Cisco: It's All About the WAN


Cisco's new Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) lineup adds application acceleration and optimization to its existing Wide Area File Services capabilities, said Mark Weiner, director of marketing management for data center solutions at Cisco, San Jose, Calif.

"We're enabling customers to have fewer servers in the branch, to get rid of storage and back-up, and allow IT to centralize applications," Weiner said.

The product lines expand on technology picked up through Cisco's 2004 acquisition of Actona Technologies.

While many vendors, including F5 Networks, Juniper Networks and Riverbed Technologies are all playing in the WAN optimization market, the breadth of Cisco's portfolio gives it an advantage, said Vince Conroy, CTO of FusionStorm, a San Francisco-based Cisco Gold partner.

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"Cisco's got a unique advantage in that it has a complete and total solution. Other players just have pieces," Conroy said. "It's not just file services. Now there's acceleration for other applications and general WAN acceleration combined in one product."

The new portfolio includes Cisco WAAS software and its lineup of Wide-area Application Engine (WAE) appliances, including the WAE-512 and WAE-612 branch office appliances and WAE-7326 data center appliance. In addition, the new NM-WAE module adds WAAS capabilities to its ISR (Integrated Services Router) family.

The ISR module will particularly appeal to smaller branch offices that don't want a separate appliance for WAN optimization, Conroy said.

The appliances are available now starting at $8,500. The ISR network module is scheduled for availability in the fourth quarter starting at $4,000.