Cisco® Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) provides the industry’s most scalable, highest performance WAN optimization solution. Cisco WAAS is able to improve end user experience and reduce bandwidth for key applications including but not limited to; Microsoft Exchange, Citrix® XenApp and XenDesktop™, SAP, Lotus Notes, NetApp SnapMirror, HTTP(S), cloud and file.
● High performance Virtual Desktop/Experience Infrastructure (VDI/VXI)
● Live and on-demand media applications such as webcasting, e-learning and digital signage
● Improved application performance and end user experience for applications including web, e-mail, VDI, file, and cloud
● Data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation
Cisco is the leader in WAN optimization as confirmed by IT professionals once again demonstrating Cisco as leader WAN Optimization from both Nemertes Research and IT Brand Pulse for leadership in; overall market, price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation.
Main Benefits of Cisco WAAS Software Release 5.0
Cisco WAAS software release 5.0 enables virtualization of optimization resources across the enterprise. WAAS virtualization is saleable, secure, and robust facilitating [or enabling] migration to cloud-based service. With Cisco WAAS 5.0, the agile and optimized WAN has cloud connectivity and end-to-end, standards-based application security.
Benefits delivered by Cisco WAAS 5.0 include:
● Ease of enterprise-wide deployment
◦ Flexible provisioning of physical and virtual WAN optimization resources in any network topology into one elastic, scalable pool without exponential cost increase or additional configuration complexity
● Transparent secure application delivery
◦ Support for Encrypted Mobility API (eMAPI)
◦ Support for Server Message Block (SMB) Version 2
◦ Support for Citrix ICA using default Advanced Encryption
● Secure and transparent cloud connectivity
◦ WAN Secure for secure connectivity between the enterprise and cloud
◦ Scalable, easy to manage SSL
● Smaller footprint and lower TCO
◦ Virtualization of WAN optimization resources in a WAN optimization cloud, eliminating redundant and support-intensive infrastructure and resulting in less maintenance, streamlined operations, and cost savings
● Superior end-user experience
◦ Optimized application delivery using enhanced techniques over a secure cloud-connected WAN, delivering real-time connectivity for interactive media content and improved productivity for the end user
● Cisco AppNav technology: Cisco AppNav enables customers to virtualize WAN optimization resources in the data center by pooling them into one elastic resource in a manner that is policy based and on demand, with exceptional low latency performance. Customers can add capacity or dedicate capacity to specific applications or geographies based upon business requirements with no change to existing network configurations or topologies. It integrates transparently with any physical or virtual network infrastructure, providing significant investment protection for existing network designs.
AppNav for Cisco WAAS provides flexible deployment options, as shown in Figure 1.
● Encrypted MAPI: Now supporting eMAPI for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and 2010, Cisco WAAS leads the industry in the optimization of encrypted communications using standards-based security. Cisco WAAS support for the eMAPI protocol has been jointly validated by and is supported by Cisco and Microsoft.
● WAN Secure: Ensure end-to-end security and compliance for applications across the WAN.
● “Citrix Ready” WAN Optimization: Fully certified and jointly supported by Citrix for used with Citrix HDX XenApp and XenDesktop solutions. Preconfigured acceleration for XenDesktop and XenApp using Citrix’s default security and other configuration settings enables “out of the box” deployments that scale securely while enabling high performance over the WAN.
● Cisco WAAS Central Manager: New HTML 5 user-friendly interfaces and improved navigation give more detailed visibility into application performance, pass-through traffic, and the control and monitoring of specific context-aware devices, including clusters.
Market Trends Addressed by Cisco WAAS Software Version 5.0
● Natively secure applications: At an increasing rate, application vendors are providing encryption at the application layer rather than relying on transport-level encryption such as SSL. Such trends require a smart application acceleration solution that works natively, out of the box, to help ensure a high-quality end-user experience without jeopardizing standards-based security protocols.
● Desktop and application virtualization: Enterprises are increasingly adopting desktop and application virtualization solutions for various reasons: compliance, end-of-life extension, operational efficiencies, savings in capital expenditures and operating expenses, network agility, etc. VDI places an increasing burden on the WAN as application performance, security and manageability expectations need to be maintained as things shift into a VDI environment, increasing the pressure on IT to deploy an agile and optimized WAN.
● Public and virtual private clouds: Enterprises are looking to the cloud to reduce IT costs and accelerate delivery of new applications to end users. Organizations such as the U.S. government, as well as many private companies, have mandated that IT departments investigate cloud-based offerings as part of their internal sourcing and outsourcing decisions. To facilitate this cloud-based model, a WAN optimization solution should be able to intelligently pool and provision resources elastically in a simplified manner with excellent manageability for enterprise wide deployments.
● Branch-office and data center simplification: Organizations want simple enterprise wide deployment of multiple on-demand cloud-ready services with the smallest footprint possible and high return on investment (ROI).
● Software delivery of network applications: This trend continues to accelerate with the proliferation and maturation of server virtualization technologies from vendors such as VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. In addition to challenges faced by VDI, the WAN must now provide a state-of-the-art secure cloud connection. Therefore, a WAN optimization solution must be transparent and jointly validated and supported by leading industry vendors.
● Security and data protection: Certain regulatory requirements, including the Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley, and Federal Core Desktop initiatives, are mandating stringent security for the transmission of sensitive data, and security standards continue to evolve in response to increasing numbers of compromised systems. The WAN must not only optimize applications and data, but also protect them.
◦ Cisco WAAS Software on the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) Generation 2 (ISR G2) platform provides router-integrated, on-demand WAN optimization for branch offices. The Cisco Services-Ready Engine (SRE) Modules on the Cisco ISR G2 platform decouples software services from the underlying hardware and can deliver WAN optimization as an on-demand service as required by business objectives and IT budget. This approach makes better use of existing investments while offering business agility.
◦ Cisco Virtual WAAS (vWAAS) is a virtual appliance that accelerates business applications delivered from private and virtual private cloud infrastructure, helping ensure an optimal user experience. Cisco vWAAS enables cloud providers to rapidly create WAN optimization services with little network configuration or disruption. vWAAS employs policy-based configuration in Cisco Nexus® 1000V Series Switches, which allows association with application server virtual machines as they are instantiated or moved.
◦ Cisco WAAS Express extends the Cisco WAAS product portfolio with a small-footprint, cost-effective Cisco IOS® Software solution integrated into Cisco ISR G2 devices to offer bandwidth optimization capabilities. Cisco WAAS Express increases remote user productivity, reduces WAN bandwidth costs, and offers investment protection by interoperating with existing Cisco WAAS infrastructure.
◦ Cisco WAAS Mobile delivers bidirectional compression, application-specific accelerators, and flow optimizers for mobile and remote users in situations in which neither an appliance nor a branch-office router is available or practical, or for public cloud environments that cannot support an appliance.
Cisco WAAS is the only WAN optimization solution that has published jointly validated designs with major application vendors such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and IBM. Validated designs assist Cisco customers by offering best practices to successfully incorporate IT infrastructure such as Cisco switches, routers, security devices, and servers, thus significantly reducing the risk of deploying WAN optimization to accelerate these applications. Coupled with award-winning Cisco global support and advanced services, Cisco WAAS gives customers a significant set of resources to help ensure full network integration while reducing maintenance costs and deployment time.
For example, with Microsoft, Cisco has developed an optimized branch-office architecture that uses Cisco WAAS to optimize performance of centralized applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and file services, while most Microsoft Windows branch-office services and applications can be locally hosted on Cisco WAAS devices using Cisco WAAS virtual blades. The Cisco WAAS optimization for Microsoft Windows protocols was developed with Microsoft, and the relevant intellectual property rights (IPRs) are licensed from Microsoft.
● Network transparency and preservation of IP and TCP header information allows ease of operation and interoperability with network services such as quality of service (QoS), NetFlow, access control lists (ACLs), firewalls, Cisco Performance Routing (PfR), and IP service-level agreements (SLAs).
● Cisco WAAS offers automatic discovery of optimization devices, simplifying operations for all types of WAN architectures (including Multiprotocol Label Switching [MPLS], hierarchical networks, and hub-and-spoke topologies).
● Cisco WAAS integrates with all the Cisco firewalls - Cisco IOS Firewall, Cisco PIX® Firewall Software, Cisco ASA 5500 Series Enterprise Firewall Edition, and Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Firewall Services Module (FWSM) - to provide the only solution in the industry that gives customers full stateful firewall inspection and network virus-scanning capabilities for accelerated traffic.
Features and Benefits
Table 2 summarizes the main features and benefits of Cisco WAAS. For detailed information about acceleration for mobile users, please refer to the Cisco WAAS Mobile data sheet. For the features and benefits of Cisco WAAS Express, please refer to the Cisco WAAS Express data sheet.
● Cisco WAAS Transport license: This license provides the WAN optimization features of Cisco WAAS, including DRE, Lempel-Ziv (LZ) compression, and TFO, optimizing application delivery to the branch office.
● Cisco WAAS Enterprise license: This license provides Transport license functions plus application-specific accelerations for protocols including CIFS, MAPI, HTTP, SSL, NFS, ICA, and Microsoft Windows print services to facilitate application acceleration, WAN optimization, and IT consolidation.
● Cisco WAAS Live Video license: This add-on license provides wide-scale delivery of live video to the branch office across the WAN. It offers automated edge-stream splitting to help ensure that only one video stream is downloaded over the WAN regardless of the number of users in the branch office viewing that stream. This option is available only when the Cisco WAAS Enterprise license is ordered.
● Cisco WAAS Virtual Blade license: This add-on license enables local hosting of server OS and applications on Cisco WAAS appliances. This option is available only when the Cisco WAAS Enterprise license is ordered and is available for Cisco WAVE 274, 474, and 574 and Cisco WAE-674 with Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.1 or later and for Cisco WAVE 294, 594, and 694 with Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.4 or later.
● Cisco WAAS Virtual Blade license with Microsoft Windows Server Core 2008: This add-on license offers organizations flexible delivery of branch-office IT services while reducing the device footprint. The first set of certified and supported hosted services includes Microsoft Windows Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and print as part of the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 core services. This option is available only when the Cisco WAAS Enterprise license is ordered and is available for Cisco WAVE 274, 474, and 574 and Cisco WAE-674 with Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.1 or later and for Cisco WAVE 294, 594, and 694 with Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.4 or later.
Cisco vWAAS is offered only starting with Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.3.1 and supports only the Enterprise license option. For details about models, pricing, and sizing, please contact your local Cisco account representative.
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco Services offerings help you protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare the network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, see Cisco Technical Support Services and Cisco Advanced Services.
For more information about Cisco WAAS Software Version 5.0, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/waas or contact your local account representative.