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What's new in Stingray Traffic Manager 9.2

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Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Virtual Appliance
Riverbed® Stingray™ Traffic Manager 9.2 is now available as a software virtual appliance for Microsoft® Hyper-V™ R3 support on Windows Server 2012. Now Riverbed customers have the flexibility to use the Stingray platform to deploy application delivery services in any virtualized data center or cloud environment that is using Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V R3.

With this solution, the advanced Layer 7 application services that Stingray provides, such as global load balancing, SSL offload, compression, caching, application firewall and web content optimization, can now also be used to scale applications in the Microsoft cloud and virtualized network environments.

Stingray Traffic Manager is a high-performance software application delivery controller (ADC) that includes web application acceleration and application security into a single, integrated solution for online, enterprise, and cloud applications Stingray Traffic Manager version 9.2 is available in a variety of virtual appliances today, including VMware vSphere, XenServer, Oracle VM, Riverbed Steelhead® RSP, and Microsoft Hyper-V R3.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V R3 Features
Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V R3 includes a significant number of new features that let you take advantage of the latest hardware on servers, network adapters, and storage devices. This all leads to increased scalability of the data center and fewer physical servers needed to run more virtual machine workloads. Stingray customers can benefit from running Stingray Traffic Manager on Hyper-V and utilize these unique features:

  • Hyper-V host scale and scale-up workload support. With this support, you can configure up to 320 logical processors on hardware, 4TB of physical memory, 64 virtual processors, and up to 1TB of memory on a virtual machine. You also can have up to 64 nodes and 4,000 virtual machines in a cluster.
  • Dynamic memory improvements for Hyper-V. These improvements dramatically increase virtual machine consolidation ratios and improve reliability for restart operations. This can lead to lower costs, especially in environments that have many idle or lowload virtual machines (such as VDI).
  • Resource metering in Hyper-V. Resource metering provides the ability to track and report the amount of data that is transferred per IP address or virtual machine, helping to ensure accurate showback and chargeback.
  • New virtual hard disk format. This new format, called VHDX, is designed to better handle current and future workloads. It also addresses the technological demands of an enterprise’s evolving needs by increasing storage capacity, protecting data, improving quality performance on 4KB disks, and providing additional operation-enhancing features.
  • Offloaded data transfer support in Hyper-V. Offloaded data transfer support allows the CPU to concentrate on the processing needs of the application rather than networking or storage overhead.
  • Data center bridging. Data center bridging (DCB) takes advantage of current innovations to reduce the cost and difficulty of maintaining separate network, management, live migration, and storage traffic by using a modern, converged 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) local area network (LAN).
  • Virtual Fibre Channel in Hyper-V. This feature provides the ability to cluster the Hyper-V guest operating system over FibreChannel.
  • Support for 4KB disk sectors in Hyper-V virtual disks. Support for 4,096 byte (4KB) disk sectors lets you take advantage of the emerging innovation in storage hardware that provides increased capacity and reliability.
  • Quality of service. Quality of service (QoS) provides the ability to programmatically adhere to a service level agreement (SLA) by specifying the minimum bandwidth that is available to a virtual machine or a port. It prevents latency issues by allocating maximum bandwidth use for a virtual machine or port.

Hyper-V R3 is supported for Windows Servers 2012 only; Windows Server 2008 is not supported. Microsoft’s Linux integration services (equivalent of VMware tools) are provided. This is a 64-bit only release with fully virtualized NICs. This release is supplied as a VHD and can be managed via PowerShell scripts.

Stingray Traffic Manager Certified Microsoft Server Workloads
Stingray Traffic Manager is also certified for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync as the leading software load balancer. Stingray Traffic Manager for Hyper-V is the perfect application delivery solution for Microsoft® SharePoint®, Microsoft® Exchange®, Microsoft® Lync™ and .NET web applications. With Stingray Traffic Manager, you get industry-leading advanced software load balancing, web content optimization, and application security to ensure your Microsoft applications are always available, scalable, and provide the best end-user experience.

The strategic partnership between Riverbed and Microsoft ensures that organizations can confidently deploy qualified Riverbed application performance solutions, including WAN optimization, storage delivery, performance management, ADC, WCO, and cloud data protection in Microsoft environments. This helps joint customers increase productivity and efficiency, while enhancing business resilience and controlling costs using a variety of Microsoft products. Employees can share information without compromising the performance of day-today applications and management, while moving to the cloud, cutting costs, and supporting remote workers.

Other updates in Stingray Traffic Manager 9.2

Amazon Web Services (AWS) enhancements
Moving your applications to AWS brings new opportunities for businesses to grow and expand to new markets, but to be successful customers should look at how their applications will scale reliably and securely. Amazon ELB serves as a basic web service load balancer that distributes transactions across a dynamic pool of Amazon EC2 compute resources.

Customers have found that they need to do much more than just load balancing. With Stingray Traffic Manager, they can improve availability, increase performance, and scale their applications at the same time. This is what Stingray Traffic Manager can do for you:

  • Local Load Balancing: Ensure application availability, even across Amazon availability zones (AZ)
  • Global Load Balancing: Balance across Amazon, multiple clouds, and your private data center
  • SSL Offload: Accelerate SSL handling and cut server utilization by 1/3rd in many cases
  • Caching and Compression: Deliver a faster user experience and cut bandwidth costs by 20-40%
  • Stingray Aptimizer: Load webpages up to four times faster
  • Stingray App Firewall: Protect against a broad range of web application attacks

With Stingray Traffic Manager 9.2 AWS customers receive the following features:

Bring Your Own License (BYOL): Customers can now upload a permanent license key, purchased from Riverbed, to a Developer Edition AMI from the AWS Marketplace. The developer mode AMI is now available on the same Amazon instance types as paid-for AMIs.

Support for new AWS regions: Stingray Traffic Manager is now available for deployment in Sydney, Australia, and Sao Paulo, Brazil regions in addition to the existing AWS regions.

VPC enhancements: The upgraded AMIs available on AWS Marketplace now can load balance across multiple availability zones (AZs) within a region. And Stingray Traffic Manager can now be clustered among a combination of VPC, EC2 and non-AWS instances.

More detail on AWS enhancements and upgrades here:

Stingray Application Firewall upgrade
Stingray Application Firewall has been updated to version 4.5. This release has the following new features:

  • Enforcer Stingray TrafficScript® language update; default request size increased to 2MB
  • Bypass for static content matching certain file types
  • Ability to customize HTML error page with error IDs
  • IPv6 support
  • New ApplicationCreationWizard
  • New PCI auditor mode

VMware guest OS customizations
With this release, customers will be able to configure IP addresses, hostname, etc. from vCenter when they clone a STM VA from a running instance or from a template. This feature will prevent IP address conflicts when cloning machines and enables automated deployment.

Virtual Appliance OS upgrade
The underlying OS for Stingray Traffic Manager instances has been updated significantly for this release for reliability and security, and consequent updates have been applied to installed packages.

Riverbed Cloud Steelhead discovery agent upgrade
This release updates the Cloud Steelhead® discovery agent and allows traffic for multiple local IP addresses to be accelerated. All traffic IP addresses on each Stingray Traffic Manager are registered so that they will be accelerated if the Stingray Traffic Manager starts managing a Traffic IP Group (TIP).

Customers with valid maintenance and support contracts will be able to download this release from their customer account in the Riverbed Support portal. The new documentation is also available at the Support portal, and release notes are found where the software is downloaded.  Riverbed Support: Software - Stingray Traffic Manager

Appliances running version 9.0 or later can be upgraded to version 9.2 (or later versions) by uploading the upgrade package via the Software Upgrade section of the Administration Server's web interface.