Life Beyond the Packets



I just joined Riverbed after spending the past six years at NetScout as a corporate systems engineer focusing on building demos and content that highlights ‘The Power of the Packet.’ That statement ‘The Power of the Packet’ is drilled into you from day one at NetScout. This comes from years of squeezing every bite of information out of the blessed ‘packet.’mThe founder of NetScout is a staunch believer that this nugget of information is all you need in order to effectively monitor, troubleshoot and triage the applications and services that traverse today’s complex hybrid networks.


As a long-time network engineer, I knew there were many more sources of information available that would certainly enhance what NetScout was attempting to provide but I’ll admit, I drank the kool-aid and carried on with the battle cry!

As time passed, it became evident to me that in the application performance management (APM) world, the once powerful packet simply could not provide the level of detail required or demanded by customers. Sure, I could show a customer that the Exchange service was having an issue and maybe even isolate it down to a server but that’s as far as I could go. I had no visibility into ‘what’ was going on with that server; Is it CPU bound? Running out of memory? And if it’s the actual application code then NetScout customers are completely blind.

In today’s world, high-level triage simply is not acceptable, especially considering the expense of the NetScout tools. Customers demand triage down to the exact cause. The only way this is possible is to incorporate multiple ‘sources of truth,’ meaning packets, flow data, log data, SNMP, etc. and the ability to correlate this information into understandable metrics that real people can understand.

Riverbed SteelCentral provides this level of understanding in today’s wildly complex application and network infrastructures. Regardless if your services traverse data centers, the cloud or are virtualized, Riverbed has a solution that will provide visibility from the infrastructure, across the network and down to the code-level if need be by utilizing multiple points of data, or as we call it ‘Sources of Truth.’

In addition, SteelCentral Portal brings everything together into a unified view or single pane of glass providing true end-to-end visibility into application performance, network performance, and end-user experience.

So try the Riverbed kool-aid, I think you’ll like the taste!

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