Recognizing the increase in virtualization at the network and data center levels, Riverbed Technology (RVBD) has introduced a virtual version of its Cascade Express performance monitoring appliance.

“The virtual edition deploys easily and has all the same features as the hardware appliance,” said Heidi Gabrielson, senior product marketing manager at Riverbed. It’s a great solution for companies that have embraced virtualization.”

The Cascade Express 460 Virtual Edition is the only virtual performance monitoring solution that provides visibility into VMware (VMW) NSX—a plus for companies deploying and using software-defined data centers.

“There is no other monitoring solution that allows you to get beyond the physical infrastructure,” Gabrielson said. “For whatever level of virtualization enterprises employed, their monitoring couldn’t go beyond the first level. If there was any virtualization beyond that first level, they were blind. This is the only one that goes beyond that first level.”

Cascade has found success as a complementary solution to Riverbed’s Steelhead WAN optimization technology because of its deep monitoring capabilities, she noted. “There is a great synergy between them, and so we’ve seen a high uptake by Steelhead customers.”

According to the company, Cascade Express 460 analyzes both non-optimized and optimized WAN environments, “enabling IT teams to better plan for WAN optimization, assess the impact of the deployment and accurately quantify the benefits of WAN optimization.”

That said, Cascade shines as a standalone performance management solution, Gabrielson said.

“Virtualization monitoring has been really growing and we’ve had a number of partners asking for a virtualized solution,” she noted.

Riverbed Cascade Express Virtual Edition runs on VMware vSphere, enabling companies to capitalize on the benefits of virtual environments such as a reduced power and cooling costs and a smaller hardware footprint. It is available now, and Riverbed is offering a free, 30-day trial of Cascade Express.