New SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud and NetProfiler Offer Visibility Into Murky Cloud Environments


A move to the cloud has great benefits—but also great challenges. Network and application processes that were easy to monitor in on-prem infrastructures suddenly become opaque when hosted in the cloud. And you need to be on top of how you're using compute and network resources if you don't want to get stuck with a big bill.

The good news: newly introduced SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud and NetProfiler deliver visibility into cloud and hybrid cloud networks that's on par with what you're used to in your on-prem infrastructure—and this functionality is available today. Here's what you need to know:

  • Whether you're looking for a NetFlow-based solution, a packet-focused tool, or a comprehensive solution that combines the two, Riverbed can meet your needs
  • You'll be able to understand what's going on in your cloud network without the steep learning curve associated with a new tool, because you'll have access to all the standard AppResponse and NetProfiler workflows, along with new ones for cloud-specific tasks

And if you're not planning to make the move to the cloud yet, don't worry: an investment in Riverbed NPM and APM tools will ensure that you're future-proofed, ready to make the move seamlessly when the time is right.

The cloud isn't always simple

As enterprises move part or all of their network infrastructure to the cloud, IT staff find themselves responsible for networks and servers that, out of the box, are almost entirely opaque. Say you're hosting an enterprise application on AWS, and your users are complaining of freezes and slow response times. You can't find any problems with the on-prem portion of the network. The issue could be with the application provider, with the AWS datacenter, in the cloud network, or somewhere else. But without the tooling that you're accustomed to with on-prem infrastructure, how can you tell where?

Even when users are happy, unpleasant surprises can lurk in the cloud. Providers like AWS charge by the CPU cycle and by the megabyte of data transferred—but those metrics aren't broken down by user or application, making it difficult to track down the cause of sometimes costly bills. And it can be hard to ensure in cloud environments that data is being kept private in line with regulatory compliance needs.

Shedding light where it's needed

SteelCentral NetProfiler and SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud provide the visibility you need into cloud and hybrid cloud networks, just as they can into on-prem infrastructure. Many shops begin to build up their toolbox with a flow-based tool, and NetProfiler analyzes flow traffic from the core, to the branch, to the cloud for an enterprise-wide view of performance. It discovers all assets, maps dependencies, and monitors application services regardless of where they sit. And in keeping with the saying that "the truth is always in the packets," AppResponse Cloud offers packet visibility and enables real-time and historical monitoring and troubleshooting of both network and application performance.

The two tools can work separately and in tandem. NetProfile runs in your data center; AppResponse Cloud runs in AWS— its workloads stay in the cloud, and the packets it monitors aren't pushed down to AppResponse on prem. Both take advantage of telemetry from SteelCentral Agents or third-party tools in the cloud, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. How SteelCentral gains network visibility in the cloud

No need to start from scratch

If you're already a Riverbed customer, the workflows you'll encounter when using AppResponse Cloud and NetProfiler to gain insight into your cloud infrastructure will be instantly familiar; there's no steep learning curve like you'd encounter with a new tool. Some features work just like their counterparts for on-prem infrastructure, as illustrated in Figure 2; other cloud-specific workflows, like the data transfer usage chart in Figure 3, build on the same logic and UI language.

Figure 2. SteelCentral AppResponse Cloud looks and acts just like the on-prem version of AppResponse


Figure 3. SteelCentral NetProfiler reports on billable data transfers from Amazon EC2 to the Internet to help you understand where you are incurring costs

AppResponse also surfaces application responsiveness through its Response Time Composition Charts, illustrated in Figure 4. For instance, these charts can show users what combination of server or network response time is contributing to the overall application response time they're experiencing. Contextual access to raw packets is a click away if needed.

Figure 4. Response Time Comparison Chart

And if you're not using Riverbed tools, but are looking for a network visibility solution that's ready for the cloud, SteelCentral should be your first choice. Whether you're already deploying mission-critical apps in the cloud today or plan to do so a year or two from now, NetProfiler and AppResponse offer future-proofed insights into your network and application health.

Riverbed is ready for the cloud—are you?

Ready to learn more? Check out the following resources for a deeper dive:

And if you're not sure whether your visibility needs will be best met by NetProfiler, AppResponse, or both tools working together as an integrated solution, contact a Riverbed sales rep to discuss your specific environment and requirements. We want to meet you where you are and make your move to the cloud smooth and cost-effective.