Network Troubleshooting - High Performance Network Packet Capture

Are you trying to identify network problems with just slices of data only to discover it is not the right data? When the network fails, the impact can be serious and you need tools that help pinpoint the issue FAST. Or perhaps your network is clogging as you try to transfer large trace files across it for central analysis? Continuously and easily troubleshoot network activity in real time with the always-on SteelCentral™ NetShark. It quickly captures, indexes, and stores all data packets data without the need for large file transfers.

Check out the NEW AppResponse 11

AppResponse 11 combines the best capabilities of SteelCentral NetShark and SteelCentral AppResponse in a single, easy-to-use integrated solution.

It used to take us hours to resolve network issues. Now, thanks to Riverbed, we can do it in minutes. - Stefan Thoma, Senior Network Engineer, Flughafen Zürich AG

What is high-performance packet capture?

When outages occur, the impact can be serious. You need to be one step ahead with real-time, actionable information to identify and diagnose problems before your business is impacted. Unfortunately, many network packet capture tools take slices of data that can omit the most meaningful data. Or if the data is captured, it can take a large file transfer in order to conduct analysis, exacerbating network performance problems. You need a better way to ensure that packet-level information is always available for troubleshooting and for granular, real-time and back-in-time analysis.

Features and benefits of SteelCentral NetShark

SteelCentral NetShark quickly captures, indexes, and stores all packets without the need for file transfer. By continuously recording the packets traversing the network, rich troubleshooting details are always available when you need them, saving time and money by minimizing the effect downtime has on business productivity and by reducing or avoiding business- stopping slowdowns or outages. With more than a half a petabyte of packet storage, SteelCentral NetShark allows you to:

  • Troubleshoot problems faster
  • Quickly identify the applications running on your network
  • Monitor your virtual machine traffic

Troubleshoot faster and reduce network and application downtime with SteelCentral NetShark

“Instead of having a 4- to 8-hour issue, or worse, a phantom issue that we couldn’t identify, Riverbed helps us identify issues in seconds and fix them in minutes. And at times, we’re tipped off in advance about a potential problem, and we can fix it before it affects any dental offices […] It’s fair to say the Riverbed has saved and is saving us hundreds of hours of potential downtime.” - Jason Irby, Network Administrator, Pacific Dental Services

You no longer need to transfer huge files to solve complex or intermittent performance problems. With continuous network packet capturing, rapid indexing, and flexible storage options, you can ensure that packet-level information is always available for troubleshooting and granular, real-time and back-in-time analysis.

30-day Free Trial SteelCentral NetShark

Check out the NEW AppResponse 11


AireSpring finds and fixes customer issues in minutes

Speeding in heavy traffic

By increasing the speed with which data and RTP packets are captured, AireSpring technicians can locate and analyze both sets of packets associated with a particular voice network call. Now, instead of the half hour or more it used to take, technicians can pull the data they need in minutes.

More than 9,000 concurrent voice sessions monitored

Eight of AireSpring's 15 technicians can work simultaneously on trouble tickets — accessing network diagnostics and troubleshooting — while more than 9,000 concurrent voice sessions are being monitored.

Read more about AirSpring's deployment of NetShark >

Pacific Dental Services avoids hundreds of hours of downtime

6,000 computers, 500 servers, 12,000 network connections, no downtime

By gaining greater network visibility — which lets IT fix persistent problems before they affect the dental offices — Pacific Dental Services has saved countless hours and has avoided the need to expand its staff.

Eliminates performance issues and trends

Using a full-packet trace, the IT department can investigate a problem in a lab-type environment by analyzing continuous line-rate traffic at 1G and 10G speeds without packet drops.

Read further about how Riverbed NetShark paid for itself after first use >

Launch ROI Calculator >



How It Works

Continuously capture all traffic for faster troubleshooting

With continuous, reliable recording of multi-gigabit per second network traffic to disk, the SteelCentral™ NetShark makes sure you don’t miss a thing and ensures that all data is available for real-time and back-in-time analysis. NetShark supports up to 576TB of packet storage for maximum coverage.

Identify applications with deep packet inspection (DPI)

Not every business application deserves the same level of handling, service, or prioritization. Some are simply more important than others.  Now with DPI in NetShark, you can understand minute-by-minute consumption of applications, report application-specific performance, and make path and quality of service decisions quickly.  You can recognize and monitor application types, including well-known, custom-developed, virtualized, peer-to-peer, VoIP and web-based applications with DPI.

Seamless marriage of flow monitoring and packet-based troubleshooting

Smart packet indexing accelerates troubleshooting and reduces the time it takes to identify and resolve complex performance issues. Packet meta-data, called microflows, provide efficient real-time indexing of packet data and enables users to quickly search terabytes of data. This allows for seamless transition between flow-based information in SteelCentral™ NetProfiler and packet-level information in SteelCentral™ NetShark.

Deployment flexibility

Can be deployed in four ways for maximum coverage: dedicated appliance, virtualized software (SteelCentral NetShark Virtual Edition), add-on module for SteelCentral AppResponse (NetShark module for SteelCentral AppResponse) or as embedded functionality in Riverbed SteelHead/SteelFusion Edge products.

Capture what you need for regulatory compliance or time-sensitive applications

  • Selective recording for regulatory compliance: With requirements such as PCI, DSS, or HIPAA, you can record and store the right amount of packet data. It can also extend the amount of packet data that can be stored and the length of time it is available for analysis.
  • Precision time stamping: Critical for low-latency trading environments, time-sensitive applications, and multi-segment analysis, SteelCentral™ NetShark adopts the precision time stamps from network tap aggregators such as Arista, Gigamon, Ixia-Anue, and VSS Monitoring.

Integration with other Riverbed products

  • SteelCentral Packet Analyzer software is required for packet analysis.
  • SteelHead and SteelFusion appliances can run SteelCentral NetShark-V packet capture functionality for remote site troubleshooting without affecting WAN optimization or branch converged infrastructure.
  • SteelCentral NetShark module adds rich network intelligence to supplement the existing end-user experience monitoring and transaction analysis provided by SteelCentral AppResponse.
  • Streamline network transaction troubleshooting by sharing packet information from NetShark to SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer for off-line, multi-tier, user transaction analysis.

Riverbed supports a variety of Network Packet Brokers:

Tech Specs

Technical Specifications

Need help choosing the SteelCentral NetShark product that’s right for your organization?

Learn more about the technical characteristics and requirements of each model in the SteelCentral spec sheets.

Download: SteelCentral NPM Family Spec Sheet

Download: SteelCentral Family Brochure


Riverbed® SteelCentral® paid for itself after first use by identifying a random network problem


Partner Solution

Partner Solution

IXIA Network Visibility Solutions complements Riverbed SteelCentral by extending access to all the physical & virtual network traffic needed for analysis.

Featured Resources


April 27, 2017

Sometimes the Old Ways Aren't the Best

Read More »


Loading Tweet ...

News feed is down
Press release feed is down
Events feed is down

Ready to Get Started?

Download a trial, contact us for more info, or find out how to buy. We’re here to help you get ahead.