Riverbed SteelCentral shines new light on application insight

Riverbed updates SteelCentral for more application insight; Broadcom expands switch analytics; Cisco adds to its security portfolio; and Akamai intros a WAN service to cloud providers

Riverbed Technology upgraded its SteelCentral performance monitoring tool, adding greater application insight to the platform. According to Nik Koutsoukos, vice president for product marketing at San Francisco-based Riverbed, the update includes expanded network and application visibility, broader infrastructure monitoring, mapping for Layer 2 and Layer 3 services, and additional support to help financial institutions meet their application performance requirements.

Riverbed sees trouble in the "war room," as IT professionals wrestle with application insight. Trying to manually correlate data can present challenges that fortify existing silos among network, application and DevOps teams, Koutsoukos said. To meet the goal to provide its customers with additional application insight, Riverbed is positioning SteelCentral as a central component that encompasses WAN operations, Web and software as a service applications.

Broadcom expands network analytics

Broadcom Corp., based in Irvine, Calif., rolled out a new version of its BroadView switch performance software. The product operates across a wide range of network hardware and software, building off Broadcom's StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk chip platforms.

"The rapid innovations in software-defined networking instrumentation call for a standardized interface to the switches that comprise the network," said Nick Kucharewski, vice president of Broadcom's network switch marketing. The software will enable data center operators to more easily access instrumentation and performance data among massive switch arrays, Kucharewski said, by using a combination of platform-agnostic API and reference controller implementations, powered by open source software.

Cisco extends security products

Cisco unveiled new security products tailored to cloud, shadow IT and endpoint safety. The new products include Cisco Cloud Access Security, which has been engineered to boost visibility and data security for cloud-based applications. Cisco also enhanced its Identity Services Engine so that it meshes with Cisco Mobility Services Engine, permitting IT administrators to enforce room-based location policies. Finally, Cisco is rolling out a new threat assessment offering, called Threat Awareness Service, which highlights potential security issues that may require additional attention.

The latest move from Cisco comes as the company sees increasingly complex threats that may target its customers. As cybercriminals become more adept, simple zero-day attacks are giving way to expansive attacks on switches, routers and even data centers.

Akamai launches Cloud Networking

Akamai Technologies Inc. rolled out a new slate of WAN optimization and delivery services. The new offering, Akamai Cloud Networking, is aimed at service providers and WAN vendors, and is built on the vendor's existing caching and WAN optimization framework, according to Frank Childs, director of product marketing at Akamai, based in Cambridge, Mass.

New features within Cloud Networking revolve around improving and more adequately securing the delivery of applications between data centers and branch offices. Cloud Networking will also feature a secure Web gateway functionality, bolstered by Akamai's recent acquisition of Bloxx, to provide URL filtering and malware detection.

Childs said Akamai will add other technologies to Cloud Networking over the next six to nine months, expanding the number of WAN and networking capabilities it already incorporates in its platform from vendors such as Cisco and Riverbed Technology.

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