Three can’t-miss posts from the Riverbed blog

We highlight some of the best insights from the online community of one of our key partners in the managed services space. Bookmark these URLs


Allstream and Riverbed have a lot in common: A focus on the corporate network, deep expertise in IT strategy and, not insignificantly, a thriving online community.

It was less than a year ago that Allstream and Riverbed partnered on bringing a managed WAN optimization service to the Canadian market using the San Francisco-based firm’s Steelhead appliances. This was only a few months after Allstream launched expertIP as a way of bringing value ideas and best practices to its customers. Riverbed, however, has a well-established blog of its own, where an array of subject matter experts weigh in on cloud computing, managed services, software-defined networking and much more.

If you’ve never visited the Riverbed blog before, here’s three great recent posts to get you started.

“Like musicians, IT people are specialists who come in and work on a single piece of the whole and will be replaced in the long term with composers who can orchestrate the whole from one place,” Clarke writes. ”The game of IT is changing, and with it, IT jobs are changing. Soon, people won’t want an expensive networking guru, a separate and expensive storage aficionado, another separate and equally expensive security person, not to mention the expensive application person.”

  • Everyone’s talking about big data, but sometimes the direct connection to the network isn’t very clear. Dorman Drewitz connects the dots in ‘Revisiting the Network as a Big Data Problem,’ where she outlines a five-step framework for better applying analytics. Although there is plenty of technology to help, she points out, human interpretation is a vital element here.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the same goes for data – a simple graph can convey not only a large volume of data, but tells the viewer a story much faster than sifting through thousands of rows in a spreadsheet,” Drewitz writes. “For network analysts, visualizing trends and patterns of the underlying flow and packet data is extremely powerful for identifying the ‘outliers.’”

  • Sneaky users who try to circumvent the IT department to deploy devices or software have been the bane of some CIO’s existence, but need not be the case. In a post that builds on a speech from former U.K. secretary of labour Robert Reiche, Robert Whitely offers ‘Three Ways You Can Evolve to Outcome-Oriented IT.’ The most surprising one? A suggestion to “embrace shadow IT”:

“Chances are you facing the harsh reality that individuals and business units now have tremendous IT decision making power. They’ll procure their own devices, SaaS apps, mobile apps, and even file storage. This trend is not reversing,” he writes. “But focusing on business outcomes allows you to partner with your business peers to measure the value of these investments. This also positions you as a consultant, advising them on how to optimize their own cost and, more importantly, performance.”

Learn more by downloading ‘WAN Optimization: Accelerating the Private Cloud,’ a white paper from Allstream.

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