Riverbed Cascade Enhances Virtual Network Visibility

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Riverbed’s new network management tools provide greater visibility of networks in virtualised environments

Riverbed Technology is hoping to provide enterprises with greater visibility of the performance of their networks in virtualised environments.

To this end, Riverbed officials are expanding the capabilities of its Cascade portfolio of network performance management products, including the unveiling of Cascade 10.0.

Virtual Networks

Cascade 10.0. is designed to address performance management across all levels of a virtualised environment – including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), server virtualisation and fully virtualised data centres that use VMware’s VXLAN virtualisation technology for software-defined networks (SDNs).

Virtualisation technology in all areas of the data centre has proved a boon for enterprises, which have seen increases in efficiency and performance over the last decade as the trend has grown.

Networks, Infrastructure © Jakub Pavlinec Shutterstock 2012“One of the biggest movements we’re seeing in IT is the virtualisation movement,” Dimitri Vlachos, senior director of marketing and products at Riverbed’s Cascade Business Unit, told eWEEK. However, while performance and efficiency have greatly improved, virtualisation also has brought with it management headaches, Vlachos said.

Older network performance management solutions can’t give enterprises or server providers that kind of granular detail they need into how the applications in their networks are faring, he said. With that detail, enterprises and service providers can find and troubleshoot performance problems in virtualised environments.

The upgraded Cascade portfolio is designed to provide that deeper look. Enterprises can use the Cascade portfolio in their data centres, and service providers can offer the capabilities to customers in public, private and hybrid clouds, according to Riverbed officials.

With the VXLAN support, organisations can leverage Cascade 10.0 to monitor both physical and virtual networks through a single solution, Vlachos said. They also are able to control and understand VXLAN virtual overlay network performance and give businesses running what Riverbed officials call software-defined data centres a single view into the performance of their data centres and service-level agreements (SLAs).

“VXLAN enables enterprises to deploy virtual networks with the same simplicity and operational ease that they have grown to experience with virtual machines,” Jonathan Gohstand, director of product marketing for networking and security at VMware, said in a statement. “This latest collaboration between VMware and Riverbed brings the needed integration for visibility and performance management that can allow enterprises to adopt SDNs with confidence.”

New Offerings

Riverbed also is introducing two new offerings that help the company round out its portfolio of virtualised network performance management solutions.

The new Cascade Profiler Virtual Edition, which is installed as a virtual machine in VMware’s vSphere solution, becomes the central console for data about applications and the network collected by Riverbed’s Cascade Shark Virtual Edition and the new Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition. That data is employed to provide users with enterprise-wide service-level monitoring, according to Riverbed.

Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition collects flow data and statistics from network infrastructures and virtual environments. Taken together, the entire virtualised Riverbed Cascade product portfolio helps managed-service providers easily deploy application-aware network performance management capabilities as a service to small and midsized businesses and larger enterprises, the company said.

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