Riverbed revamps management platform

* Greater granularity in CMC 5.0 aimed at streamlining management operations

The importance of management is becoming impossible to ignore as companies begin to think more strategically about their WAN optimization deployments. With that in mind, Riverbed Technology last week took the wraps off the latest version of its central management console, which has been retooled to provide network administrators with policy-based configuration, role-based administration and centralized security management features.

Riverbed says its Central Management Console (CMC) Version 5.0 simplifies the process of deploying, configuring, and managing Steelhead appliances, while providing greater detail about the performance of applications running across the WAN. (Compare Application Acceleration and WAN Traffic Optimization products)

With CMC, IT administrators can configure, update and monitor their Steelhead appliances through a Web-based interface. New features include:

* Role-based administration for Steelhead appliances and the CMC, which lets IT assign tasks and operational functions based on different roles. Users can have read only or read-write access to certain operations or appliances, for example.

* Policy-based configuration management, which lets IT assign policies to Steelhead appliance groups, import policies from existing Steelhead appliances, and designate separate policies for optimization, networking, security and system configuration.

* Hierarchical structuring so IT teams with hundreds of Steelhead appliances to manage can group Steelhead appliances and manage process changes, such as policy configurations, more easily.

* Centralized security management: CMC can manage the delivery of the passphrase used to unlock remote encrypted key vaults on Steelhead appliances (which maintain private keys for various cryptographic features including SSL acceleration, IPSEC and disk encryption, Riverbed says). Letting CMC manage Steelhead appliance key vaults eases management, according to Riverbed.

In other Riverbed news, the vendor announced it is expanding its partner ecosystem to include network and application performance management players AlterPoint, OPNET, Compuware, Mazu Networks, NetDialog and SolarWinds -- vendors that can help address application monitoring, troubleshooting, configuration management, SLA reporting and more.

IT managers are under pressure to deliver business-critical applications and services to end-users regardless of their location, according to Tracy Corbo, a senior analyst at research firm IDC. “Application acceleration is only part of the story; in order for companies to realize the full benefits from their WAN application delivery they need enhanced monitoring and visibility into network traffic from a single management console,” Corbo said in a statement.

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