Riverbed bolsters net mgmt. software for greater automation

Riverbed targets configuration, security and design with new release.

Riverbed tacked three new software modules onto its SteelCentral network management product today, broadening the features already available through that framework.

The company's announcement detailed the availability of NetAuditor, NetPlanner and NetCollector modules. The first is designed to improve configuration management, the second to provide robust planning and design capabilities for hybrid networks, and the last to work as an assistant to the other two, by providing real-time data management.

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The features added in the three new products seems to center on automated tools for configuration management and security Riverbed touts features on all three modules that are designed to simplify the day-to-day tasks of operating the network. NetAuditor automatically highlights config errors and differences, while NetPlanner can evaluate proposed network designs for misconfigurations or potential poor performance. NetCollector also tries to validate configurations via automatically collected data.

That focus is potentially very valuable to business users, according to Enterprise Management Associates research vice president Jim Frey.

"One of the common problems EMA hears about again and again is configuration drift where small, seemingly innocuous changes take place without centralized accountability," he told Network World via email. "Such drift can often result in unanticipated performance hits, or even outages."

Riverbed has achieved what Frey calls "one of the most complete stories" for a wide range of network management functionality in the industry with the advent of the new SteelCentral products. Critical to this is the ability to use SteelCentral in concert with the company's venerable SteelHead line of WAN optimization gear.

"Moving away from break-fix and towards proactive assurance as a standard mode of operations requires IT pros to address both sides of the visibility and control equation," Frey said.

Pricing is NetCollector from $25,000, NetAuditor from $80,000 and NetPlanner from $150,000.

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