Riverbed creates user interfaces for business managers

Company simplifies overall look and feel of GUIs

WAN optimization provider Riverbed Technology announced Monday a new set of interfaces aimed at helping company executives and business managers understand how well their applications are meeting business service levels.

The company said it has enhanced the management screens in its Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS), v6.5, and Cascade v9.0 network and application performance analysis tool. The upgrades should provide end users with business-level visibility and control for all types of traffic and applications, according to Nik Rouda, director of solutions and vertical marketing at Riverbed.

"We've added service-level dashboards that give executives insight into what's happening with their network performance. Certainly people like storage admins, network architects and IT directors rely on that information today ... but what we've added is the ability to communicate upward and give different heads of business the ability to see how they're meeting [service level agreements]," Rouda said.

For example, a business unit manager would be able to call up an e-mail server in a particular region and see if it is meeting an SLA.

Riverbed's new dashboards use a simple color scheme to show whether SLAs are being met.

"They don't want router capacity or to look at any particular technical piece of data," Rouda said.

Along with the dashboard view, Riverbed added two other tools to its Cascade application: a service discovery wizard, that shows what pieces of the infrastructure go into delivering an application - from storage and servers to network routers and end users; and the ability to track SLAs against business objectives.

In conjunction with the ability to view how infrastructure is meeting SLAs, Riverbed is also offering new tools to control system performance and protect critical business applications.

In its RiOS v6.5 software, the company offers the ability for business managers to tweak bandwidth for mission critical data streams, such as replication between data centers for disaster recovery and business continuity. By the same token, managers can narrow bandwidth for less critical applications, such as printer and e-mail workloads.

"So this is allowing managers the ability to control priority traffic and align it with the needs of, say, storage," Rouda said.

Riverbed's new dashboard allows business managers and executives to see application performance levels in easy-to-understand graphics

For example, a business unit manager could increase bandwidth to data replicating using EMC 's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility software. "No doubt he would want to reach out to the storage administrator first," Rouda added.

Riverbed also announced its products compatibility with Internet Protocol version 6, to optimize traffic using network-attached storage, iSCSI and FCiP (Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol) protocols.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

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