IT managers have increased network visibility with the Riverbed Steelhead appliance's new Riverbed Optimization Service 6.5 and Cascade 9.0.
Riverbed Technology updated
its WAN acceleration and Cascade software to provide customers with
better network visibility, the company said Feb. 7.
Riverbed updated the Riverbed
to version 6.5 and the Cascade interface to version
9.0. Customers have been asking Riverbed for tools to make it easier to see
what is happening on their networks, Nik Rouda, director of solutions and
vertical marketing at Riverbed, told eWEEK.
"These two big
enhancements tie the functionality of the product further to the business and
increase their power," he said.
The software versions give IT
managers access to advanced traffic analysis and reporting tools for both
Riverbed's Steelhead appliances and Cascade
. With the updated software, Riverbed provides network visibility
and management tools to senior executives and to IT managers, Rouda explained.
The high-level overview of
how applications are performing on the network is available through the
customer dashboard, Rouda said. Network managers can also see how IT resources
are being used and reallocate them from the dashboard, he said. The updates will
be generally available before the end of March, Riverbed said.
"With a widening
variety of applications and services distributed over the network, enterprises
require better insight into application performance to make intelligent IT
decisions that further business goals," said Joe Skorupa, research vice
president at Gartner.
RiOS 6.5 on the Steelhead
includes several optimization features, for example, application-specific
acceleration for software packages such as Microsoft Outlook Anywhere and
optimization for Secure Sockets Layer certificate traffic, Rouda said.
Customers don't have to buy
separate analytics tools or fiddle with networking features on routers and
other networking hardware to fine-tune IT performance, Rouda said. For example,
customers can configure quality-of-service settings directly on the Steelhead
appliance via the dashboard, said Rouda. "The QoS [quality-of-service] capabilities
in Steelhead have been ramped up," Rouda said.
The AppFlow Classification
Engine uses application signature matching, protocol dissection and behavior
analysis to provide an accurate view of the network traffic in the most
efficient and flexible way, Riverbed said. Administrators previously could see
the Web traffic, but the new engine provides drill-down information to see the
Web traffic's origin, Rouda said.
Customers can prioritize
applications by importance and categorize sites by the bandwidth each site
requires. Proper resource allocation is critical for bandwidth-heavy and
latency-sensitive applications such as video, voice over IP and Virtual Desktop
Infrastructure, Rouda said. Under 6.5, Riverbed appliances can now take
latency into consideration when determining the priority of each application,
IT managers can also use
built-in templates to effortlessly deploy, use and manage QoS, Rouda said. IT
managers would be able to use the unified Web-based Riverbed Central Management
Console to configure, monitor, report on and upgrade groups of Steelhead
appliances, according to Rouda.
The Cascade update was
mainly about improving the dashboard to provide at-a-glance status of all
critical servers and applications on the network for network administrators and
business executives, Rouda said. IT managers can drill down from the general overview
to the location, application and user level for more information, Rouda said.
Reports can be generated at the appropriate level of granularity, Rouda said. A
new Service Discovery Wizard simplifies the process of discovering a multitier
service and configuring its monitoring and dashboards.
Under Cascade 9.0,
executives have "a view of essential information," such as how it is
performing, in a way they can understand, instead of the traditional "IT
perspective," Rouda said.