SAN FRANCISCO – May 17, 2016 – Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, today announced new enhancements to Riverbed SteelCentral that bring major advances to troubleshooting capabilities and improved monitoring across the cloud while simultaneously improving ease of use and scalability. These enhancements continue to support a common theme of improved SteelCentral platform integration while enhancing several critical capabilities, including:
"This release of SteelCentral delivers significant enhancements in cloud-based performance monitoring, along with new capabilities that will help accelerate business execution and boost productivity," said Mike Sargent, SVP, General Manager of SteelCentral at Riverbed. "As more enterprises embrace digital and cloud services, SteelCentral provides the high definition visibility that is critical to enabling and assuring the success of these transformational initiatives. SteelCentral is the only performance management solution that can deliver comprehensive insight into end user experience, application, network, and infrastructure performance in a unified, central view. It truly is the command center for application performance for the digital enterprise."
Extended visibility into the cloud, PaaS and containers. In its quest to increase agility, IT is adopting cloud services and related technologies like PaaS, containers and micro-services to deliver applications faster and to ensure that they can scale as usage increases. With this release, IT can automatically scale monitoring across applications that leverage these technologies. IT Operations and development teams can visualize applications’ behavior in real-time to troubleshoot existing issues or to proactively improve performance. Additionally, this release of SteelCentral AppInternals introduces out-of-the-box monitoring for applications deployed on Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, and will also be conveniently offered on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace for AWS customers.
Further, SteelCentral vastly improves the ability to monitor applications deployed on PaaS and containerized environments. As these environments dynamically scale during peak and off-peak periods, conventional performance monitoring tools that trace interactions between servers cannot coherently represent application behavior. This release introduces the Application Performance Graph that visually maps interactions between application modules in real-time, regardless of the underlying infrastructure. This reveals dependencies and hotspots obscured by the elasticity of the environment so that IT can observe and fix issues with the most overarching business impact.
The new Application Performance graph is beneficial for complex, multi-tier applications, especially those that rely on elastic environments. Take for example, an eCommerce site that needs to perform on Black Friday. The underlying infrastructure will need to scale up to support the high traffic during the peak shopping time. In these cases, the application topology is often transient, nebulous, and unpredictably interrelated with countless other applications and services. To truly understand application behavior, we need to observe interactions between application modules, regardless of the underlying infrastructure, to identify hotspots and to prioritize performance improvement efforts that will have the maximum business impact. Current APM approaches simply overlay application performance views over server topology. In contrast, SteelCentral tracks and graphs interactions between application modules in real-time.
Visibility Without SteelCentral:
A typical application map that traces application transactions through server interactions obscures dependencies within the application layer, especially within elastic environments.
Visibility With SteelCentral:
Complexity Made Simple
The new SteelCentral Application Performance Graph maps logical relationships among application modules in real-time, to deliver behavioral insights with easy-to-understand visualizations.
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“National Instruments’ industry leading integrated hardware and software platform provides powerful solutions that accelerate productivity and drive rapid innovation for customers in nearly every industry—from healthcare, and automotive to consumer electronics and particle physics,” said Eric McCraw, Web Systems Manager, at National Instruments. “We see the new visibility enhancements to Riverbed SteelCentral as a critical element in the development and management of the many applications and platforms that make up ni.com. SteelCentral improves the ability to troubleshoot application issues more readily and resolve issues more quickly, improving time to market.”
“Today’s applications are multi-tiered and massively distributed across diverse networks and environments within the data center and the cloud. While 60% of companies have organized IT around specialized teams that focus on elements of application infrastructure, they consistently rely on cross-functional collaboration to ensure smooth operation. To effectively collaborate, these diverse IT teams require a common platform of insights and diagnostics that they can collectively analyze to bridge the gap between their respective areas,” said Julie Craig, Research Director, Application Management, at Enterprise Management Associates. “Riverbed SteelCentral helps bridge these silos by delivering comprehensive insights on user experience, application, network and infrastructure performance within a unified view.”
Large-scale virtualized network performance monitoring. IT organizations have increasingly adopted server virtualization as a result of its widely recognized benefits of cost savings and ease of provisioning and deployment; however, as the datacenter becomes increasingly virtualized, it often results in visibility blind spots. With this release, Riverbed vastly improves the ability for companies to monitor virtualized server traffic. By redesigning how packet capture data is incorporated, SteelCentral has significantly enhanced productivity associated with monitoring and troubleshooting high-performance virtualized networks.
Expanded unified communications monitoring. As companies increasingly use unified communications (UC) applications, identifying the root causes of network degradations, device errors, or user mistakes across these solutions is time-consuming and repetitive for IT staff. SteelCentral monitors performance across multiple UC solutions – including for the first time Microsoft Skype for Business in conjunction with Cisco and Avaya UC traffic – with a multi-vendor, multi-tenant dashboard that provides an at-a- glance view of overall UC performance. Network engineers can view information about usage and adoption as well as call performance, and troubleshoot performance problems using common language and workflows for the most often-encountered UC issues. There is immediate productivity with zero need to train on different tools or vendor terminology. In addition, global UC performance analysis is now blended with performance analysis from networks, other applications and infrastructure in the SteelCentral Portal, providing IT teams with unified and holistic view of performance.
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Next-generation diagnostics and troubleshooting. As application performance takes an increasingly central role to the business, proactive monitoring and troubleshooting the application infrastructure is a critical element in managing the business – whether that application is deployed in the cloud or on-premises. With this release Riverbed has drastically improved the ability for IT managers to troubleshoot network and application issues.
SteelCentral has modernized the interface of SteelCentral NetProfiler to improve usability and performance. The Preferred Interfaces screen and Network Hotspots dashboard shows top utilized interfaces as well as interfaces with the worst user response times. As a result, network managers are able to quickly recognize areas that require additional attention to improve network performance overall and proactively make adjustments.
“The network team jokes that SteelCentral improves our “mean time to innocence” but when patient care is being affected time is really what matters. And time is what SteelCentral saves us. Time to get to the root cause and time to get things back to normal,” said Chris Clifford, Manager, Enterprise Network Services – East Division, at Trinity Health.
All updates to the Riverbed SteelCentral platform are intended to be made available by the end of Q2 2016.