Riverbed Cascade Upgrade Promises Deep View into Virtual Networks

Riverbed, with Cascade 10.0, is giving businesses and service providers more insight into their virtualized data center environments.

Riverbed Technology wants to give enterprises and service providers greater visibility into the performance of their networks in virtualized environments.

Riverbed officials are expanding the capabilities of its Cascade portfolio of network performance management products, including the unveiling of Cascade 10.0, which is designed to address performance management across all levels of a virtualized environment—including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), server virtualization and fully virtualized data centers that leverage VMware’s VXLAN virtualization technology for software-defined networks (SDNs).

Virtualization technology in all areas of the data center has proved a boon for enterprises, which have seen increases in efficiency and performance over the last decade as the trend has grown.

“One of the biggest movements we’re seeing in IT is the virtualization movement,” Dimitri Vlachos, senior director of marketing and products at Riverbed’s Cascade Business Unit, told eWEEK. However, while performance and efficiency have greatly improved, virtualization also has brought with it management headaches, Vlachos said.

Older network performance management solutions can’t give enterprises or server providers that kind of granular detail they need into how the applications in their networks are faring, he said. With that detail, enterprises and service providers can find and troubleshoot performance problems in virtualized environments.

The upgraded Cascade portfolio is designed to provide that deeper look. Enterprises can use the Cascade portfolio in their data centers, and service providers can offer the capabilities to customers in public, private and hybrid clouds, according to Riverbed officials.

With the VXLAN support, organizations can leverage Cascade 10.0 to monitor both physical and virtual networks through a single solution, Vlachos said. They also are able to control and understand VXLAN virtual overlay network performance and give businesses running what Riverbed officials call software-defined data centers a single view into the performance of their data centers and service-level agreements (SLAs).

"VXLAN enables enterprises to deploy virtual networks with the same simplicity and operational ease that they have grown to experience with virtual machines," Jonathan Gohstand, director of product marketing for networking and security at VMware, said in a statement. "This latest collaboration between VMware and Riverbed brings the needed integration for visibility and performance management that can allow enterprises to adopt SDNs with confidence."

Riverbed also is introducing two new offerings that help the company round out its portfolio of virtualized network performance management solutions. The new Cascade Profiler Virtual Edition, which is installed as a virtual machine in VMware’s vSphere solution, becomes the central console for data about applications and the network collected by Riverbed’s Cascade Shark Virtual Edition and the new Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition. That data is employed to provide users with enterprise-wide service-level monitoring, according to Riverbed.

Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition collects flow data and statistics from network infrastructures and virtual environments. Taken together, the entire virtualized Riverbed Cascade product portfolio helps managed-service providers easily deploy application-aware network performance management capabilities as a service to small and midsized businesses and larger enterprises, the company said.