Packets Never Lie…

Riverbed has multiple global locations but our next #NFD19 stop for Tech Field Day took us to their office in San Francisco, California which included the following company representatives:

Before we get started, please take a moment to read Romain’s wonderful blog post Foskett’s Twelve: #NFD19.

Romain began the day with a company overview which included key updates.

  • 30K global customers including Hertz, Hilton, LinkedIn, United, SAS and Allianz
  • Recognized as a Leader in Magic Quadrant 15 times
  • 300K digital performance patents
  • Performance metrics include customer loyalty, sales, productivity, user experience and automation to name a few.
  • Challenges include Elevated User Expectations (customer blind spots\where to start\how to troubleshoot) and IT complexity (cloud options\leverage new cloud services)

Riverbed’s mission is to close the performance gap for the customer which involves two steps:

  • Step 1 – Manage End-to-End User Experience
    • Includes measuring from end point to application across the network (Device <—> Infrastructure <—> Applications)
  • Step 2 – Modernize the IT Infrastructure using Riverbed’s Portfolio
    • Digital Experience Management
      • Everything is measured via tools and solutions provided by Riverbed to improve their customer’s IT infrastructure
      • Next-Gen Infrastructure which includes closing the loop between the end user\application side and the network\IT infrastructure.

Riverbed’s products include the following:

  • Edge Computing
  • SD-LAN
  • WAN Acceleration
  • SD-WAN
  • Digital Experience Management

SteelCentral Aternity – an agent that can be deployed on Mac OSX or Windows to measure the end user experience. It tracks the applications installed in your environment to measure performance, tracks licenses and combats “Shadow IT”. Aternity can be used to troubleshoot application issues and an example of this would be Skype for Business. Metrics can be gathered to analyze call volumes, performance and trends. The problem(s) can then be isolated to determine if it’s an application or network related issue.

Romain’s next presentation covered Cloud Networking and Steelhead SD. Some of the factors that were discussed in this section included:

  • WAN Cost Reduction – one example, replacing a router with a new solution that uses less bandwidth which in turn reduces the cost
  • Cloud Adoption – workloads are being moved into the cloud (Azure\GCP\AWS) from data centers
  • Data Center Consolidation – reducing data centers which network impact considerations in mind
  • Streamline IT Processes – simplifying the needs of the business requirements because expectations have been elevated with faster turn around times (aka less down time)
  • DevOps Automation – various IT groups within an IT organization work collectively to improve the processes

Riverbed’s cloud networking portfolio is compromised of SD-WAN, SD-LAN and cloud connectivity. Automation is the driving force behind it all using the SteelConnect Manager solution that is an all-inclusive interface that manages everything from SD-WAN, SD-LAN and wireless while integrating additional tools that were obtained through the XIRRUS acquisition.

Steelhead Connect Manager (SCM) provides the flexibility to connect to various cloud providers with a one-click solution by attaching your SCM account to the cloud provider (in this example AWS) with your preferred options (rules\subnets\etc.) with a fully automated scalable solution.

Steelhead SD offers a streamlined WAN edge platform including scalability with a suite of applications. Moving forward, Riverbed offers 2 options (SteelConnect & SteelHead SD) to choose from that are still managed by SCM and both are interoperable so tunnels can be formed between all sites.

Riverbed’s goal is to simplify network integration.

Our next presenter was Zee Kallab and his focus was on SD-WAN Use Cases.

This session was strictly based on a Q&A discussion with a whiteboard integration (no slides).

To close out the Riverbed presentations, Brandon Carroll (former Tech Field Day delegate) provided the TFD delegates with a Riverbed Demo including a live hands on demonstration as long as we didn’t Burn Down The House (sorry I couldn’t resist).

To kick things off, Brandon provided access to his demo environment by assigning each delegate with access permissions using the Riverbed SteelConnect Manager dashboard.

From there, Brandon added a gateway by connecting an appliance (aka Shadow Appliance), configured the appropriate ports and then registered the appliance with its respective serial number. Shortly thereafter, the appliance is now LIVE and no longer considered a Shadow appliance.

The next step during the live demo was to apply security (firewall rules\access control\policies) to the sites using SCM w\ Zscaler integration.

From start to finish, the presentations were fantastic and I look forward to hopefully re-visiting w\ Riverbed and the representatives in the near future.

Riverbed also created an #NFD19 moment on Twitter which includes tweets and photos from the various attendees during the presentation. It’s great to see familiar faces and relive a great opportunity.

The names for each of the YouTube videos is listed below with a hyperlink for your convenience.

For more information about Riverbed, Tech Field Day and how to become a TFD – please click on the links below:

Please take a moment to subscribe to the YouTube channel which also includes watching the various videos that were posted throughout the day. Kudos to PrimeImage Media for recording the live sessions.

Credit also goes to Stephen Foskett, Tom Hollingsworth, Ben Gage, Mel Zura and the entire Tech Field Day staff for coordinating a seamless event.



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