Unlock the blind spots in your network with Riverbed
IT modernization projects are like a journey that organizations must take to reach new heights of technological capability and operational efficiency.
For any successful journey, a clear vision is crucial – and that’s where Unified Observability comes in. It’s the compass that guides organizations through the maze of their end users, infrastructure and cloud services, allowing them to navigate and understand the performance of every component.
The significance of observability lies in its ability to promptly identify and address network issues, reducing downtime and ensuring optimal network performance. Additionally, observability provides organizations with valuable insights into user experience along with device, application and network performance, enabling data-driven decisions that help them optimize their IT environment.
As organizations continue their IT modernization journey, many report they lose visibility after conducting such projects. DEJ reported that 58% of organizations lost visibility into the digital service delivery chain after conducting modernization projects such as cloud migration, deploying microservices, adopting a cloud-native approach, and implementing new software delivery approaches.
This can happen for several reasons. One of the most common causes is a need for proper planning and design. Organizations may rush into a modernization project without fully understanding the complexity of their network infrastructure and how changes will affect their visibility.
We decided to investigate further, and spoke with Nick Kempt, the Customer Success Manager for APJ at Riverbed Technology, about how the dynamism of business workflows is affecting these ever-distributed IT environments. He noted that, specifically in ANZ, one of the major changes over the past few years has been the move to a cloud-first strategy for many customers.
“Historically, ANZ companies have relied on on-premises infrastructure and had teams in place to manage it. In recent years though, there has been a shift towards cloud-based solutions, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and managed services. As a result, companies are now consuming services, rather than managing and running them themselves,” he continued.
That’s not all. The big shift is the transition from working in an office to working remotely. In the past, employees worked in an office and were connected to on-premises infrastructure in a data center. Employees now may work from home or an office and consume services hosted in a company data center or in the cloud.
“It’s crucial to adjust visibility tools to cater to these different scenarios,” Nick advised. “This includes finding ways to ensure the performance of users working remotely, who may use their own home internet connection to access software-as-a-service directly from the cloud, without necessarily going through any company-managed infrastructure.”
This is where the ‘shift left’ strategy comes into play. It aims to automate common tasks, such as troubleshooting, to improve the efficiency and speed of issue resolution for service desk agents.
The goal of the ‘shift left’ strategy is not just to improve resolution time, but also to prevent issues from arising in the first place. Instead of waiting for a user to contact the service desk with an issue, the strategy aims to detect and automatically fix any issues on the device before the user is even aware of them. That way, it aims to optimize the workflow and improve the efficiency of the service desk by focusing on the more critical and time-consuming calls.
The importance of observability as cyberattacks are on the rise
It’s important to note that as the network boundaries become more porous with the rise of remote working and cloud computing, the risk of cyberattacks is also on the rise. This concern highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to visibility, not just for the network’s performance but also for the sake of security. Observability is particularly imperative for large enterprises as it allows them to understand the entire system, including the underlying infrastructure, applications, and services.
“You can’t secure what you can’t see,” Nick noted. “As an example we may detect that there is gigabytes of data being transmitted to the internet from a desktop in an office. This raises a question of whether this is normal behavior or not. Having the ability to monitor and understand the activity on a network, identifying abnormal patterns and take action swiftly is crucial.”
In the event of a security breach, it is possible to investigate the incident by tracing back the origin of the threat and determining which machines were communicating with a malicious IP address. Additionally, having a comprehensive forensic view of the network can aid in understanding the extent and history of the incident.
Riverbed’s approach to helping its customers
When asked to provide an example of a customer who has benefited from Riverbed’s approach, Kempt noted that many customers in the ANZ region have successfully used its tools for automation and other innovative purposes.
“A few years ago, we were involved in a significant infrastructure change program for a customer. The customer, a large regional organization, was centralizing services and as soon as these changes were implemented, users began to experience issues and complained. At the time, they didn’t have the necessary tools to provide visibility into the issues occurring at remote locations. This is when they began to explore our network performance management tools,” said Nick.
The implementation of network performance management tools allows for the analysis of flow and packet data to pinpoint the services and issues that are negatively impacting user experience when centralized. By examining metrics such as round-trip time, retransmissions, and quality of service, it becomes clear which issues are standing out and affecting user experience, which might be less apparent when the services are located closer to the users. By additionally monitoring user experience at a device level, you are able to compare the experience of users in office or at home, or compare the specific activities such as opening an excel file.
The success of Riverbed’s network performance management tools in improving the digital experience for the customer highlights the importance of having the right tools in place to identify and resolve issues. Building on this success, Riverbed’s latest product, Alluvio IQ unified observability service, takes this a step further by leveraging Riverbed’s end-to-end portfolio of tools that capture full-fidelity data, such as device, network information, and end user experience metrics.
Alluvio IQ uses this data to correlate and pinpoint the specific incident that requires attention and leverages low-code runbooks to automate troubleshooting processes, allowing for even faster identification and resolution of issues and further improving the digital experience for customers and employees.
Learn how Riverbed’s Alluvio IQ can improve your business’ digital experience by scheduling a free demo evaluation.
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