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Riverbed SteelCentral Packet Analyzer
Graphical console for high-speed packet analysis

Formerly Known As: Cascade Pilot software


Business Challenge

The right tool to monitor and troubleshoot enterprise networks and continuously capture terabytes of packet data traversing them is the first step for complete real-time and back-in-time analysis. But to make sense of the data, you don’t want to transfer these large files across the network and risk slowing down other important transactions and applications.

Instead, analyze the data where it is stored locally using a a top-down approach that can help you drill down quickly to isolate a problem and not waste time finding it. Having such a tool can cut the time needed to capture, decode, and get to the root cause information from hours down to minutes.

The Riverbed Solution

Riverbed SteelCentral Packet Analyzer software is a network analysis and reporting solution with an intuitive graphical user interface. By rapidly isolating the specific packets needed to diagnose and troubleshoot complex performance issues, it enables you to quickly analyze multi- terabyte packet recordings on remote SteelCentral NetShark appliances, SteelCentral NetShark Virtual Edition (VE) and Riverbed SteelHead products without having to transfer large packet captures files across the network. SteelCentral Packet Analyzer software also fully and seamlessly integrates with Wireshark software, the leading open source protocol analyzer, for deep packet analysis and decoding.

SteelCentral Packet Analyzer can also manage the embedded SteelCentral NetShark functionality on SteelHead hardware and virtual appliances. If you have SteelHead appliances, then you can instantly create a fully distributed, easy to-manage packet-capture solution to troubleshoot branch office performance, with no additional hardware deployment.

SteelCentral Packet Analyzer also works seamlessly with Riverbed SteelCentral AppResponse and SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer to facilitate the flow of network traffic data between the two products and streamline troubleshooting. These workflows allow you to get to the right level of detail needed to diagnose root cause of end-user and transaction problems quickly and easily.

Key benefits

  • Improve user experience and productivity
  • Speed problem identification and resolution
  • Diagnose and fix remote location problems
  • Enhance it collaboration and operational efficiency

Key Features:

Wireshark software integration

  • Use SteelCentral Packet Analyzer as a “searchlight” to help you identify issues buried within millions of packets. Once identified, you can choose to send the selected traffic to Wireshark directly for deeper individual packet inspection and decoding
  • Take advantage of Wireshark capture and display filters and expansive dissector library for deep packet analysis through the “Send to Wireshark” button
  • Supports both pcap and pcap-ng files (default format) for Wireshark nanosecond granularity

Drilldown for in-depth analysis

  • Easily isolate traffic of interest using drag-and- drop multi-level drill- down and an extensive collection of network analysis views
  • Display the details of any chart selection and quickly hone in on specific packets to isolate anomalous network behavior
  • Microbursts are the hidden landmine that can saturate a gigabit network and cause a lot of end user pain. Fortunately, SteelCentral Packet Analyzer allows you to zoom into a 100 microsecond view of the network and identify the utilization spikes (“microbursts”) that can occur in the blink of an eye. The tight integration between SteelCentral Packet Analyzer and Wireshark makes this easy.

Broad selection of views

  • With an extensive number of network analysis views you’ll easily drill down and discover the root cause of any issue
  • Views include: LAN and network, bandwidth usage, talkers and conversations, performance and errors, user activity, and 802.11 WLAN

Dynamic visualization

  • Present information accurately with a complete collection of interactive charts
  • Customize views or build new ones with SteelCentral Packet Analyzer View Editor

Time control

  • Easily move through view metrics over extended periods of time with just a few mouse clicks using “back-in-time” functionality
  • Enhance visual presentation with sub-sampling and data aggregation techniques

Broad protocol and transaction level analysis

  • Deep transaction-level analysis of HTTPS, VoIP, FIX, CIFS, MSSQL, LSE ITCH, GTP, and MYSQL transactions as well as VDI monitoring of VMware View (PCoIP), Citrix XenDesktop (ICA) and XenApp (ICA)
  • Multi-segment and sequence diagram analysis are also standard


  • Create triggers and alerts on virtually any view metric, such as high bandwidth, slow server response time, and high TCP round-trip time
  • Actions executed include event logging, sending an email alert, and packet capture


  • Create professional reports directly from screen views in a variety of formats including PDF, Word, and Excel

Multi-terabyte recordings

  • Quickly and accurately isolate time intervals (trace clips) within a recording and perform in-depth analysis and metric visualization on terabyte-size traffic recordings with a simple drag-and drop
  • Create and manage multiple capture jobs (on NetShark appliances), each capable of sustained
  • multi-gigabit per second line-rate recording without packet drops
  • Conveniently represents every packet recording as one simple data item even if it’s multiple terabytes in size
  • Merge and analyze multiple trace files at once to reveal network behavior and make it easier to pinpoint where problems are happening on the network

Remote management

  • Configure remote SteelCentral NetShark appliances and embedded SteelCentral NetShark functionality on SteelHead appliances for easy to manage branch office troubleshooting without having to send remote technicians offsite or to deploy additional hardware.

Integration with Riverbed products

  • Streamlined network transaction troubleshooting workflow between SteelCentral NetShark to SteelCentral Packet Analyzer to Riverbed SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer for off-line, multi-tier, user transaction analysis. It can quickly dissect large trace files for diagnosing root cause quickly and easily, allowing you to focus rapidly on specific transactions for multi-tier user transaction analysis and performance prediction in SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer.
  • SteelCentral Packet Analyzer streamlines the flow of data between AppResponse and SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer. SteelCentral Packet Analyzer software is the packet analysis interface for SteelCentral AppResponse Shark module. It provides an intuitive, graphical user interface to maximize user productivity by rapidly isolating the specific packets needed to diagnose and troubleshoot complex performance issues. It enables users to quickly analyze live views and multi-terabyte packet recordings from SteelCentral AppResponse appliances.

Licensing Options

  • Packet Analyzer is available as a per seat or concurrent license. The concurrent license server can run on a SteelCentral NetProfiler or SteelCentral NetShark appliance or virtual edition.


SteelCentral Packet Analyzer and Packet Analyzer Personal Edition includes the following features. Both are available in a free trial download:

  SteelCentral Packet Analyzer Personal Edition SteelCentral Packet Analyzer
Packet Analysis & drill-down to Wireshark
Analyze Multi-GB Capture Files
Microflow Indexing for Fast Analysis
Views for Visual Troubleshooting & Analysis
Decodes for VOIP (SIP, H323, SCCP)
Pcap-ng Support
Decodes for FIX, MySQL, MSSQL, CIFs, VMWare View (PCoIP), Citrix XenDesktop (ICA)
Integrates with NetShark and SteelHead
Packet Sequence Diagrams
Analyze live views and multi-terabyte packet recordings from SteelCentral AppResponse appliances
Isolate specific transactions for off-line, multi-tier, user transaction analysis and performance prediction in SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer
Application Transaction Diagrams
Drill-down from SteelCentral NetProfiler
Multi-Segment Analysis
Views Editor
Licensing Per User Per User or Concurrent
Trial Software 10 day trial - contact us 30 day trial - contact us

SteelCentral Packet Analyzer software is available in a free 30 day trial (contact us) and requires the following:

  System Requirements
Operating Systems   Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (Administrator rights required for installation and operation)
Suggested Hardware Platform A Dual-core 2.0 GHz CPU or better
Memory 2GB RAM
Disk Space 300MB free disk space plus additional space for trace files and reports
Graphics Support Graphics card with minimum resolution of 1024 x 768
Licensing Options Available in per user or concurrent user options


Download the Riverbed SteelCentral Packet Analyzer Datasheet (.PDF)