponse and SteelCentral Packet Analyzer Plus. Faster access to packets occurs when source IP, destination IP, or IP pair is used to find the packets of interest.

Saving, exporting or downloading packets is also faster. Downloads become a “background job” on the appliance so you can continue to work within the user interface, export CVS and SteelScript

Flexible disk space allocation

The Disk Space Allocation feature enables more granular control of how storage is allocated to various AppResponse transaction data types. You can set allocations based on raw space or retention times. Control them using a slider so you can see how changing one data type affects the others. You can split the storage space into the following areas:

  • Transaction data
  • ASA/UCA/WTA aggregates
  • DBA aggregates
  • Packets traces
  • Packet microflow indexes
  • Capture jobs

By default, transaction data from the various software modules (UCA/WTA/ASA) shares the same space, and the retention time is maintained the same across sources.

Flexible disk space allocation

Sliders allow you to control how much disk space you allocate to each transaction type.

Web UI widgets exports

Another handy new feature is the ability to download the specific info from a widget to a CSV file, or the SteelScript expression that shows how it was created. Copy the SteelScript expression into a clipboard, and then edit it as necessary. Having the SteelScript expression so readily available makes it fast and simple to share any SteelCentral AppResponse data. Easily import widget data into any third-party dashboard.

Tabbed user interface

Another major change I want to highlight is a redesign of the Insight user interface. It more efficiently organizes information by using multiple tabs within each Insight. The new tab format limits scrolling by allowing you to see all the info on one screen easily.

Tabs represent data specific to that Insight. For instance if you are looking at the HOME Screen you’ll see tabs for:

  • Applications
  • Server IPs
  • Client IPs
  • And IP Conversations

If you go to Web Apps Insight, for example, you’ll see a different list of tabs that are specific to this Insight.

Tab-based Insights

Note the new tabs under the SteelCentral AppResponse Inputs widget. When you click on a tab, you see the relevant information, specific to that tab. For example, Page Views shows “Slowest Individual Page Views” and “Timeline of Selected Individual Page Views.”

Appliance health monitoring

Easy appliance health monitoring is another new and important capability. You need to know when all or part of the appliance is performing poorly or unavailable. With this release, you can now understand the health of the appliance: the power supply, fans, heat, hard disks performance, etc. It covers any failure you should know about.

We expose the status of a number of new resources, such as:

  • Basic hardware status
  • Storage usage metrics
  • Storage configuration data, including RAID configuration, data and space allocation and transaction storage

These new enhancements expand the set of hardware and software events that can trigger alerts. To view the alerts with information status, you can use the GUI itself or SNMP polling.

Check it out

We think this tune up will give you a peak performance from your SteelCentral AppResponse, allowing you to tweak it to meet your organization’s particular needs.

If you are a SteelCentral AppResponse customer, go to the support site to download this latest version. If you aren’t yet a customer, check out the free trial or register for a no-hassle, 30-minute demo!

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