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Pivotal + Riverbed: Driving Performance and Observability for Your Cloud-Native Apps

Amena Siddiqi
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We recently sat down with Koundinya Srinivasa Rao, Senior Platform Architect at Pivotal Cloud Foundry, to discuss his views on cloud-native transformation, day-zero automation, and the role of application performance monitoring (APM) for observability. This article also appeared in the recent edition of the Riverbed Connections newsletter.

Digital transformation is the buzz phrase of the moment, as enterprises shift from monolithic applications running on-premises to containerized microservices deployed onto a distributed, cloud-based architecture. The new paradigm promises flexible infrastructure with lower costs, along with quicker development cycles—but the added complexity of these environments can negate those benefits.

In order to truly realize the potential of a digital transformation, you need an application platform that can automate much of the orchestration of your containerized applications running on your cloud infrastructure. You’ll also need an enterprise-strength application performance monitoring (APM) tool that can handle the vast amount of telemetry data these new environments generate and provide insight to not only keep everything running smoothly, but to ensure you are driving business outcomes. Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Riverbed APM  can meet those needs, working as a team.

Day zero: Pivotal takes on the heavy lifting

When enterprises embark on digital transformation, they’re looking to overhaul not just their technology, but their processes as well.

  • On the tech side, the goal is a flexible cloud-native infrastructure that can scale as needed. That means using a cloud-based platform that can spin up more resources when they’re required without overprovisioning, and breaking up monolithic applications into discrete microservices. Each microservice provides focused functionality, and services connect in a mesh across a distributed architecture.
  • Rolling out those microservices quickly requires a change in how your developers do things. By adopting a DevOps philosophy, your teams can update and improve individual services as needed for your business to thrive. This in turn, allows you to get ideas to market faster and to respond quickly to positive or negative user feedback.

In this scenario, you should be able to focus your energy on your business logic, not the complexities introduced by a cloud-native environment. The Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform enables continuous integration by making it easy to provision or deploy environments and apps through automation and APIs. It also provides mechanisms that enable continuous delivery, allowing product teams to perform zero downtime upgrades of their apps and adopt techniques like A/B testing, further speeding up your business.

“The goal is for you to have to do less and less of the undifferentiated heavy lifting to get your software into production,” says Koundinya. That helps you get to day zero—the delivery of your transformed architecture—faster.

Day one and beyond: Riverbed APM ensures the performance of your cloud-native apps

A cloud-based containerized architecture deployed at enterprise scale is complex, with tens of thousands of linkages between microservices spanning across multiple cloud instances, and services going in and out of commission over time. To ensure that everything runs smoothly on day one of your transformed enterprise, you need an APM tool that can give you complete visibility into your infrastructure and how transactions move across it. Otherwise, when things run slowly or go wrong, you won’t be able to diagnose the problem.

“The distributed nature of modern architectures and cloud-native applications makes it more difficult to appraise performance across service tiers,” says Koundinya. “Observability is crucial to ensuring a consistent user experience. That’s where Riverbed provides value.”

Riverbed uses big data technology to ensure that no telemetry information is ignored or forgotten. Riverbed doesn’t rely on sampled data; it tracks every transaction for every user, every millisecond of the day. It can also provide crucial context for that data, with a single analysis server that can process and stitch together billions of distributed traces. This contextual data can be analyzed to help you better understand usage trends and align development efforts with business needs.

And thanks to Riverbed’s partnership with Pivotal, Riverbed’s APM runs natively inside the Pivotal environment — in essence, it becomes a part of the Pivotal stack when you deploy it. That helps make deployment easier, and lets you spend less time on your infrastructure and more on transforming your business.

Riverbed and Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Big data power for observability

Pivotal enables developers to transform their enterprises by swiftly building cloud-native software that will have a direct impact on business. And Riverbed’s APM tools can keep up with the amount of data generated by those distributed architectures in order to deliver observability for your digital transformation. “Pivotal is focused on outcomes for business,” says Koundinya. “Those outcomes are the reason we got on this digital transformation journey in the first place—and Riverbed APM can provide visibility to ensure you can achieve them.”

To go more in-depth on how Riverbed’s APM capabilities make complex cloud architectures manageable, check out our earlier article, “Riverbed & Pivotal: Big Data Power for the Microservices World.”

Watch our joint webinar

For a deeper dive on how Riverbed’s big data approach to APM Join the webinarcomplements the capabilities of the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform, check out our joint webinar, “How to Ensure the Performance of Your Cloud-Native Apps” with Riverbed Principal Scientist, Jon Hodgson, and Pivotal Senior Platform Architect, Koundinya Srinivasa Rao. You’ll learn:

  • How cloud automation can help you accelerate deployment and improve availability
  • Why a big data approach is critical to observability in complex environments
  • How to align and prioritize development efforts with business needs

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