The (Transaction Analysis) Doctor is In!

Heidi Gabrielson

Imagine whenever you feel ill you can go to your doctor and he could Star Trek tricorderscan your body with a device that tells him exactly what’s wrong with you—just like Dr. Jim “Bones” McCoy does with his tricorder in Star Trek.

This device would be the medical breakthrough of the century.

While this device clearly isn’t possible yet, there is a “tricorder” for transaction analysis.

On-demand transaction analysis

This “transaction analysis tricorder” is called Riverbed SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer. It provides on-demand, deep transaction analysis and prediction. It can analyze a single, multi-tier application transaction across the network and application infrastructure. There are three primary use cases for Transaction Analyzer:

  • Analyze multi-tier application transactions and  their overall performance
  • Automatically diagnose network and application performance bottlenecks
  • Conduct “what if” analyses to predict the impact of change prior to deployment

Multi-tier transaction analysis

In today’s complex application architectures, a transaction can involve many tiers and the exchange of thousands of messages between them. Finding the source of delay for an individual transaction in multi-tiered server environments can be like finding a needle in a haystack. SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer can collate packet traces from multiple viewpoints to build a multi-tier view of the transaction. Use it to isolate the application message flows, including the application message turns and system performance statistics. Visualize traffic flows between tiers and understand the dependencies impacting performance (See Figure 1).

Use Transaction Analyzer to visual traffic flows between tiers.

Figure 1-Use Transaction Analyzer to visual traffic flows between tiers.

Automated diagnosis

Yes, that’s automatically diagnose performance bottlenecks. This is Star Trek tricorder effect! Just press a button and Transaction Analyzer automatically breaks down the components of response time delay into application effects (tier processing, network effects (latency, bandwidth, protocol, congestion, network transfer, etc.) and other effects (like parallel effects and think time). It’s as simple as that. Really! Within seconds you know what’s slow and why.

SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer automatically diagnosis performance bottlenecks.

Figure 2-SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer automatically diagnosis performance bottlenecks.

In fact, customers who use Transaction Analyzer refer to it as the “argument ender” because it tells you EXACTLY what and where the problems are. No more arguments. SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer seriously accelerates the diagnosis of application performance issues in complex application environments.


Yes, we really are talking about seeing the future, although not the win-the-lottery type future. We’re talking about predicting response times over a range of network conditions, such as a cloud migration, bandwidth upgrade, or new application deployment.

You can validate these solutions prior to deploying them by immediately assessing the effects of adjusting network and application parameters such as bandwidth, latency, packet loss, TCP window size, number of application turns, or message size have on performance. You can even see how adding WAN optimization affects the performance of applications, especially those with substantial protocol and latency (See Figure 3).

SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer lets you predict/validate solutions to performance problems prior to deploying them.

Figure 3-SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer lets you predict/validate solutions to performance problems prior to deploying them.

If you are in need of a transaction analysis tricorder or even if you are just looking for an easier way to troubleshoot multi-tier application performance, check out SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer. It can save you time and money:

  • Solve multi-tier performance problems in minutes, instead of days
  • Ensure the performance of applications prior to deployment
  • Accurately size access links
  • Avoid the cost of unnecessary bandwidth upgrades

Watch this video for an overview of SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer:

And don’t miss our webcast on Feb 13 to learn how SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer can help you get to the root of troubleshooting multi-tier transactions.

When All Else Fails - Don't miss webcast

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