Category Archives: Riverbed

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What’s the Rx for DX?

Category : Riverbed

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 | 11:00am PT | 2:00pm ET


In today’s marketplace, enterprises must become adept at Digital Transformation (DX) or risk obsolescence. But, how do they overcome the IT complexities that often plague digital businesses while ensuring exceptional customer experiences?

Digital Experience Management (DEM) provides a remedy that’s customer-centric, while improving visibility and control over multi-cloud environments, application performance, and end-user experience.

Join IDC and Riverbed to explore:

  • The cures to challenges that impede digital transformation success
  • Key opportunities to accelerate time to market and improve the quality of digital experiences
  • Technology capabilities required for effective Digital Experience Management

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Excellence in Omnichannel Customer Experience: A Retail Success Story

Category : Riverbed

Is it just me? Or did the holiday shopping period start even earlier this year? Holiday commercials arrived on TV weeks before we even started to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Retailers are focusing, as usual, on providing an omnichannel customer experience. Their goal is to present a high quality user experience with their brand, no matter how customers engage with them.

To deliver an omnichannel customer experience, retailers aim to seamlessly integrate all available shopping channels. These include catalogs, TV, radio, brick and mortar stores, contact centers, the Internet, mobile, and social media. This integration supports customers as they move through the buying cycle, from discovery to trial, purchase, pick-up, and, in some cases, returns.

Doing so is easier said than done. But leading retailers are making it happen. Just look at Travis Perkins plc, the UK’s largest supplier of materials to the building, construction, and home improvement markets. With the help of SteelCentral Aternity, Travis Perkins plc is executing on a successful omnichannel customer experience.

Delivering an omnichannel customer experience requires monitoring end user experience

Seamless integration of customer shopping channels requires IT investments in a variety of areas—mobile, security, social media, analytics, etc. But it’s clear that a marketer’s focus on omnichannel customer experience must go hand-in-hand with an IT focus on end user experience.


Aternity End User Experience Monitoring

Aternity monitors end user experience for any type of enterprise app running on laptops, PCs, VDI, or mobile devices

To facilitate this type of customer experience, IT must take a user-centric approach to end user experience management. Just as the customer is at the center of omnichannel retailing, the end user must be at the center of the performance monitoring strategy.

This requires the ability to ensure excellent end user experience for all of the applications and any of the devices on which a customer relies for their purchase decision. Web and mobile are just a start. End user experience monitoring must also extend to the point-of-sale (POS) applications at kiosks and at registers in the stores and customer relationship management (CRM) apps used in contact centers.

A million dollar success story

You can read the full Travis Perkins plc success storyon the web, so I’ll just summarize some of the key points here.

The IT team at Travis Perkins is executing a digital strategy that will not only improve internal productivity, but also provide the best possible customer service for its colleagues. IT is focused on delivering an excellent omnichannel customer experience for the business critical applications used by both customers and the workforce throughout their 2,000 location presence in the UK.

Like many IT organizations, the separate IT teams had purchased a variety of domain specific monitoring tools to look at the portion of the infrastructure under their responsibility. But they recognized that they lacked visibility into the actual end user experience of the workforce, as colleagues interacted with customers in the design centers or in the store check-out lines.

IT knew that measuring infrastructure up-time is necessary, but not sufficient, for delivering an excellent end user experience. As Phil Wood, Head of Service Operations, said, “You can have all the technology working, but if the customer is not having a good experience, that’s where you start to lose sales and start to lose confidence in your brand.”

Watch this short video to see how Travis Perkins uses Aternity:

The team at Travis Perkins expects that their use of Aternity will produce quantifiable business benefits. Measuring actual end user experience in the branches and stores rather than blindly upgrading WAN circuits serving those locations enables Travis Perkins to project a $1M to $1.5M avoided WAN costs over the coming year.

Aternity addresses key End User Experience Management use cases for retailers

As the Travis Perkins video case study illustrates, Aternity addresses some key End User Experience Management use cases. You can see exactly how to use Aternity in these scenarios by clicking on the respective use case.

See the graphic below for an illustration of how other companies in retail and packaged goods have used Aternity to address their critical use cases.

End User Experience Monitoring use cases

SteelCentral Aternity addresses key use cases for retail and consumer packaged goods

Begin your path to delivering an excellent omnichannel customer experience today!

If you’re ready to take the next step on your omnichannel customer experience, you can try Aternity End User Experience Monitoring for yourself. Register here for instant access to Aternity in our cloud environment and take a self-guided tour of the key digital experience management use cases.


Author: Mike Marks

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How Companies do Digital Experience Measurement

Category : Riverbed

Every IT leader would agree that delivering an excellent digital experience is a primary goal of digital transformation. After all, if investments in cloud and mobile do not improve the digital experience of customers and other end users, what good are they? As management guru Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” So it’s important to measure digital experience. We wondered how people were doing this. So, over the past week, we ran a digital experience measurement poll on Twitter. We asked how people know that their digital transformation initiatives are actually delivering better digital experience.

The results are in: different approaches to digital experience measurement

If you were hoping for a definitive answer, we’re sorry to disappoint. Sorry, but not necessarily surprised. Effective measurement is one of the key obstacles to successful Digital Experience Management. There are many different reasons for this.

  • Enterprises have broad portfolios of business critical apps which must deliver excellent digital experience. IT must support the full range of enterprise applications – web, mobile, and apps running in the cloud, on virtual infrastructure, and legacy client-server environments.
  • Enterprises have a variety of end users whose digital experience matters. Not just customers and the workforce. But also partners and suppliers. Measuring the impact of digital transformation on each of these populations requires different approaches.
  • Many teams play a role in ensuring excellent digital experience, and each requires a different set of metrics and analytics. So a digital experience measurement approach that works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for all.

Let’s take a look at each of the poll responses and analyze them for effective digital experience measurement.

Getting fewer complaints

Getting fewer complaints from end users sounds good on the surface. If people aren’t complaining, they must be happy, right? Well, maybe not. Just ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a teenager’s “silent treatment.”

Maybe your end users have given up complaining and are suffering in silence. Worse yet, maybe they’ve given up complaining to you, and have moved to a competitor. What you don’t know CAN hurt you.

If your service desk relies on end users complaints to learn of problems with poor digital experience, you’re at high risk for failure. Measuring the number of trouble tickets or user complaints received is useful. But it’s a poor substitute for measuring what end users actually see as they interact with your website or business critical apps. Watch this video to see how to proactively identify and resolve end user issues remotely and non-invasively.

Monitoring app usage

Monitoring the usage of business critical apps is a solid step up from measuring the number of user complaints. After all, tracking the number of downloads of your latest mobile app, or the traffic on your website is a good indicator of the volume of users. But when it comes to digital experience management, this approach still falls short. Tracking usage without tracking performance is like measuring quantity without measuring quality.

Application performance monitoring tools can help you ensure your users receive an excellent digital experience for their app transactions. And combining End User Experience Monitoring and Application Performance Management, as SteelCentral does with AppInternals and Aternity, can enable you to achieve this goal.

Tracking user experience
Tracking user experienceThe 24% of respondents who made this selection are on the right track for effective digital experience measurement. Measuring the user’s experience, what they actually see, as business critical applications render on their device screen, is the truest measure of digital experience. It’s critical to measure the digital experience of every type of user – customer, employee, partner, and supplier. And IT must measure the digital experience for every type of business critical application in the portfolio. Not just web and mobile.

There are a several methods of End User Experience Monitoring, so be sure to use the approach that meets all of your requirements. Unlike other products, SteelCentral Aternity measures IT from the point of consumption, the user’s device. This enables IT to understand the experience of end users for every type of business critical application in the portfolio.

Trying to figure it out

At 31%, this was the largest group of respondents. Thank you for your honesty! If you’re in this group, don’t despair! Measuring digital experience is complicated, and the results show that you’re not alone!

Take the first step to Digital Experience Measurement

As a first step to seeing a better way, try Aternity End User Experience Monitoring for yourself. Register here for instant access to Aternity in our cloud environment and take a self-guided tour of the key digital experience management use cases.

If your digital transformation efforts include mobile, be sure to attend our recent webinar on Mobile APM on how to ensure a 5 star digital experience for your mobile apps, even in a BYOD environment.

Does BYOD Mean Bring Your Own Dissatisfaction Webinar


Author: Mike Marks

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Riverbed and Zscaler Power the Transformed Enterprise

Category : Riverbed

Legacy security and networking approaches have no place in the world of cloud and mobility. As companies embark on their digital transformation journey, they must address two core challenges – how do I get my users to their destination quickly and securely without increasing my costs?

 The answer isn’t always easy. The methods that worked when the data center was the primary destination don’t work in the world of cloud and mobility.

Customers tell us, and research supports, that more than 70% of all network traffic is destined for the Internet – be it a www site, a SaaS app or public cloud. But most companies are still relying on backhauling traffic and using traditional security appliances to inspect traffic and ensure that users reach their destination securely.

This is killing innovation, productivity, and in the end having a direct impact on the bottom line of organizations that need to improve the agility and performance of their infrastructure to stay ahead of the competition and deliver a fast and secure experience for customers and employees.

Today, Riverbed and Zscaler announced a partnership that squarely addresses these two core challenges.

Jay Chaudhry takes stage at Riverbed Disrupt on November 2, 2017

We were proud to have our own CEO, Jay Chaudhry, present with senior executives from Riverbed and IDC at this years’ Disrupt conference, focused on accelerating cloud-first and digital transformation strategies.  Together with Hansang Bae, CTO at Riverbed, they showcased the joint integration from Riverbed and Zscaler that helps enterprises overcome the legacy network and security architecture challenges they face as they embark upon their journey to the cloud.

Riverbed simplifies network management and optimizes traffic flow, leveraging multiple network paths to reduce dependence on costly MPLS backhauling. Riverbed SteelConnect enables organizations to break out internet bound traffic locally at the branches and route it directly to Zscaler.

Zscaler secures internet bound traffic by delivering the full stack of security and access controls as a cloud service. Unlike traditional appliance-based security approaches, there is no need to need to buy, deploy, and manage security appliances or VNFs in all branch locations, which means you can add and deploy new security services across all locations in minutes, and there are no security compromises. Security and access policies follow the user and ensures identical protection, wherever your users connect.

Together, Zscaler and Riverbed enable more flexible network and security architectures that allow enterprises to rapidly adopt cloud services and transform their network and branch operations. As a result, users get fast and secure access to applications, and businesses can quickly and efficiently take advantage of evolving market opportunities.

We want to thank Riverbed again for hosting and including us in such a successful event; we are excited to build this partnership and deliver great value to our joint customers.


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Riverbed SD-WAN is Simple

Category : Riverbed

Keep your SD-WAN simple. Enjoy SD-WAN capabilities in the cloud with a single click with Riverbed SteelConnect.

Learn more at

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Five Reasons Your Digital Experience Management Strategy Could Fail

Category : Riverbed

You can be sure your CEO has digital experience on his or her radar. According to Gartner’s 2017 CEO Survey, CEOs are more focused this year on how technology and product innovation drive company growth. In the last few years of Gartner’s CEO survey, technology has never ranked so high on the list of CEO priorities. So the pressure is on IT to deliver excellent digital experiences. But this is easier said than done. Here are five reasons why your digital experience management strategy could fail.

1. Application complexity

Although Gartner’s survey shows that CEOs are relying on technology to drive growth, it also shows that they rank technology impediments as the #2 internal constraint to growth. How can technology be both a driver of growth and an impediment to it? Application complexity is one major reason. Application performance management is more challenging than ever before.

  • Applications must scale based on demand and remain highly responsive 24/7 across geographies. Innovative applications interact with legacy applications, so IT must support the full portfolio—web, mobile, apps running in the cloud, on virtual infrastructure, and legacy client-server environments.
  • End users and customers no longer interact with static applications at discrete times. They interact continuously with applications whose architectures have evolved to become modular, distributed, and dynamic.

2. The expanding population of end users

End User Experience Management is also more complex. Customers aren’t the only ones whose digital experience matters. The Gartner definition of Digital Experience Monitoring also includes employees, partners, and suppliers. If that weren’t enough of a challenge, the advent of IoT requires IT to ensure an excellent digital experience for machines as well!

3. Different teams have different goals

According to a recent EMA Digital Experience Management report, 59% of enterprise leaders agree that IT and the business share the responsibility for Digital Experience Management. Although they share responsibility for ensuring excellent digital experience, groups within IT and the business have specific needs which vary greatly, depending on their roles.

  • Business executives must ensure they meet goals for revenue, customer satisfaction, and workforce productivity.
  • IT executives need to staff their teams efficiently to architect and support digital business initiatives, ensure technology investments are made appropriately, and hold IT vendors accountable to SLAs that meet customer objectives.
  • IT and Network Operations teams must ensure the network and infrastructure can support new services, identify and resolve issues quickly, and understand the impact of problems on digital experience.
  • DevOps teams must release new apps and digital services quickly, identify and resolve issues in test and QA, and ensure excellent application performance perform in real-world environments.
  • Cloud architects need to plan, design, and implement the infrastructure to support new services, and scale up and down as demand changes.
  • End User Services teams require visibility into the digital experience of customers, employees, partners, and suppliers to identify and triage issues before users call to complain.

4. A variety of analytics are required to measure success

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Management expert Peter Digital Experience AnalyticsDrucker’s famous saying applies equally well to tracking the success of a Digital Experience Management initiative. With varying responsibilities, each group in IT and the business requires different metrics and analytics to indicate their progress in achieving their Digital Experience Management goals.

Digital Experience Monitoring tools must therefore supply a broad set of business and technical analytics, such as application performance, network performance, infrastructure capacity analysis, and end user productivity across the extended enterprise.

5. The IT monitoring visibility gap

IT-Monitoring-Visibility-GapAs IT organizations respond to CEO priorities and roll out new services to drive growth, they need a cross-domain understanding of applications, the networks and infrastructure on which they run, and the impact they have on end user experience.

But the typical enterprise has from 4-15 different network monitoring tools, which complicates troubleshooting, change management, and other aspects of service level management. While these tools provide insight into the performance and availability of their particular domain, they lack visibility into the actual digital experience of customers, the workforce, partners and suppliers.

Addressing Digital Experience Management challenges

An effective Digital Experience Management approach closes this visibility gap and enables you to measure the end user experience of the entire population of end users. Each group within IT and the business gets the metrics and analytics they need to ensure a successful digital experience outcome.

When it comes to meeting or exceeding your CEO’s expectations for driving growth, the key is to ensure you have an effective Digital Experience Management strategy. Failing to do so could mean lost revenue, lost productivity, and even irreparable damage to a company brand. In the next few weeks, we’ll extend this Digital Experience Management series to show you how Riverbed SteelCentral can help.


Author: Mike Marks

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SD-WAN. Oversimplified.

Category : Riverbed

Technology can be extremely complex. And while software and hardware developers strive to improve the features and usability of their applications and services, often increased complexity doesn’t always translate to better usability.

Smartphones are a great example. As the race to fasterand better continues, manufacturers are packing their devices with options that I would guess a majority of users would never use.

We are all creatures of habit and most of us tend to stay in that “safe zone” of things that we truly understand. Adoption takes time and occurs only when the benefits outweigh the perceived risks.

When I approach technology, I try to understand it so that I can explain it in an oversimplified way. This approach may not work for those wanting to get “in the weeds” with technical jargon or engineering-esque diagrams. But for those wanting to understand a term or concept better, at least initially, it often helps to provide more simplistic examples, metaphors, or similes to make the concept stick.

If you can explain the concept to someone else, perhaps a less-technical person in this case, and they actually understand it, that means you understand it (unless of course you completely miss the mark, but that’s another story altogether).

With my work at Riverbed, I’m surrounded by technical experts. I take lots of notes and ask a lot of stupid or obvious questions (a thing I learned in school). Only through dialog and asking questions can you truly learn. And as you learn, you must make concepts personal enough to truly understand them.

Understanding SD-WAN

Let’s take a look at the concept of the software-defined wide area network (“SD-WAN” for short). Many of my colleagues have written wonderful articles explaining this technology. Take Mark Woods’ article, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SD-WAN Architecture (But Were Afraid to Ask).” This humorous, yet informative piece dives into many of the key elements to know about when approaching SD-WAN.

Or give Vivek Ganti’s post, “Make Networking Great Again? Sure, I’m with SD-WAN,” a read as it provides a more technical explanation with real-world scenarios on the old way of configuring WANs using command line interface (CLI) versus the new, easy way using SD-WAN and network policies.

And there is Akshay Kakar’s, “SD-WAN: A Brief Introduction,” which outlines how SD-WAN saves the day with capabilities designed to simplify WAN management.

Each of these articles provides different perspectives on and insights into the important capabilities of SD-WAN and the solutions it provides.

But I wanted to take a step back and talk about SD-WAN from a potentially oversimplifiedstandpoint. I would like to offer two, real-world examples.

Networking at home

If you are the family “tech expert” (a hat I happen to wear), you will undoubtedly be asked to fix technology issues affecting the family. Visits to parents’ homes frequently are met with “our Wi-Fi isn’t working” or “the printer isn’t connected.” Or, perhaps, you have smaller kids and need an easy way to regulate their online time and activities.

Unfortunately, consumer devices and services seem to be well behind the capabilities available to enterprises when it comes to managing networks. There are individual or point solutions available for managing networks within a specific home. But again, wouldn’t visits to the family be much better if they were truly that? Visits and not tech support calls?

And wouldn’t it be nice to manage your entire family’s extended network, regardless of location, from the comfort of your browser at your own home? Oh, and while you’re at it, configure your kids’ Internet activities and policies?

Or what if your children have families of their own? Wouldn’t it be nice to ship them a device, have them just plug it in, and suddenly have those same rules and policies automatically configured?

This is what SD-WAN can do for companies. And it can do it now. Policy definition. Remote deployment of networking rules. Easy-to-configure-and-understand network and Wi-Fi settings. Ship and auto-configure networking devices. Single-pane-of-glass management of all connected locations. Remote troubleshooting capabilities. And that’s just the beginning.

Just think if this type of solution were available to consumers (and families). Visits become about people again. Precious time could be served in more advantageous ways and not rewiring and configuring systems. Ah, the good life.

Brick & mortar versus click & deliver

Another example comes to mind. And it talks to the evolution of tasks using technology in much the same way WAN management has moved from the old way of command line configuration of individual routers, to a new, software-defined approach of managing network topologies.

Online shopping has transformed how we manage our inventory of consumables. Let’s first think about the old way of shopping. Those who were efficient created shopping lists to make the physical journey to a store a more effective process. You defined the items you needed in a list, journeyed to that specific location where the goods could be obtained, purchased those items, and then returned home.

But, groceries could only be obtained at a grocery store. Similarly, you could only purchase consumer electronics at a retailer specializing in just that. Clothes at a department store. Or toys at a toy store. What that meant was different lists for each store and distinct trips to those individual stores.

The “old” way of configuring networking equipment is actually quite similar. Instead of specific shopping lists, you have lines of code (issued via CLI) that need to be sent to specific routers in order for configurations to be changed or updated. Those individual routers are much like the individual stores. So, while in the end, you did get the job done (of buying the things you needed or configuring individual routers), it took a long time.

And what if you forgot to put an item on a list? That would require another trip to the store (or yet another configuration update on a router). Or what if you bought the wrong thing (lists can be erroneous or inaccurate)? That would mean you have to return the item (another trip back to the store). Similarly, errors in CLI updates can be potentially devastating to corporations and troubleshooting is equally complex.

Online shopping transforms this buying process, much like how SD-WAN simplifies the process of WAN management. From the convenience of a single portal, you can compile lists across a broader range of options. You can fine-tune those lists to your liking, regardless of the selection type, and then when you have double-checked everything, purchase it all at once.

The beauty of online ordering is, your specific orders are sent to the vendors in many locations for fulfillment. It doesn’t matter if your goods are coming from the next city, the next state, or across the country. And it appears at your doorstep in a set amount of time, almost magically. Want to cancel or change an order? Do it through the ordering portal. No need to make an additional trip back to a physical store.

SD-WAN works in a similar way, albeit, this shopping example is a bit of an oversimplification. Instead of individual routers, you define business rules to manage all routers in many locations. When making a change or update to a network policy, it is all driven by changes within the management portal which propagate out to all locations. If you make a mistake in your configurations, you can quickly issue a policy update to correct it across the organization. It is managed by software which allows it to be more dynamic and efficient.

You don’t care how your orders get to you. You only care about getting your actual orders (and without numerous trips to the store). Similarly, your networks are defined easily by software, not by individual, error-prone updates issued one-by-one. You manage your WAN through group policies that are automatically distributed across your infrastructure.

SD-WAN. Oversimplified explanations. Powerful solutions.

So yes, these two examples are a bit of an oversimplification of the true power of SD-WAN. There is tremendous control, flexibility, and ease-of-use built into the Riverbed SD-WAN solution. The examples above merely scrape the surface as a means of introduction to this technology solution.

If this type of WAN-management technology intrigues you or you feel it might be a good fit to your organization, I encourage you to dive deeper by reviewing some of our customer success stories or use cases, reading some white papers or analyst reports and, most importantly, asking questions. While this technology is rapidly evolving, it is also a key catalyst in the digital transformation businesses are undergoing.



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Riverbed Future of Networking Global Survey 2017

Category : Riverbed

Riverbed Global Survey Reveals Insights from 1,000 Business and IT Decision Makers

Findings include:

Legacy Networks are a Barrier to Success

97% say their legacy network infrastructure will have difficulty keeping pace with changing demand of cloud and hybrid networks.

IT Decision Makers Recognize the Need for SD-WAN

98% agree in the next two years, SD-WAN will be critical to next-generation networks and helping to manage cloud and hybrid networks.

Tipping Point for SD-WAN is Near

93% over the next two years, SD-WAN technology is expected to jump from 4% to over 52%, and then up to 93% within four years.

Download Report

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Extend Cloud Resources to the Azure-Ready Edge

Category : Riverbed

Riverbed has long been optimizing application delivery over any distance to remote locations for over 15 years. We know that these remote and branch offices (ROBOs) are the engines that drive the organizations, however maintaining a mix of cloud-based, and on-prem infrastructure to deliver applications and data has stretched IT resources to keep up with the demands of the business. Recent research from ESG indicates that over 91% of IT professionals say that incorporating cloud-based applications into their portfolio of corporate applications has increased the complexityassociated with managing ROBOs.

Sneak preview of Azure-Ready Edge at Microsoft Ignite 2017….

In partnership with Microsoft, Riverbed will introduce the Azure Ready Edge in early 2018 to address these challenges for IT Leaders. The solution extends the benefits of Azure cloud storage to edge sites by delivering flexible, secure, and anytime/anywhere application access to augment or completely eliminate traditional data center infrastructure.


Please come visit the Riverbed booth (#709) at Microsoft Ignite for a demo preview of this game changing solution. We will showcase the following:

  • The simplicity of Azure-to-edge operations with Hyper-V based VMs and Azure storage instantly provisioned to any site
  • Instant site or data recovery in the Azure cloud to any edge site
  • Enhanced orchestration workflow to manage multiple environments

The Riverbed SteelFusion solution has already made the concept of Zero Edge IT a reality for over 1200 enterprises with traditional data center or hybrid cloud environments. In 2014 when we introduced SteelFusion, we likened it a smartphone where all your productivity apps, contacts, personal data are consolidated in the cloud. There’s no need for a backpack full of servers and storage that you’d have to tote around wherever you went. This concept applies even more so today with Edge Computing gaining momentum as the preferred operational model for more organizations. The Azure-Ready Edge will be the ideal solution for this shift.





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Is APM the Missing Link in YOUR DevOps Tool Chain?

Category : Riverbed

Deliver superior digital experiences with lifecycle performance insights

The DevOps movement continues to gain momentum in the digital economy, as businesses race to develop and deliver cutting-edge digital services—faster and more effectively than the competition. And while cultural and process changes are at the heart of DevOps, a variety of technologies are essential to driving success.

One critical, yet often overlooked link in the DevOps tool chain is application performance management (APM). Well known for its value in troubleshooting and resolving issues in production, many DevOps-oriented teams are now utilizing APM tools across the software development lifecycle to improve collaboration and efficiency while ensuring higher-quality releases and stronger business outcomes.

Attend this webinar hosted by Riverbed and Enterprise Management Associates to explore:

  • The latest trends surrounding DevOps and its enabling technologies
  • How APM can integrate with other DevOps tools to drive improved efficiencies
  • Key use cases for leveraging APM data across the application lifecycle