Riverbed Portal Gives Users Holistic View of Application

The SteelCentral Portal gives IT administrators a cross-domain view of the performance of their applications and networks.

big data

Riverbed Technology officials are rolling out a software tool they say will give businesses the complete and single view they need to effectively manage the performance of their applications.

IT administrators currently are able to get performance data from the network end-user experience and application domains, but that data tends to be contained in silos, according to Nik Koustsoukos, Riverbed's senior director of product marketing for SteelCentral. Managing the data can be challenging, and doesn't give them the holistic view they need of the application's performance, Koustsoukos told eWEEK.

SteelCentral Portal will serve as a single and central place for bringing together the data from all those domains to give businesses a complete view of what's happening with their applications. In today's increasingly complex and hybrid IT environment, that broad visibility is important, according to Mike Sargent, senior vice president and general manager of SteelCentral at Riverbed.

"The world has shifted, and now it's all about the application," Sargent said in an interview with eWEEK. "You need to see every aspect of the application performance. … You need that visibility so you can look both broad and deep."

SteelCentral Portal, which is available now, blends application performance data from the company's SteelCentral visibility product and its SteelHead optimization and control tools, creating a single view of the information that can be dug into and analyzed in myriad ways, according to the Riverbed officials. It pulls data from a variety of sources throughout the environment, including Riverbed's SteelCentral AppInternals and AppResponse application performance management information and NetProfiler and NetSensor, which are focused on network performance management data.

The tool includes a graphical dashboard that can be customized to suit a particular user's needs, and it allows IT administrators to analyze and drill down into the data to pull out the actionable information they need to improve application performance and head off problems. Businesses will more easily and quickly be able to address issues if all those teams involved in the various domains are able to see all the data coming from the applications and network and act on it, according to Sargent.

"They're looking to get much more value from the data," he said.

Along with the wizard-driven technology to not only discover data but also create service maps, the SteelCentral Portal also includes tools that network administrators can use to determine which data they need. The SteelCentral Portal then automatically develops workflows based on the data. In addition, while the software gives all teams involved the same data, each group gets a role-based home page that includes customized dashboards designed for their needs.

Through integration of SteelHead appliances with AppResponse and NetProfiler, IT administrators can look throughout the network at both non-optimized and optimized traffic.

The SteelCentral Portal comes at a time of transition for Riverbed, which was bought in December 2014 by private equity firm Thoma Bravo and the investment arm of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for $3.6 billion in a deal that is expected to close in the first half of the year. Two months later, Riverbed sold its SteelApp application delivery controller unit to networking technology vendor Brocade.