Riverbed Extends App Monitoring to End-User Devices

Company officials say Riverbed will buy Aternity and fold its device-monitoring products into Riverbed's SteelCentral management platform.

performance monitoring

Riverbed Technology, whose SteelCentral platform already monitors the performance of back-end infrastructures and networks, will soon expand those capabilities to end-user devices.

The company is buying Aternity, whose products monitor the performance of applications on physical and mobile end-user devices and will be added to the SteelCentral portfolio. The result will be the ability of Riverbed customers to use the platform to monitor performance from the back-end infrastructure to the user devices, according to company officials.

That's needed, given the proliferation of mobile devices being used and the growing adoption of such technologies as virtual desktops, Riverbed Chairman and CEO Jerry Kennelly said in a statement. With such trends and others, such as the cloud, "the ability to manage end user experience has become more important and complex for IT organizations," Kennelly said.

The deal, announced July 28, is expected to close next month. No financial details were released.

The acquisition is the latest move by Riverbed to expand the capabilities of its SteelCentral platform. For example, the company recently enhanced the cloud-based performance monitoring capabilities. However, Riverbed needed to extend the reach of the technology, according to Nik Koutsoukos, vice president of product marketing at the company.

"One may have the best performance data for network or the back end servers," Koutsoukos wrote in a post on the company blog. "They may have complete infrastructure analysis or countless log records. Unless they know what the end user is experiencing or how effectively they are interacting with an application on their device—whether that's PC, tablet or smart phone—they will not be able to complete the picture. As a result, they won't get to the root-cause of issues, improve end-user experience, and improve their productivity."

In addition, bringing Aternity's technologies to SteelCentral will give businesses that currently need to use multiple monitoring products a single platform for monitoring every part of the network and infrastructure, he wrote.

"Over the past 20 years, as enterprise networks and systems grew, IT monitoring capabilities and tools grew alongside those systems and infrastructure," Koutsoukos wrote. "In order to cope with rapid growth in systems, networks and apps, tools were being added by various IT teams that need data to manage their respective system or domain."

The tools are not integrated at different levels of maturity and can be narrowly focused, and engineers often end up wasting time fixing the same problem in multiple products.

"Business owners and IT teams are overwhelmed with ALL the data and information that the dozens of monitoring tools used are providing while still, they don't know what is important or critical to run and grow their business, improve the performance of their revenue generating services and apps and make users productive and happy," he wrote.

Aternity offers what officials call end-user experience (EUE) products that essentially turn devices—physical, virtual and mobile—into self-monitoring platforms that give businesses immediate and deep visibility into the experience their employees are getting from their devices. Enterprises can use the IT management capabilities to help reduce business disruptions and increase workforce productivity, officials said.

That becomes more of a priority as businesses continue to embrace hybrid cloud environments in which applications are housed in multiple data centers, using heterogeneous operating systems and found in a variety of cloud environments, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, they said. IDC analysts predict that global spending on application performance monitoring (APM) software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) will hit $3.1 billion this year.

Aternity's products are on more than 1.7 billion workforce endpoints, company officials said.