Cisco unveils branch-office IP consolidation solutions

Networking giant unveils two new products based on Wide Area Application Services

Cisco Systems has announced two new branch-office products at Storage Networking World in Frankfurt, Germany based on its recently launched Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) networking software.

The branch-office WAAS solution combined with Cisco's Application Networking Services is designed to scale to support thousands of branch offices and up to millions of TCP connections with up to 16 gigabits per second performance in a fully scaled, load-balanced deployment. Cisco also introduced a network module for running WAAS software on the Cisco integrated services router (ISR). The Cisco WAAS solution is also offered as a standalone appliance.

WAN optimisation offers several benefits, including optimising data transfer and traffic flow for backup and mirroring processes, minimising network lag while such high-bandwidth processes are taking place. With narrowing back-up windows, many companies are struggling to maintain regular back-up schedules without impacting on regular working times. It can also benefit environments that make use of large numbers of server-side utilities and hosted software-as-a-service applications, which can also be bandwidth-intensive and put pressure on WAN use and availability.

"Branch employee productivity is being threatened as companies consolidate their branch office servers and applications into data centres, which can result in increased latency and poor response times from applications being delivered across the WAN," said George Kurian, vice president of Cisco's application delivery business unit

WAAS is designed to slot into existing IP networks and infrastructure, improving WAN performance without disrupting existing day-to-day processes and functionality such as network monitoring, security processes such as firewalls and content filtering, and quality of service or data prioritisation services.

Yankee Group

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