REVIEW: Riverbed's SteelCentral AppInternals v10 is aimed squarely at enterprises seeking to monitor their applications and guarantee acceptable performance.
Application availability and performance are starting to become the true measure of how well an IT department services both internal and external customers. After all, it's applications that are the primary force behind business operations.
With that in mind, Riverbed has launched SteelCentral AppInternals v10, a product specifically designed to monitor, measure and report on all of the elements that constitute how well an application is working. It is important to note that when it comes to the ideology of monitoring applications, more is obviously better. Case in point is the care that went into creating the sensors that provide the data collection services for AppInternals.
In other words, flexibility is the rule of the day, and Riverbed has accomplished that flexibility by designing a one-two punch of sensors and a monitoring engine that can be adapted to most any application, including those that reside on a cloud-based service or a custom line-of-business application that is fully internalized on a local data center.
Hands On With AppInternals v10
The AppInternals platform uses a combination of a monitoring/management engine and small pieces of software, referred to as sensors. The sensors are deployed to the applications and report data back to the monitoring engine. While that may seem like an oversimplification of the product, it does basically sum up its primary elements.
What is critical to realize is that the platform brings continuous application monitoring to enterprises seeking to better understand application performance, usage and connectivity issues. What's more, thanks to its deployable sensors, AppInternals can function with most any application and can be run either as a cloud-based service or accessed via a local instance.
Deployment flexibility does not limit AppInternals' capabilities, which can be summed up as complete cradle to grave monitoring of applications throughout the application life cycle. What's more, Riverbed has simplified the provisioning process with multiple wizards that can seek out, identify and bring applications into the monitoring fold with ease.
The primary purpose of the product is to trace every transaction from the user to the application back end, and record as well as analyze performance, which allows administrators to interactively monitor every element of a transaction.
In turn, administrators can use dashboards, reports and queries to delve deeper into application issues and identify potential problems before those issues can impact operations. That being said, the product also shows a strength for troubleshooting active problems and narrowing down the root cause of a problem in a matter of minutes. Ultimately, SteelCentral AppInternals v10 combines all of the tools, detection capabilities and analysis into a unified platform that can not only look at past performance, but also actively monitor and report on performance in real time, making it ideal for fixing even the most hard-to-detect and intermittent application performance problems quickly.
Administrators will appreciate the browser- based console, which can be customized and set up as a dashboard that illustrates the most critical aspects of application performance. For example, I was able to quickly drag and drop new elements onto the main console, creating a unique perspective into how applications were performing on the network.