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Cisco Wide Area Application Services 4.2 FAQ

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Cisco WAAS Software Version 4.2

Q. What is Cisco ® WAAS 4.2?
A. Cisco WAAS 4.2 is a significant new software release for Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) that directly addresses the major trends facing IT administrators worldwide. Cisco WAAS 4.2 contains features that strengthen the return-on-investment equation for Cisco WAAS WAN optimization, delivers additional IT user productivity enhancements, and enables more IT agility in the face of relentless change.
Q. What are the major new features and benefits in Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. Table 1 provides a concise summary of the new features and business benefits of Cisco WAAS 4.2.

Table 1. Features and Benefits of Cisco WAAS 4.2

Feature Name

Description

Benefit

Cisco WAAS on Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) Services-Ready Engine (SRE) Service Modules (SM)

Cisco WAAS is available as an on-demand service with high performance and availability features on Cisco SRE 700 and SRE 900 Service Modules.
Enhances IT agility and lowers operating expenses with remote activation of WAN optimization

Enhanced HTTP Application Optimizer

New optimization features that:

Improve response time
Reduce bandwidth consumption
Reduce server load for web-based applications
Enables higher user productivity for web-based applications
Offers more bandwidth savings

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) optimization

Cisco WAAS 4.2 enables the optimization of HTTP and Secure HTTP (HTTPS) SaaS traffic.
Cisco WAAS can automatically adapt to private and public cloud server IP address changes.
Cisco WAAS offers an end-to-end Cisco WebEx optimization solution composed of a Cisco WebEx node on Cisco ASR Aggregation Services Routers and Cisco WAAS.
Simplifies migration to cloud services while retaining benefits of WAN optimization
Shields IT from changes in server IP addresses

Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS advances

Cisco WAAS virtual blades, which form the underlying technology for Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS, are validated by Microsoft for the Microsoft Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) for Microsoft Windows 2008 Release 2 (R2).
Cisco WAAS 4.2 virtual blade technology supports a broader set of Microsoft Windows services and applications than in earlier versions of Cisco WAAS.
Cisco WAAS 4.2 virtual blade technology delivers high performance with higher network throughput and multiprocessing.
Cisco WAAS 4.2 now allows for network installation of Microsoft Windows Server and other Pre-eXecution Environment (PXE) compatible operating systems.
Extends the Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS value proposition to a broad range of Microsoft Windows-based services and applications
Increases performance and scale of Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS

Serial inline clustering for data centers

Cisco WAAS 4.2 allows you to deploy appliances serially inline with high availability in the data center.
Offers a simplified and highly available deployment model for small and midsize data centers

Integrated Cisco WAAS and Cisco ISR configuration

Cisco WAAS 4.2 enables the administrator to configure Cisco SRE Modules and Cisco WAAS Network Modules (NME) on a single screen (command-line interface [CLI] or Cisco Configuration Professional), including Cisco ISR Web Cache Communication Protocol (WCCP) autoconfiguration.
Cisco WAAS 4.2 offers new proactive setup diagnostics to help check entries provided during configuration before deployment errors occur.
Reduces deployment complexity and enables faster time to service

Common Criteria EAL-4 Certification

Cisco WAAS 4.2 has attained this internationally recognized security certification.
Delivers the value of a certified security profile on the industry’s leading WAN optimization solution
Q. Who needs Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. Almost all distributed enterprises need Cisco WAAS and, in particular, Cisco WAAS Version 4.2, because information technology is evolving rapidly with trends such as cost reduction, virtualization, and cloud-based computing. Cisco WAAS 4.2 was developed with these important trends in mind - and it addresses them.
Q. Who is entitled to get Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. All existing Cisco WAAS customers with Cisco WAAS Software Application Services plus Upgrades (SASU) are entitled to download Cisco WAAS 4.2. New Cisco customers can download Cisco WAAS 4.2 until such time as Cisco WAAS appliances begin shipping with Cisco WAAS 4.2 installed.
Q. When can I get it as a download for my appliances?
A. Cisco WAAS is available now to download.
Q. When can I select it on new appliances as a build-out for my deployment?
A. Cisco WAAS 4.2 is targeted for availability on Cisco appliances in July 2010.
Q. How do I get Cisco WAAS 4.2 for my network-management-engine (NME) modules on my Cisco ISRs?
A. Cisco WAAS 4.2 for NMEs is also available now for download.
Q. How do I get Cisco WAAS 4.2 for my SRE modules on my Cisco ISR G2 routers?
A. Service agility is available with the advent of Cisco WAAS on the SRE. Table 2 lists the ways you can get Cisco WAAS on SRE.

Table 2. Ordering Cisco WAAS on SRE

Ordering

Guidance and Results

With Cisco ISR-G2 VSEC-SRE bundles

Cisco SRE 700 Service Modules are included in the bundle.
Select WAAS software and licenses under SRE.
WAAS software ships preinstalled on the SRE.

On SRE modules at time of order

Select SRE on appropriate ISR G2 chassis.
Select WAAS software and licenses under SRE.
WAAS software ships preinstalled on the SRE.

WAAS software license for SRE

Spare and upgrade WAAS for SRE order codes are available.
The license provides on-demand WAAS software and license activation.
Q. How does Cisco WAAS 4.2 improve the overall return on investment (ROI) of Cisco WAAS?
A. The main features of Cisco WAAS 4.2 that enhance the ROI of Cisco WAAS include:

Cisco WAAS availability on Cisco ISR G2 SRE modules, which can continue to drive down the costs of branch IT infrastructure.

Microsoft Windows on Cisco WAAS advances that enable the final step in branch server consolidation.

Integrated Cisco WAAS and Cisco ISR configuration to accelerate time to value for Cisco WAN optimization deployments

The enhanced HTTP application optimizer, which can enhance ROI by reducing bandwidth consumption and Web application server load.

Q. How does Cisco WAAS 4.2 provide for simplified deployment and high availability that may be better than any competitors’ offerings?
A. The combination of serial inline cluster support in Cisco WAAS 4.2 and the industry-leading WCCP support extant in Cisco WAAS represent both simplified deployment and high availability with customer choice.
Q. How does Cisco WAAS 4.2 address the cloud-computing trend?
A. Cloud-based computing, or SaaS, is a growing and important trend. Cisco WAAS has been able to optimize SaaS traffic delivered through HTTP and HTTPS. Cisco WAAS 4.2 addresses the way SaaS is provisioned. SaaS is delivered almost entirely with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The benefits of cloud computing are its flexibility and dynamic provisioning. So SSL-based server farms grow and shrink as demand waxes and wanes, and IP addresses change. To address the rapid changes in cloud-based SSL servers, Cisco WAAS 4.2 allows administrators to configure SSL acceleration for server farms - both cloud and enterprise - by domain name. And, as important, Cisco WAAS 4.2 allows the host field of the domain name to be wild-carded. The farm can change without changing WAAS configuration. This cost-containment solution is delivered without security compromise because there is no loss of encryption or protection.
Q. What do you mean by “Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS advances” in Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. Although both Windows Server on Cisco WAAS and the underlying virtual-blade technology of WAAS have been a part of Cisco WAAS for well over a year, Cisco WAAS 4.2 significantly advances branch-office integration. First, it offers both additional processing power and more efficient network communications underneath guest operating systems. A result of this additional power is that we can allow customers to treat each virtual blade largely as an industry-standard server, rather than a constrained platform. Now you can apply server profiling methodology to WAAS virtual blades, and then you can deploy more applications and services on each blade. This scenario offers two major advances: Windows Server 2008R2 and Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program certification, known as SVVP, for WAAS virtual blades.
Q. Does this mean that Cisco WAAS 4.2 can help me do more with virtual blades?
A. Yes, and these advances allow Cisco to offer more solutions as well. A new virtual-blade offering beyond Microsoft Windows Server on Cisco WAAS includes a virtual Cisco Network Analysis Module (NAM) as an addition to the existing capability to host a virtual Cisco Application and Content Networking System (ACNS). But the ability to run additional application servers, including proprietary and third-party servers or Microsoft services such as Short Message Service (SMS), offers the Cisco WAAS customer the possibility of a uniquely optimized branch office.
Q. What are the benefits of integrated Cisco WAAS and Cisco ISR configuration in Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. This feature allows the administrator of an SRE or NME module to configure WCCP on the hosting router at the same time - and on the same screen - as the module, a scenario that can dramatically lower the “time to value” for Cisco WAAS proof-of-concept activities and production deployments.
Q. What do you mean by “setup diagnostics” available in Cisco WAAS 4.2?
A. The new diagnostics help address typographical errors that might slow down a deployment, making both proof of concept and actual deployments go faster and thereby increasing time to value for Cisco WAAS.