Riverbed Brings WAN Visibility To VARs

First, San Francisco-based Riverbed released its Central Management Console (CMC) 5.0, a management tool that helps deploy, configure and manage Riverbed Steelhead appliances while also offering visibility into the performance of applications running on the WAN. Riverbed director of product marketing Apurva Dave said the CMC updates give network administrators and VARs the ability to structure Steelhead boxes, new policy-based configurations, role-based administration and centralized security management.

Through a Web-based interface, users can configure, update and monitor Steelheads and also define reports that meet management requirements, get visibility into performance by port, application, appliance or group; simplify configuration by defining groups of similar appliances; modify policies; and allow users to have read only or read-write access to certain operations and appliances.

VARs said the ability to see into traffic as it passes on the WAN has become a necessity for customers.

"Visibility into the accelerated traffic on the network is increasingly important for our clients," said Hayes Drumwright, CEO of Trace3, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider. "The high level of detail they'll derive from these upgrades are ideal for determining which applications are being accelerated at the optimal levels."

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Along with updating CMC, Riverbed also announced a new stable of technology partners it is teaming with to add new visibility into Steelheads. Dave said Riverbed is expanding its partner ecosystem and alliances with select visibility partners within the Riverbed Technology Alliance (RTA). He said together Riverbed and its partners, which include AlterPoint, OPNET, Compuware, Mazu Networks, NetDialog, NetScout and Solarwinds, give enterprises and VARs complementary and compatibility-tested solutions to develop a strong network management strategy.

Visibility partners, Dave said, will help users leverage Steelhead and add in tools to analyze, manage and optimize their WAN infrastructure. He said users can analyze their infrastructure to gain visibility into their communications infrastructure and applications. Additionally, they can manage their resources for efficient and consistent operation of their infrastructure and application environment.

Dave said VARs can offer solutions from Riverbed's visibility partners as complimentary solutions to address pre-deployment application performance simulation and planning, post-deployment applications monitoring and visibility, performance trouble-shooting, policy and device configuration management and service provider oriented SLA reporting.

"The channel can add more services to predict what the network will look like after a Steelhead deployment," Dave said. "And partners can bundle the solution for overall network visibility to help customers find where they have problems, whether they can consolidate and how consolidation could impact application response times."

Using tools from partners, VARs can enable customers to plan for network and service resources and the components need to optimize application performance before wide-area data services tools are deployed; gain visibility into key application performance expectations and end user performance; identify and isolate application performance problems; offer post-WDS deployment analysis to measure and report on performance gains; gain new management capabilities to ensure compliance with guidelines and policies; and audit the network to determine SLA adherence.

"It's a great way to slide and dive global information," Dave said. "People want to know not only what's going on a certain link, but an overall view."