Riverbed delivers enhanced scalability, integrated licensing with new SteelCentral release

The enhanced SteelCentral also adds Prism, which uses AI to visualize the conversion funnel and spot issues, and full integration with Riverbed Xirrus WI-Fi.

The new Prism feature in SteelCentral

Riverbed Technology has enhanced their SteelCentral performance monitoring solution to meet the growing demands for both performance and flexibility required by digital organizations. The new release greatly expands SteelCentral’s already strong scalability. It also introduces integrated licensing between end user devices and applications for the first time to facilitate customer flexibility. Other new features include a new AI-based visualization capability that examines the conversion funnel to spot actionable trends, and full integration with Riverbed Xirrus Wi-Fi.

Riverbed’s emphasis in this space is that they are the only end-to-end solution that combines end user experience monitoring with infrastructure, application and network monitoring.

“We have been on a journey where APM [application performance management] needs to have the ability to see all the way to the impact on the end user,” said Erik Hille, Product Marketing Director, Riverbed Technology. “Historically, we have enabled the integration of end user performance management and APM, so you could see what was being experienced down to the user level. In the APM space, you can only manage the apps you can instrument, but with the end user, you can look at cloud-based or text or mobile apps –  virtually anything – and see the end user experience.”

Hille said that this kind of unified monitoring solution is indispensable in the digital world.

“Gartner says that only five per cent of applications are monitored by APM solutions,” Hille said. “When you think of what’s happening with digital transformation, that has to change. We understand almost all apps in the context of the end user experience, which is really exciting.”

Until now, this integrated system has not had an integrated licensing system, but that changes with this release, Riverbed is now makes a single SaaS license available for applications and for end user devices.

“Now if you are migrating apps to the cloud, you can do it with the same license infrastructure,” Hille said. “Before, there were two different solutions with different license structures. This now lets you swap licenses back and forth, making it much easier to move to the cloud or consolidate data centres. This flexibility will be especially useful for channel partners.”

Riverbed has also introduced a new management clustered architecture that it says further enhances their existing scalability advantages over competitors.

“Our approach to scale is extremely compelling for us,” Hille stated. “Historically, companies in APM don’t do this well. They can maintain quality, but only in a limited number of applications. If they scale a lot, they don’t look at every transaction, but sample a much smaller number. They also sacrifice data quality. Our approach historically has been to look at every transaction every second, with all metrics and metadata. In this way, we could handle up to a billion transactions a day. Introducing this new clustering architecture increases the scale about tenfold, without sacrificing anything.”

SteelCentral now adds a new AI-based visualization capability with Prism, a new reporting system that  uses Big Data and data science concepts to looks longitudinally at the conversion funnel for a business transaction flow.

“This longitudinal analysis lets you look at trends over time, to spot issues and react to them,” Hille noted. “For instance, if a retailer sees people dropping off when they get to the delivery option, that may identify something like a button being at the wrong spot on the web page. It leverages machine learning for pattern recognition to facilitate rapid troubleshooting, automated anomaly detection, and new capabilities we have added for APM troubleshooting.”

SteelCentral integration with Riverbed Xirrus Wi-Fi has also been announced. This bi-directional integration between Xirrus Wi-Fi and SteelCentral enhances digital experience management, by making it easier to identify and resolve end user issues caused by poor signal strength or device performance.

“Instead of just drilling down into standard networks, you can look into our wireless network the same way,” Hille said.