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1 White Paper Application Visibility and Monitoring > An integrated approach to application delivery

2 Application performance drives business performance Every business today depends on secure, reliable information delivery. To ensure outstanding application performance across your enterprise, you have to identify and resolve problems before they impact the user experience or data security. But the complexity of today s distributed networks can obscure your visibility into performance problems. How can you tell if a slow application is related to bandwidth congestion, relocated servers, recreational traffic or a network attack? To identify the causes of performance problems, you need in-depth information about applications, such as their response times, performance metrics and service levels. However, few tools provide this level of detail. Typical network management products offer only a rough view of packets, ports and bandwidth, with no detailed application awareness to help you see and resolve problems. To help you achieve the level of application performance your business demands, you need total visibility into your network infrastructure so you can identify and monitor all your applications and resolve the issues that impede performance. The Application Delivery Network: Delivering intelligent network visibility and control An Application Delivery Network (ADN) infrastructure helps you optimize and secure the flow of information to any user, anywhere across your distributed enterprise. The ADN provides the comprehensive intelligent network control you need to improve application visibility, acceleration and security with three core capabilities: Application Performance Monitoring, WAN Optimization and Secure Web Gateway technologies. As a result, the ADN helps you: -> See applications and users and how they behave on the network, and troubleshoot performance issues. -> Accelerate mission-critical applications, streaming video, SSL and other enterprise traffic. -> Secure against malware, data leaks and performance degradation. -> Enable a highly efficient and productive end-to-end user experience. This white paper looks at the specific issues behind application performance problems and how to resolve them within an ADN environment. It explores how to deliver superior application performance by using application-level insight to manage bandwidth demand, protect against malware and accelerate critical transactions across your distributed network. 1 < >

3 Get complete visibility into your enterprise Information is the most vital asset to any global enterprise. And delivering the critical data your users need depends on fast, reliable applications. As you know, even brief downtime can result in lost business, diminished customer service and interruptions in the supply chain. Your business simply can t afford these losses, especially in a challenging business and economic environment where you need to contain costs, drive productivity and adapt to change faster than ever. That s why you need the visibility to identify and quickly resolve problems before they seriously impact business performance. Your monitoring tools should tell you if application sluggishness is caused by any of the following issues: -> Inadequate troubleshooting tools that are not performance-based or application-aware -> Increased application traffic due to expanded application size, user demand and media richness -> Encroaching recreational traffic such as Internet radio, MP3 and peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads, instant messaging, Web browsing, interactive gaming and more -> Converged voice, video and messaging applications that depend on the quality and consistency of network bandwidth -> Server consolidation that forces previously local traffic to use the WAN or Internet -> Ongoing security issues, such as malware and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, which are often a cause of network congestion If your existing tools don t provide this level of insight, you need intelligent solutions that help you maintain optimum application performance while anticipating problems that can impact the end-user experience. These tools should enable you to: -> Discover all network traffic: Network visibility is absolutely critical to delivering consistent application performance, but due to the complexities of network traffic, most IT managers are not aware of everything running across the WAN. Any network management strategy must help you identify application traffic and know how each activity affects network resources. -> Monitor applications: Measure bandwidth consumption, response times, how well applications perform and where delays originate. Not all network monitoring tools provide this level of detail, so you may need to evaluate your current tools for deficiencies in this area. -> Control bandwidth: To manage bandwidth allocation over the WAN and Internet, you need flexible control policies to protect critical applications, limit recreational use and 2 < >

4 block malicious traffic. To achieve this level of control, you need tools that go beyond packet marking and queuing and provide more comprehensive application management capabilities. -> Accelerate performance: Once you identify all the traffic on your network, you can allocate appropriate bandwidth to critical applications and restrict recreational traffic that impedes network performance. If you don t take the important first step of classifying network traffic, you risk accelerating applications or malicious traffic at the expense of business performance. Visibility: Know what s on your network Believe it or not, 70 percent of organizations do not know what is running on their network. This lack of awareness is not surprising since most network monitoring tools provide very limited application intelligence. These tools, such as probes, routers and acceleration equipment, map port numbers to applications but don t provide the application visibility IT needs to see and resolve problems. Get application-level insight To gain a better understanding of application performance, you need to see specific applications, servers, office locations and users. This information helps you distinguish between each application type and manage the bandwidth needed by business applications. However, simple IP address or static port schemes cannot provide detailed application information, and trying to identify applications based on port associations can be misleading. For instance, port 80 is typically associated with HTTP Web traffic, but it can also be used for streaming media, P2P music downloads and more. If you rely on port associations, how can you tell what is legitimate business activity and what is malicious or recreational usage? You also need a solution that s sophisticated enough to see inside subclassifications of applications. A desktop virtualization vendor, for example, delivers dozens of different applications and processes. The performance requirements of its print traffic vary from a real-time, published application, and you need to appropriately allocate resources to support both. Understand bandwidth demands When traffic discovery and true application-level classification capabilities are deployed on WAN links, many IT organizations discover for the first time that a significant chunk of their total WAN bandwidth often more than 50 percent 3 < >

5 is being consumed by non-business, recreational traffic, such as P2P, Internet videos and more. To manage these demands, you need to: -> Automatically detect and classify business and recreational applications. -> Identify top applications, users, servers, branch offices and Web destinations. -> Categorize network traffic by adding your own classification criteria and application definitions. -> Isolate all application types, including business-critical Web, XML and encrypted traffic. Monitoring: How are your applications performing? Network monitoring tools typically generate statistics, graphs and reports showing network utilization, top talkers, top listeners and more. While this information is useful from a network perspective, it does not provide a granular view into application-layer traffic. Without this information, you can t tell who is using which applications, and how much bandwidth is being consumed along the way. With application monitoring capabilities, you can identify and resolve performance problems by: -> Analyzing bandwidth usage, response times and the impact of configuration changes and sources of delay -> Tracking response times on both the network and server -> Setting standards for service levels and tracking compliance -> Monitoring conditions and taking action to correct, document and alert IT about problems -> Measuring, graphing and exporting more than 100 metrics for usage, availability, efficiency, response times, errors and diagnostics Meet user expectations Most businesses have several critical applications that drive revenue, such as SAP order entry and financial reporting, Oracle CRM, Citrix and financial trades or credit card transaction reporting. For those critical applications, it is important to set benchmarks that represent the expected user experience and ensure optimal business performance. For instance: -> Do application response times meet your users expectations? Do they meet committed service levels? -> Which applications are running on your WAN? Which use the most resources? 4 < >

6 -> How much of your bandwidth budget is consumed by business versus recreational traffic? -> Which users and branch offices are the top consumers of a particular application? -> Do remote locations get all the bandwidth they pay for? Do they need all of it? Are they using it efficiently? To help establish these benchmarks, you need to measure what is considered a great user experience either during normal operations or through a pilot test. Once established, you can use these benchmarks to create application service level agreements (SLAs) to measure application performance and quickly and effectively preempt problems. Next steps: Build a comprehensive application visibility and monitoring strategy Comprehensive visibility and monitoring capabilities can help you execute an application performance strategy that delivers an outstanding user experience across your enterprise. With the right solution, you can scale your deployment to more than 1,000 units across the distributed network. You can then aggregate metrics and create organization-wide reports on performance to protect and optimize the user s application experience while avoiding unnecessary purchases of additional hardware and bandwidth resources. Overall, application visibility and monitoring can help you: -> Define and deploy network-wide partitions and policies -> Distribute traffic classes for categories of applications -> Publish event definitions and monitor the status of all locations -> Proactively respond to application performance demands across the enterprise -> Manage multiple appliances simultaneously to reduce overhead and total cost of ownership (TCO) The Blue Coat Application Delivery Network: Get complete end-to-end application visibility across your network To help ensure consistent performance across all your business applications, Blue Coat ADN solutions deliver the intelligent control you need to secure and accelerate critical business applications. With Blue Coat, you can optimize application and network performance for any user, anywhere across a distributed enterprise. 5 < >

7 Blue Coat delivers unique insight into application performance particularly at bandwidth-constrained WAN links to help you stay focused on meeting business needs. Instead of searching frantically for the causes of performance delays, the Blue Coat ADN helps you quickly gather, sort, present, analyze and share information about bandwidth utilization response times, network efficiency, SLA compliance, hosts and applications. With this information, you can create and manage network-wide application performance policies with the same effort required to set policies on a single device. As a result, you can deliver the application performance your users demand with confidence, consistency and cost-effectiveness across your distributed network. With the ability to scale as your needs grow and change, the ADN gives you the flexibility to design a solution uniquely tailored to your infrastructure. You control costs by purchasing only the products and solutions you need, when you need them. Learn how implementing an Application Delivery Network can help your organization prepare for the next wave of converging IT and business challenges. Find out more at 6 < >

8 Blue Coat Systems, Inc BCOAT Direct Fax Copyright 2009 Blue Coat Systems, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this document may be reproduced by any means nor translated to any electronic medium without the written consent of Blue Coat Systems, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this document is believed to be accurate and reliable, however, Blue Coat Systems, Inc. assumes no responsibility for its use, Blue Coat is a registered trademark of Blue Coat Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and worldwide. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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