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Troubleshoot Multi-cloud Applications with AppResponse

Phillip Gervasi
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For years network visibility has been about looking at traffic flowing through switches and routers on our local and wide area networks. Those of us who were a little ambitious might also take a packet capture every so often only to spend the entire afternoon studying hundreds of lines in our capture file.

However, the way we do business today requires visibility beyond our switches and routers. We need visibility into what’s going on with our resources in the public cloud.

Hosting resources in Azure and AWS poses its own unique challenges to an IT department. It’s difficult to troubleshoot what can’t be seen, and that’s exactly where Riverbed’s AppResponse Cloud visibility solution comes in.

Visibility for the Cloud

IT departments don’t own the environment their cloud resources reside in. An IP conversation between an end user and a server in Azure will traverse the local network, the service provider’s network, and the cloud’s network.

It’s difficult to see what’s going on with servers and network devices when almost the entire environment belongs to someone else.   

AppResponse solves this problem by continuously capturing traffic between cloud-hosted applications and everything they communicate with. The packets never lie, so with a reliable, full-fidelity capture of activity at the most granular level, a network operator has both real-time and historical data down to microsecond intervals.

This works in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments as well. A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private data center and public cloud environment, and that has become a standard deployment method for many organizations. Multi-cloud environments introduce complexity by virtue of having multiple public cloud vendors often using disparate technologies.

AppResponse Cloud captures traffic in hybrid and multi-clouds just as well as it does for local resources because it focuses on packets, the purest and highest fidelity information that exists.

How it Works

AppResponse is deployed as a virtual machine in Azure or AWS and works with Riverbed Agents, AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring, Azure Virtual Network Taps, and various cloud brokers. In this way, AppResponse can capture all the packets flowing to and from a particular cloud-hosted application.

Keep in mind that Riverbed’s entire visibility portfolio is really one solution with several tools under the hood. AppResponse integrates with our other visibility tools such as NetProfiler, NetIM, Transaction Analyzer, Packet Analyzer, and Riverbed Portal. To provide external domain information, AppResponse provides links to ARIN WHOIS Search, Geotool, and a variety of third-party network tap aggregators.

When network operators open up the AppResponse dashboard, right away they’re presented with a wealth of information for their cloud applications. Drilling down is a matter of choosing an application, a time range, an IP address, or whatever information is relevant.

Network teams can view trends, patterns, baselines and also drill down into individual transactions and packets for root-cause analysis. Because they’re looking at individual packets between clients and application servers, they get a much better picture of what’s happening end-to-end. That means with AppResponse Cloud, they can determine if the problem is with the network, the application, or with the client.

Packet captures on LANs are certainly very powerful for troubleshooting, but being able to capture application traffic in hybrid and multi-cloud environments brings us to the next level. Today’s applications are hosted in on-premises data centers, in hybrid cloud, and in multi-cloud environments, so visibility means seeing what’s going on beyond just our switches and routers. AppResponse enables us to find the root cause of performance problems with our applications—no matter where they are.

Watch this video for a demo on troubleshooting a multi-cloud application with AppResponse. 

 

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