Maximizing Network and Application Performance: A TFD22 Recap

Brandon Carroll
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The last three months may have been a whirlwind of activity for you. Many organizations are trying to wind down projects, wrap up the spending on their budgets, and start the new year off right with new projects and plans to take on the world. Simultaneously, we’ve all been facing the same old story of working from home and making the best of the current world situation.  

Here at Riverbed, it’s been no different. For the Technical Evangelist Team, we were busy in activities at online events like ONUG Fall 2020, the Riverbed Global User Conference, and Tech Field Day 22. If you missed any of these events, I recommend you look at the videos from them. We shared live demonstrations. We presented several technical sessions showing you how to maximize the visibility and performance of networks and applications. We also spent a few hours with the famed Tech Field Day delegates, digging into our Unified NPM solution to show how it can help you spot issues now and how Riverbed thinks the future of this space will unfold.

It’s very apparent to me that people still regard Riverbed as a WAN Optimization company. I hear people refer to having a “Riverbed” in their network when they mean that they have a SteelHead Appliance in their network. The truth is that we still Optimize the WAN, but that’s just a small fraction of the overall goodness that Riverbed provides. Our CEO, Rich McBee, is very clear in the video embedded below when he states that the Riverbed mission is to “help organizations maximize visibility and performance across networks and applications for all users anywhere they reside.”

This mantra is the fundamental driver of Riverbed, and everything we do leads back to this.  

In this article, I want to highlight what we discussed at Tech Field Day 22 and why it’s crucial that organizations seriously consider their visibility posture going into 2021.

Understanding the portfolio

In the first two sessions, Phil Gervasi and I talked about our portfolio. If you don’t understand our product line, you need to watch these two videos. The following do not take you through specific hardware models, sizing and such. These videos cover at a high level how our solution fits together. Here’s why it’s essential to visualize the solution.

At a high level, I look at it like this: two areas impact network and application performance. Let me explain in the following section.

Latency, protocol shortcomings, chatty applications

Several factors contribute to latency, but a network operator can’t control all of them. The same is true with chatty applications and protocol shortcomings because you don’t necessarily control those attributes. For these scenarios, Riverbed provides acceleration solutions. Deploying these solutions in your branches, data centers, cloud, SaaS applications and endpoints, you get full coverage no matter where your users perform their work. Here’s Phil’s session:

Configuration, security, routing, hardware, and application issues

When it comes to configuration, security, routing, hardware, and application issues, we have more control. However, the catch is that we must identify these issues before preventing them or stopping them from impacting performance. For these scenarios, Riverbed provides a Unified NPM solution for the branch, data center, cloud, SaaS application and endpoint. Here’s my session:

Digging into Unified NPM

Now that you get what we are trying to do, let’s show you how we do it. For this, we turn to John Pittle, Vince Berk and Gwen Blum. In the following videos, we jump back and forth between John showing how we can identify issues right now, and Vince discussing how AI and ML will lend itself to the future. Sprinkled in there, Gwen does two demonstrations:

Takeaway from TFD22

So, let’s bring this back around to the point. Here at Riverbed, we do accelerate traffic, and that’s one way we help organizations maximize performance for their networks and applications. That’s not what we focused on at TFD22. No, at TFD22, we focused on the visibility aspect. So, the key takeaway from these videos is that here at Riverbed, we capture all the packets, all the flows, SNMP data, and more. By gathering all this data, we can then provide you with the best view of what’s going on in your network environment. This information allows you to fix configuration, security, routing, hardware, and application issues impacting your network and application performance. That’s why Rich opened the way he did. At Riverbed, we “help organizations maximize visibility and performance across networks and applications for all users anywhere they reside.”

 

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