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SteelCentral upgrade enhances toolset for app-centric enterprise

With renewed focus on application performance within the enterprise, Riverbed fortifies SteelCentral portfolio.

Riverbed Technology added enhancements to its SteelCentral product line to provide network engineers with features that the vendor contends will increase visibility into networks and network applications. By boosting the capacity and functionality of two of its products, NetProfiler and NetShark, Riverbed said customers will be able to get more out of their network and application performance management efforts.

Increased data traffic requires more capacity and visibility into the network

NetProfiler provides visibility to all applications running across the entire network, while NetShark uses its packet capture function to troubleshoot network issues.


Mike Sargent, Riverbed's senior vice president and general manager, said the upgrade comes at a time when the technology industry is seeing a major shift in how it functions. Monitoring tools that used to work no longer meet enterprise needs.

"When you look at what has taken place in terms of IT managing their respective domains -- server, network, apps, database -- they need new monitoring tools that can handle more capacity. Over the years, there have been point tools for monitoring purposes. Fundamentally, the world has changed. IT has to assure performance of services and quickly resolve issues. It has become an app-centric world, and end users expect flawless performance, and they need to monitor and see end to end what is happening. Point tools don't cut it," he said.

At the same time that the environment is becoming more focused on applications, users are accessing these applications on more than one device.

Companies can spend less money and get more capacity.
Jim Frey Vice President, Enterprise Management Associates

"Applications are deployed on-premises or in private or public clouds, and some organizations are looking to leverage SaaS applications, said Nik Koutsoukos, Riverbed's senior director of product marketing. "There is a lot of communication between servers and clients, which generates huge amounts of traffic. IT needs to capture and analyze all of this data and it is increasingly difficult. That's what is driving the need for these upgraded products."

Enhancements to SteelCentral offer more storage, capacity at slightly lower cost

Among the enhancements Riverbed added to NetProfiler is the ability to support twice the number of deduplicated flows per minute and three times the coverage of end-user locations in the services dashboard. The appliance also supports twice the reporting devices per flow record and gathers and deduplicates flow information from up to 10 devices per single flow record to enable a granular view of network performance. Finally, it supports 10 times more analytics policies than previous versions.

As for NetShark, Riverbed increased its storage capacity to as much as 72 TB of packet storage, and increased its memory to up to 64 GB to permit higher flow export rates to NetProfiler. It has a higher 10 Gigabit port density and the virtual edition of NetShark is available on Microsoft Hyper-V.

Enterprise Management Associates Vice President Jim Frey said the retooled NetShark and NetProfiler appliances will help the enterprise in two ways. "First of all, the products will help accommodate growth to be able to do more with less. Companies can spend less money and get more capacity. Second, it provides simplifications because they combined different products. For example, the combination of analytics into NetProfiler."

The NetShark and NetProfiler appliances are available now.

Dig Deeper on Network application performance