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Riverbed Provides Seamless Integration between Network Assessment and Acceleration with Enhanced Cascade Solution

Published January 31st, 2010 - 10:33 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the IT infrastructure performance company for networks, applications and storage, recently announced enhancements to CascadeÒ, its advanced network and application performance analysis and visibility solution.  The newest version, Cascade 8.4 provides enhanced reporting and integration with RiverbedÒ WAN optimization that enable organizations to better assess, adapt and accelerate network performance.  With Cascade 8.4, Riverbed allows enterprises to proactively monitor the end-user application experience in real-time.  In addition, Cascade 8.4 integrates with Riverbed SteelheadÒ appliances to measure performance within optimized environments. 

As organizations delve into new IT initiatives such as virtualization, private cloud consolidation and cloud computing, they are increasingly realizing the need for more intelligent, business-level visibility solutions that enable them to proactively manage network and application performance.  Cascade provides enterprise-wide application performance analysis, data on server and application dependencies, and the tools for IT managers to immediately determine bottlenecks for the delivery of applications across their infrastructure.  The new features in Cascade 8.4 allow organizations to measure beyond network performance and availability, and determine the business impact any  drops in performance have on end-users.  In addition, this release introduces Cascade Sensor-VE for the virtualized Riverbed Services Platform (RSP), enabling seamless
performance measurement in both optimized and non-optimized environments - without requiring expensive physical probes in every branch office. 

“Early adopters of WAN optimization focused on acceleration—problems were acute and needed to be addressed quickly. For example, when an IT manager encountered latency and bandwidth challenges that stalled performance of a key application, he immediately selected a solution but didn’t necessarily develop an overall plan.  Today, WAN optimization has evolved from being seen as a tactical implementation to providing a strategic view of the network,” said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.  “By integrating Cascade into optimized environments, Riverbed provides a tool for higher level business analytics, visibility and reporting.  This gives the technical staff the information and language needed to communicate with C-level executives when providing an understanding of the network and campaigning for IT dollars.  Cascade 8.4 provides organizations with performance information they can act on – not only at a technical level but at a business level.”

The new features in Cascade 8.4 will provide customers with a complete WAN optimization solution.

Proactively Monitor End-User Experience

Enhanced Application Performance Metrics
New Cascade metrics go beyond measuring the performance and availability of the network infrastructure, and enable examination of the experience of application users.  Using a comprehensive set of performance metrics, Cascade 8.4 measures how fast users can conduct business. 




·        Application Throughput – This metric shows the rate at which application data is traversing the network, not including network overhead and retransmits.  This feature helps assess the overall performance of the application and determine the need for additional optimization.
·        User Connection Throughput – This metric shows a key proxy for end-user experience.  A per-connection throughput measurement, measured only while the connection is actively transmitting.
·        Connection Duration – This metric is leveraged when examining the performance of transaction-oriented applications, where a connection contains a limited number of application transactions.
By automatically focusing on periods of actual user activity, Cascade measures the true speed a user can achieve when performing application transactions – therefore, measuring the true experience of the end user. The end user metrics are gathered and sent to Cascade Profiler™ for analysis.

Behavioral Analytics
Unlike reactive alternatives, Cascade continuously tracks end-user performance metrics, learning the normal network and application behavior, and proactively alerting the network and application teams whenever end users are experiencing slow performance. Cascade 8.4’s behavioral analytics enable the network team to solve problems even before end-users are impacted, and provide a true measurement of the efficiency of the IT infrastructure.

 “Riverbed Steelhead appliances have become a critical part of our network infrastructure, providing fast application performance at 60 remote offices,“ said George Rosato, vice president of Information Systems & Technology at CONSOL Energy Inc. “Adding the Cascade product to our network infrastructure in the Spring of 2009 really let us know what traffic is on our network. We are glad to see Riverbed leading the convergence of application acceleration and performance management, and look forward  to deploying this new version of Cascade so we can continuously assess our service levels and fine-tune our network to deliver the performance that our business needs.”

Measure Performance in Optimized Environments

With the growing number of centralized, consolidated private cloud environments, enterprises are having an increasingly difficult time obtaining clear visibility into application performance at the branch office.  With Cascade 8.4, Riverbed introduces Cascade Sensor-VE, a virtual remote sensor that runs on the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP), a virtualized partition on the Steelhead appliance. Cascade Sensor-VE takes advantage of the established Steelhead appliance footprint to enable enhanced performance measurement in optimized environments.  Deployment with the RSP means that Sensor-VE is optimally located for measuring the end user experience, providing an easy-to-manage solution that eliminates the need for additional hardware at the branch. Cascade Sensor-VE is an optional software-only component that enhances Cascade’s flow-based analytics, which operate across optimized and non-optimized branch offices.

“We are focused on providing our customers with a complete WAN optimization solution that allows them to optimize, monitor and adapt their network infrastructure to best meet the needs of their end users,” said Apurva Davé, vice president of product marketing at Riverbed.  “With the enhancements we’re providing in Cascade 8.4, organizations can continuously assess their network with a proactive approach to resolving application issues.  We’ve added more insight, control and power to enhance the applications that enterprises already have, allowing them to make the most of their IT infrastructure investments.”

Cascade 8.4 and Cascade Sensor-VE are currently available.

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