Improving the Digital Experience by Shattering the Barrier Between Network and Infrastructure Management


As enterprises adopt disruptive digital transformations, they need tools that will let them quickly and easily monitor their users' digital experiences, spanning from the datacenter to individual end-user devices. With the latest Riverbed SteelCentral™ release, Riverbed provides the most complete and integrated digital-experience management solution in the market.

One advance in this new version of SteelCentral is a new, deeper integration between the SteelCentral NetProfiler and SteelCentral NetIM tools, which helps network managers understand the impact of network infrastructure on network performance, and vice versa. With this superstar team of two of Riverbed's most important monitoring tools, you can gain:

  • Visibility into the network device health. NetIM monitors key network device performance and health metrics, such as CPU and interface utilization, memory, and so on. Network operations teams need visibility into the impact of these metrics on network performance to troubleshoot infrastructure problems.
  • Visibility into network configurations. NetIM enables companies to visualize and triage configuration issues. This visibility helps NetOps teams identify and roll back or fix recently changed devices that might be affecting performance.
  • Visibility into who is affected by an infrastructure issue. When a router or switch is oversubscribed, launch SteelCentral NetProfiler to understand who is affected by this incident and see metrics such as top talkers, apps, and hosts.
  • Visibility into quality of service. Track if applications are tagged with correct DSCP markings over a specific network interface within your infrastructure.

Empowered by this knowledge, you can ensure a smooth digital experience for your users. Let's take a deeper look.

Looking at networks from both sides now

SteelCentral has always delivered a blended view of performance that enables IT pros to measure and leverage information from both infrastructure management and network management.

But the current release goes deeper. It puts visibility right in the hands of somebody who’s doing day-to-day network performance management. And at the same time, because it's bidirectional, staffers dealing with server and router issues can see how those have been affecting the traffic that they've been dealing with.

All about the handoff

It's the seams between teams where problems often arise, and the handoff between network and infrastructure monitoring in the quest to track down problems is a common one. Network staffers may be looking at things like congestion and packet loss — but they traditionally haven't had great visibility into problems on the back end, or configuration changes, which might be the root cause of the trouble.

If, for instance, you're working in NetProfiler, you've always been able to look at traffic information, top talkers, applications, hosts, DSCP info, and the like from a network standpoint. But now you can also turn that around and look at it from an infrastructure standpoint. You can see the line of availability, performance, and configuration information of the network devices from the same location.

Similarly, NetIM users, who traditionally look at performance from an infrastructure standpoint, can look at network performance information.  This means that both teams can see how infrastructure affects the network performance and vice versa. Both teams see the other’s domain context and smoothly hand over trouble tickets to one another.

Figure 1. You can get information about network performance with a one-click launch from NetIM, a network infrastructure management solution.

Figure 1. You can get information about network performance with a one-click launch from NetIM, a network infrastructure management solution.

One team to rule them all

With the integration of NetIM and NetProfiler, along with other integration pieces in the latest SteelCentral release, Riverbed is opening possibilities for customers to integrate operational teams. That means they'll be better able to identify problem areas and see where new projects can improve overall application performance, and drive integration on the enterprise level.

Fundamentally, this integration is another example of how SteelCentral is enabling cross-domain collaboration, breaking down the communication barriers created by the deployment of disjointed point monitoring solutions.

The great news: For current users of SteelCentral NetIM and SteelCentral NetProfiler, this tighter integration between the two tools is available right away when you upgrade for free to the latest version of SteelCentral. If you're not a current customer and want to get more information about SteelCentral, check out our digital experience management command center page.