The portal, available immediately, allows customers to take network performance information, end user experience data, and application domains into a sole point of management, creating a blended scope of overall application performance. As an expansion of the SteelCentral family of applications, the portal uses performance data from SteelCentral AppInternals and AppResponse, as well as NetProfiler and NetSensor, to offer visibility spanning the network and hosting environment.
With SteelCentral Portal, users get a “single source of truth” that can help optimize and control application information and traffic throughout a hybrid network. It will also enable users to keep IT resources focused on strategic projects, not firefighting.
“Beyond integrating cross domain data, the portal is also applying differential analytics and feeding it out to different audiences in a role-based way,” says Mike Sargent, senior vice president and general manager at Riverbed. “It is providing the right information to the right people at the right time.”
The portal has been in the works for awhile, says Nik Koutsoukos, senior director of product marketing at Riverbed. A string of acquisitions from 2009 to 2012 helped lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the SteelCentral host of applications. Companies like Mazu Networks, Cace, and Opnet offered Riverbed the opportunity to look more into network management and application performance, which is exactly what SteelCentral management, and more specifically, the SteelCentral Portal, aim to do.
“Not another vendor out there has a comprehensive data capture like this,” he says, adding that most products “either specialize in NPM solutions or have another extreme that is APM [application performance management]-focused. Riverbed is doing both, as well as offering end user experience data.”
Sargent also says that with enterprises turning to hybrid networks (combining an MPLS network with the Internet) and hybrid clouds, visibility will be important. “It’s not enough to put data on the table,” he says. “We want to surface it in a way that gets that information into the hands of the right people to take action. We are really gunning for anticipating problems before they are seen by end users.”