Vineyard Networks Expands Application Visibility

The first step to controlling what’s running on a network is to know what actually is running on the network.

That’s where technology from Vineyard Networks comes into play. The startup provides its application visibility technology to networking vendors and service providers to enable them to identify applications. Vineyard Networks’ executive leadership has its roots in Packeteer, an application visibility company acquired by Blue Coat for $268 million in 2008.

“What we do is we take two core areas, we have an application intelligence engine that analyzes a network flow in real time and then extracts all the application level attributes from it,” Jason Richards, CEO and Founder of Vineyard Networks told “Then we have an application level reporting platform, which is a visualization interface that provides some insight into all the info that we extract from the data.”

Richards added that Vineyard’s path to market has been by way of partnerships with third party vendors in the network gateway space. Partners include Riverbed, Blue Coat and SonicWall among others.

“What we’re really licensing is a service, it’s not a one time product,” Richards said. “We’re providing the classification engine, but just as critical is the steady stream of application signature updates.”

Richards noted that Vineyard has a well defined API for their platform which enables vendors to integrate the application visibility with their own respective platforms.

Vineyard is now expanding their Network Application Visibility Layer (NAVL) with a new release that grows application visibility even further. Richards explained that NAVL 2.7 provides a new custom definition interface.

“Users have increasingly complex custom applications that they want to be able to classify,” Richards said.

He added that since custom applications are often internal applications, Vineyard typically would never see them. The new custom definition API enables users to define those apps and provide details that will enable network tools to identify them.

NAVL 2.7 also has multi-processor support, which provides increased performance for users. As well, Richards noted that NAVL 2.7 on its own provides a greater degree of application coverage.

“Today our end-user community exceeds over 100,000 gateways around the world and with that exposure we’ve had the ability to up the ante on the number of applications that we’re able to classify,” Richards said. “We’ve got a redeveloped signature system that allows us to add thousands of application signatures with little to no degradation to things like performance and functionality.”

Richards noted that Vineyard has some relationships with application vendors, though that’s not always necessary to have. Vineyard is able to glean application information without the application vendor’s help in many cases.

“We really don’t need to have a relationship with an application vendor, though it does make it easier,” Richards said. “We can brute force it just by getting visibility through customer deployments or by deploying the application in-house and we’re able to get enough information from that.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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