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Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry. TBS, Inc. is also home to The Atlanta Braves, nascar.com and pga.com, and employs more than 8,000 people worldwide. TBS, Inc.'s groundbreaking CNN is a well-known and trusted source for news and information that now includes 15 cable and satellite television networks, two private, place-based networks, two radio networks, 12 Web sites, CNN Mobile, and CNN Newsource, the world's most extensively syndicated news service. TBS, Inc. is also home to familiar entertainment networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies as well as specialized networks such as Turner South and Boomerang. The TBS network comprises a wide variety of infrastructure sizes and types around the world. TBS decided to try the SteelCentral? AppResponse in their main data center. The flow-based view immediately showed TBS information about their network that was nearly impossible to get with their existing tools.


 IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Publishing, Broadcasting, and Internet

Challenges

  • Inability to quickly troubleshoot performance problems, no real-time data
  • Difficulty discerning which parts of the global network were involved in issues
  • Hard to prove the source of problems to business user, vendors, and service providers
  • Little insight into flows and conversations on network

Solution

  • AppResponse Xpert Appliance installed in the main data center
  • Monitor performance and utilization for all critical applications, user groups, resources, and links
  • Real-time and historical view of wide range of application and network metrics

Benefits

  • Much faster problem localization and resolution
  • Real-time overview of global network, deep insight into flowsand conversations
  • Better communication with business users, vendors, and service providers

Turner Broadcasting System,Inc.

Global News and Entertainment

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry. TBS, Inc. is also home to The Atlanta Braves, nascar.com and pga.com, and employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.

TBS, Inc.’s groundbreaking CNN is a well-known and trusted source for news and information that now includes 15 cable and satellite television networks, two private, place-based networks, two radio networks, 12 Web sites, CNN Mobile, and CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service. TBS, Inc. is also home to familiar entertainment networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies as well as specialized networks such as Turner South and Boomerang.

Challenge: Managing a Worldwide Network

The TBS network comprises a wide variety of  infrastructure sizes and types around the world. The Network Engineering department within  Turner Technology Services is responsible for both domestic and international infrastructure, and faced a challenging time tracking down and correcting application performance problems across such a diverse network.

“We needed a better way to monitor the health  of the network in real time,” says John Zientowski, a network engineer in the department. “Our existing tools gave us device information that didn’t tell us much about application performance, and couldn’t get information from distant parts of our infrastructure, while our various protocol-oriented tools gave us a very limited view of application issues that wasn’t real time.” In addition, he notes, “it was difficult to tie performance problems to the business units affected, information we needed to prioritize our response to complaints.”

Solution:Real-Time, End-to-End Insight

Since Riverbed® AppResponse Xpert® Appliances can be very quickly installed via SPAN/mirror port or tap without network impact, TBS decided to try the AppResponse Xpert appliance in their main data center in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Its flow-based view immediately showed us information about our network that was nearly impossible to get with our existing tools,” says Zientowski. “And once we’d entered our Business Group information, we found we could very quickly isolate issues to specific parts of our network, which is really important given our global reach.”

For instance, when TBS rolled out a Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) with French partners, the system initially suffered from packet loss issues. “With the [AppResponse Xpert] we quickly zeroed in on the cause and, working with the vendors involved, were able to fix it without a lot of finger pointing.” He notes that the rich set of visual tools in the AppResponse Xpert interface-charts, tables, and topology displays-make it easy to prove what’s going on to vendors, partners, and service providers.

Mr. Zientowski especially appreciates the ability of the AppResponse Xpert solution to immediately identify which users or resources (Business Groups) and which applications are affected, and to drill down to the specific flows or conversations involved. This makes it much easier to communicate with various business users and explain just what is degrading user experience. “It’s really great to be able to say ‘it’s not the network’ and prove it,” he says. “And when it is, we can often fix it before users start to complain.”

Benefits: Growing with AppResponse Xpert

Asked what he would tell his peers in other companies about the AppResponse Xpert solution, John commented: ‘I’d tell them to try it for a while-that’s the most convincing thing about the appliance. The more you use it, the more problems you’ll find it can help you quickly solve, leaving you more time for other tasks that you never seemed to have enough time for.” He especially notes how much faster problem solving is with the new AppResponse Xpert Insights: point-and-click action guides that encapsulate best practices for dozens of common management tasks.

“Not only do the Insights speed up our problem-solving, but they make it even easier to communicate what’s going on with less technical people. A big time saver!”

“Compared to our other tools, the [AppResponse Xpert] Enterprise appliances give us a deeper, more business-oriented view of our network-both real-time and historical, while their flexible user interface really sets the product apart from the competition in terms of ease of use. And I’m really impressed with the new Insights: they make a great product even better.”

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