When it comes to superheroes, some are born with innate supernatural abilities and others are enhanced with powers accidentally. And then there are some, like Captain America, who have their performance augmented via unnatural means. So, in some ways, getting artificial performance boosts isn’t all that bad. For heroes, it’s the end result that truly matters—being able to overcome obstacles and threats for the better good.
Within the cloud-ready enterprise, enhancing application performance is a requirement for success, for satisfied customers, and for the bottom line. This is the job of the cloud hero, the individual or group who takes on the superhuman feat of unshackling applications so they can perform optimally. Applications built across hybrid infrastructures using various third-party microservices increase complexity—if a particular service is performing sub-par, this debilitation is reflected within the application experience as a whole. In fact, 89% of business executives say that poor application performance negatively impacts their business on a regular basis.
Think about Steve Rogers, the man behind the Captain America mask and shield. Prior to receiving a serum and ‘Vita-Ray’ treatment that enhanced his powers, he was weak and frail. But he had a desire to bridge the performance gap to which his body was limited. In much the same way, IT organizations find their efforts hampered by their current abilities compared to the desires of the business as a whole. While these groups know there are issues constraining an application’s performance, they often don’t know WHAT those issues are.
Just like injecting a performance-enhancing serum, IT, as well, needs to undergo a digital transformation to be able to morph business and technology practices into something heroic. There actually are advanced technologies in the form of Riverbed solutions to do the heavy-lifting of enterprise application optimization. Without these solutions, optimization efforts would require superhuman strength, something not left to ‘mere mortals.’
JLL, a Fortune 500 company and professional services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment management with annual revenues of $5.4 billion, needed to amplify their abilities as they centralized applications for 58,000 employees across 230 offices in 80 countries as well as moved from expensive MPLS networks to dual high-speed Internet links at every office. This IT crusade would have been expensive and time-consuming for the average human, so they turned to Riverbed solutions to enable the heroes within their organization.
‘Our professionals push our bandwidth to the limit,’ says Joe Ryan, Americas CTO for JLL. ‘Our clients expect rapid insights from us, and that means high performance. Even with 100 mbps connections, without Riverbed solutions in place, people would be screaming about poor application performance.’
Saving the day for JLL means being the guardian of employee productivity, something they achieved by optimizing application and network performance. ‘We view our investment in technology as an investment in our people,’ says Ryan. ‘We’re always out there looking at what’s new, what’s possible and making sure we’re taking advantage of it. Riverbed is a part of that.’
Often, our heroes approach challenges from all angles and attempt to divide and conquer using the best combination of superpowers. Such was the case for Sub-Zero, a leading manufacturer of luxury appliances, whose distributed enterprise led to an unwieldy sprawl of IT infrastructure across their corporate headquarters, primary datacenter, showrooms, manufacturing facilities, and other enterprise locations.
Much like The Avengers, it takes superpowers coupled with superheroes to vanquish shadow IT and disparate infrastructure and applications. A team and a consolidated approach are more efficient than individual efforts applied in a haphazard way.
For Erika Ferrell, Director of IT, re-grouping and bestowing Riverbed powers to her team was the best solution. Ferrell and team’s mission was to centralize IT management in their datacenter as well as standardize applications across the organization in order to ensure a uniform and positive end-user experience in all locations.
‘When I gave the marching orders to consolidate, one of the requirements was to make it positive for everybody involved,’ says Ferrell. ‘So, one of my requirements was speed. Whatever people accessed at the remote sites, I wanted it to feel like they were sitting at corporate.’
Ferrell and her team became the heroes of IT by deploying Riverbed solutions to optimize application performance at manufacturing plants and showrooms around the country, to accelerate cloud applications such as Office 365, and to give Sub-Zero’s IT team a single source of visibility and operational control for application performance. Together, the integrated Riverbed solutions reduced the amount of data going over the network by an average of 50% and accelerated SaaS apps as much as 5x.