Riverbed strengthens ties between monitoring and acceleration gear

Riverbed links Cascade performance analysis tools and Steelhead optimization appliances

Riverbed is beefing up its analysis capabilities so enterprises can better assess and improve network performance.

Network vendors are continually working to connect the dots between monitoring tools and WAN optimization gear. The latest is Riverbed

One year ago, Riverbed announced plans to acquire Mazu Networks, which made appliances that could measure application usage and performance and report on it. This week Riverbed announced upgrades to its Cascade performance analysis appliance, which is based on the Mazu technology.

Cascade 8.4 is more tightly integrated with Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances, so network administrators can measure performance within optimized environments and adjust their acceleration tactics accordingly.

New metrics in Cascade 8.4 are designed to capture the end-user application experience in real-time. Cascade measures the speed a user can achieve when performing application transactions, for instance. Cascade “learns” normal network and application behavior and alerts IT whenever end users are experiencing slow performance.

In addition, the software can help organizations not only measure network performance and availability but also determine the business impact that a drop in performance has on end users.

In the past, WAN optimization deployments were fairly tactical, undertaken when network issues stalled the performance of a key application, according to Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. Today enterprises are thinking more strategically about WAN optimization, he says.

“By integrating Cascade into optimized environments, Riverbed provides a tool for higher level business analytics, visibility and reporting,” Oltsik said in a statement. “This gives the technical staff the information and language needed to communicate with C-level executives when providing an understanding of the network and campaigning for IT dollars. Cascade 8.4 provides organizations with performance information they can act on – not only at a technical level but at a business level.”

To improve visibility into application performance at branch offices, the new release also includes Cascade Sensor-VE, a remote sensor that runs on a virtualized partition on a Steelhead appliance. Sensor-VE can measure the end user experience at branch offices without requiring enterprises to deploy additional hardware at every branch office.

“With the enhancements we’re providing in Cascade 8.4, organizations can continuously assess their network with a proactive approach to resolving application issues,” said Apurva Davé, vice president of product marketing at Riverbed, in a statement. “We’ve added more insight, control and power to enhance the applications that enterprises already have, allowing them to make the most of their IT infrastructure investments.”

Cascade 8.4 and Cascade Sensor-VE are available now.

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