Network reporting and analytics

"The network is slow." If you’re like most network managers, you probably hear this complaint on a regular basis. To really understand application performance, you need an end-to-end network and infrastructure view that helps you manage performance through the lens of the application. SteelCentral™ NetProfiler gives you that lens to proactively monitor and easily troubleshoot the root cause of network and application issues before your end users ever know there’s a problem.

We chose Riverbed because it enables us to identify the causes of problems in the network and in the various systems involved in the most efficient way -Andreas Mayer, Network Administrator, Würth

What is end-to-end network monitoring and reporting?

Today, network operations engineers are expected to be application fluent. They need a deeper understanding of applications and what end users are actually experiencing. So when applications are slow or fail, network managers must go beyond simply proving that the network is not at fault and start looking at the problem through the lens of the application.

Features and benefits of SteelCentral NetProfiler

SteelCentral NetProfiler combines network flow data with packet-based performance metrics to provide proactive monitoring, analysis, and reporting. It collects this information from

SteelCentral NetProfiler uses automated service discovery and dependency mapping to understand the application services in your environment and automated behavior analytics to baseline normal performance and automatically alert you to performance changes as soon as they occur –typically before users are even aware that performance is degrading.

Use SteelCentral NetProfiler to:

  • Diagnose and monitor application performance issues over your network
  • Easily distinguish business-critical applications from recreational apps
  • Leverage your existing SteelHead/SteelFusion footprint for cost-effective remote branch troubleshooting
  • Automate discovery and dependency mapping for smoother datacenter moves and consolidations
  • Automate detection of performance and security anomalies for faster problem resolution

Download a free trial of SteelCentral NetExpress

Reduce application downtime, improve capacity planning, and automate network management operations 

“Every dental office is 100% digital. Patient charts, scheduling, x-rays – it’s all digital. So when there’s a problem with the network, the affected offices can’t function normally until the problem is resolved. Riverbed helps us identify issues in seconds and fix them in minutes. It’s fair to say that Riverbed has saved and is saving us hundreds of hours of potential downtime.” - Jason Irby, Network Administrator, Pacific Dental Services

Monitor all network and infrastructure components involved in application performance, such as users, web servers, load balancers, application servers, authentication and DNS servers, databases, and the links between them.

The SteelCentral™ NetProfiler offers a unique, integrated view of application performance from two vantage points – flow and packet – which lets you easily identify, diagnose, and resolve complex network and application performance issues across your entire enterprise network.


Eight companies achieved an average of 519% ROI from Riverbed network performance monitoring

Top-to-bottom visibility is an indispensable ingredient for limiting downtime, improving utilization, and getting the most from your network investment.

According to a study by independent analyst firm IDC, the Riverbed solution delivered a remarkable 519% average ROI and saved $5.1 million per year on average for eight companies.

Riverbed Network Performance Monitoring customers in the study were able to:

  • Reduce their lost user productivity by 67%, restoring 73 hours of productivity to each end user, saving $26,057 per 100 users, on average
  • Lower their annual IT expenses by $12,047 per 100 users, on average
  • Boost productivity for IT staffs devoted to networking management by 12,000 hours, saving $5,497 per 100 users, on average

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How It Works

Where SteelCentral NetProfiler gets its data

Utilizes network flow data and complements it with packet based-performance metrics

  • Flow data - Typically used with the SteelCentral Flow Gateway which collects, de-duplicates, and forwards flow metrics (NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFix and other popular flow statistics) from network devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, SteelHeads, etc. to NetProfiler.
  • Packet-based data – SteelCentral AppResponse 11, SteelCentral NetShark, SteelCentral™ AppResponse with NetShark module, and SteelHead and SteelFusion running the NetShark-V option can send all performance metrics to SteelCentral™ NetProfiler.

Feature Brief: SteelCentral NetProfiler

Create a complete picture of your environment

Using an automated discovery wizard, you can map transactions to their underlying infrastructure to gain an accurate understanding of end-to-end application performance over the network.

Automate performance monitoring with advanced analytics to provide early warning of problems

NetProfiler streamlines problem detection using advanced behavioral analytics.  A stable part of the product since its inception, analytics allow you to track and baseline dozens of performance metrics and automatically detect and alert on meaningful changes for an early warning of problematic trends. Proactive notification of developing or chronic issues often alerts you to problems before users even notice. 

Gain deep application recognition and monitoring

Available with both SteelCentral™ NetShark andSteelHead, you gain deep packet inspection (DPI) of application traffic for analysis by SteelCentral™ NetProfiler to help you quickly and accurately identify the applications that are running across the SteelHead WAN optimized environment or in locations where a SteelCentral™ NetShark is deployed. Recognize and monitor application types, including well-known, custom-developed, virtualized, peer-to-peer, VoIP, and web-based applications and URLs. This application information feeds directly into NetProfiler for rich analysis and reporting.

Robust analysis of optimized WAN environments

You can use your SteelHead/SteelFusion investment as a packet capture appliance, making it easy to troubleshoot branch performance problems. In addition, SteelCentral™ NetProfiler is the only visibility solution that can provide visibility into SteelHead optimized WAN environments to:

  • Quantify optimization benefits and justify/plan for additional deployments
  • Monitor and troubleshoot SteelHead Quality of Service (QoS) settings
  • Accurately measure response times for optimize applications

Monitor your virtual data center

SteelCentral™ NetProfiler Virtual Edition is a virtualized version of the SteelCentral™ NetProfiler that runs on VMware vSphere to provide you with added deployment flexibility for virtualized data centers and software-defined networks. Now, you gain visibility everywhere: from the branch LAN, across the WAN, and deep into the datacenter — across physical, virtual, and load balanced environments.

Tech Specs

Technical Specifications

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

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

Download: SteelCentral NPM Family Spec Sheet

Download: SteelCentral Family Brochure

Use Cases

Use Cases for SteelCentral NetProfiler

You can use SteelCentral to monitor and troubleshoot network and application performance as well as for planning and dependency mapping.  But did you know that many others use SteelCentral for the following reasons:

Increase visibility of software-defined networks (SDNs) and virtual data centers (VDCs):  Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the cornerstones of the virtual data center, yet it can create blinds spots that prevent operations teams from monitoring and troubleshooting performance issues. SteelCentral is the only application-aware NPM solution that enables you to:

  • Understand and control VMware® NSX) virtual overlay network performance
  • Monitor and troubleshoot VDCs and the physical network in a single solution
  • Provide VDC owners isolated views into their own virtual data center performance and SLAs

Download the solution brief

Plan strategic IT initiatives: Major IT projects such as consolidation, disaster recovery, and cloud migration have one thing in common: the first step is for you to find out what is currently running on their network. Whether you are consolidating a few servers or entire data centers, SteelCentral products provide a cost-effective way for you to discover application serv­ers and clients and map the dependencies, without using agents or scanning.

Download the white paper

Ensure WAN optimization success: SteelCentral products measure performance accurately in both SteelHead-optimized and non-optimized environments, enabling you to plan for WAN optimization, assess the impact of the deployment, and quantify benefits.

Download the solution brief

Visibility into SteelConnect SD-WAN environments: Validate policies are working as expected, to troubleshoot problems quickly, and plan for changes to help ensure the success of your SteelConnect SD-WAN environment.

Download the solution brief


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


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