Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, announced at Riverbed FORCE 2014 the next-generation of two Riverbed flagship products – Riverbed SteelHead 9.0 and Riverbed SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 – to deliver the most complete visibility, control, and optimisation solution to accelerate performance of on-premises, cloud, and SaaS applications.

The new solution provides optimisation for any app, unmatched visibility from the data centre to the cloud, and simplified control across hybrid networks with network path selection capabilities that make it easy to group applications via business-intent policies. These new innovations and tighter integrations between SteelHead and SteelCentral enhance the Riverbed Application Performance Platform – the most complete platform that enables CIOs to deliver, control, and optimise all IT resources across the hybrid enterprise.

“This announcement offers breakthrough innovations, and Riverbed is now poised to do for cloud and SaaS applications what we’ve done for more than 1100 applications across the wide area network for the last decade,” says Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed chairman and CEO.

“With these new solutions, Riverbed is continuing to deliver on our vision of enabling hybrid enterprises to transform application performance into a competitive advantage by maximising employee productivity and leveraging IT to create new forms of operational agility.”

Hybrid architectures and SaaS applications bring significant benefits to organisations, however at the same time, create challenges for CIOs who need full visibility across all networks and applications and must deliver an optimal and consistent end-user experience – regardless of where the application or network resources reside.

“In this new paradigm of anywhere and anytime connectivity, enterprise IT is struggling to control and monitor this new level of connectivity, and effectively maintain critical SLAs,” says Brad Casemore, research director for Datacenter Networks, IDC. “As the level of complexity continues to grow, enterprise IT must invest in solutions, which allow them to achieve the same level of control and visibility for all connections, whether they originate from the data centre, the branch, a mobile device or a SaaS application.”

SteelHead 9.0 extends Riverbed’s decade-long industry leadership in WAN optimisation, delivering up to 100x performance improvements, with new levels of visibility, control, and optimisation for hybrid enterprises.
Provides unmatched visibility from the data centre to the cloud – SteelHead 9.0 integrates with SteelCentral AppReponse 9.5 to provide visibility of on-premises, cloud, and SaaS apps.

Bringing deeper visibility into the end-user experience, SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 is the only solution to measure end-user experience for both SteelHead-optimised and non-optimised enterprise web and SaaS applications for faster, more effective monitoring, and troubleshooting.

Simplifies application and network control – SteelHead 9.0 makes it easy to group applications according to their type and business priority to automate SLA activation for different types of apps. And, it brings centralised, application-driven control of hybrid networks with “business intent”-based policies that make it easy to configure and manage path selection, quality of service (QoS), and secure transport.

With Path Selection, SteelHead 9.0 intelligently derives all network paths and, based on business needs then prioritises, secures and delivers business-critical applications over the fastest networks, while less critical applications are sent over the Internet. For example, Microsoft Lync voice traffic can be delivered over MPLS, while Lync video traffic is directed to the Internet.

With these new capabilities, enterprises can deliver applications with the appropriate SLAs to meet their business needs, using a mix of networks to balance cost and speed for apps and data of differing priorities.

Optimises, automates, and secures delivery of additional SaaS apps – To optimise applications to their maximum potential, the solution has to be able to recognise them. SteelHead 9.0 identifies over 1,100 applications – on-premises, cloud, and SaaS – which can be optimised for maximum productivity. Riverbed is rapidly expanding the number and type of applications that SteelHead recognises, with a particular focus on SaaS apps.

Geo IQ for Microsoft Office 365 – The latest release of SteelHead 9.0 also offers Geo IQ for Microsoft Office 365, which ensures users are always connected to the native mailbox for optimal performance no matter where the Office 365 mailbox or the user is located.

“Today, enterprises are challenged by the complexity of multiple clouds, networks, service providers, SLAs, end-users everywhere, and application sprawl, all of which is resulting in lack of visibility to ensure a consistent experience for end-users,” says Paul O’Farrell, vice-president and GM, SteelHead Products Group at Riverbed.

“With the announcements of SteelHead 9.0 and SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5, Riverbed is providing visibility and control for applications to end-users anywhere they’re located, enabling CIOs to fully enjoy all the business benefits of the hybrid enterprise.”