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Microsoft and Cisco Enhance Branch Offices through Integration of Windows Server 2008 and Cisco WAAS

Customers to gain more efficient IT architectures and higher performance through integration of Windows services and WAN optimization on common platform

REDMOND, Wash. and SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 26, 2008 - Microsoft Corp. and Cisco® today announced that they intend to work together to offer Windows Server 2008 with Cisco WAN optimization in a solution for branch office environments. Cisco will embed a virtualization component within its Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) appliance family that will help customers to host Windows Server 2008 services within their existing network infrastructure for branch offices.

The two companies intend for Cisco to offer Windows Server 2008 preinstalled on its new virtualized Cisco WAAS appliances that are scheduled to be available later this year. To optimize the value of this solution for customers, the two companies plan to test and validate the resulting architectures for the remote information technology (IT) infrastructure in the branch office and to offer customers joint support. In addition, Cisco and Microsoft plan to work together to promote awareness of the integrated solution among channel resellers and customers by offering business frameworks and marketing programs.

"Extending our collaboration with Cisco to integrated solutions for branch offices presents an exciting opportunity for our customers and for Microsoft and Cisco," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Microsoft Server and Tools Business division. "The technologies announced today will help boost performance and availability by making critical Windows Server 2008 services available to remote offices through integration with Cisco's WAAS solution."

The integrated solution will provide an optimized architecture for Cisco and Microsoft customers, such as Monsanto, one of the world's leading agricultural companies, to help consolidate their remote IT infrastructure and accelerate application delivery from centralized data centers while simultaneously delivering Windows Server 2008 services in the branch, for maximum performance and availability. By integrating Cisco WAN optimization with Windows Server 2008, customers can help ensure branch end-user performance for accessing centralized data centers and applications, while efficiently deploying locally critical Windows Server 2008 services, all through a common remote IT platform.

"Cisco and Microsoft solutions serve our employees in our headquarters as well as in branch offices," said Dwight Wheeler, enterprise architect, Monsanto. "I am excited to see these two companies working together to simplify the management of branch office resources so we can quickly deploy Windows Services to remote offices and, more importantly, better service our remote users."

With the combination of Windows Server 2008 services and Cisco WAAS appliances, mutual customers can reduce the number of devices and the complexity of the infrastructure they have to deploy and manage in distributed branch offices. The Windows Server 2008 services that will be offered as part of Cisco WAAS platforms initially include Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Active Directory, and Print Services.

Cisco WAAS is an application acceleration and WAN optimization solution that optimizes the performance of any TCP-based application operating in a WAN environment. The upcoming Windows Server 2008 services available with the WAAS family of products mark the ongoing evolution of Cisco's Application Delivery Networks solutions. These advanced technology solutions are designed to make the network a highly efficient platform for application delivery - accelerating and enhancing security of business-critical applications while dramatically improving both end-user experience and IT productivity.

"Building on our announcement last summer, Microsoft and Cisco are collaborating on a joint architecture and offering new technology that enhances the performance and efficiency of applications both locally hosted as well as delivered over wide-area networks," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president of Cisco's Data Center, Switching and Services Group. "This joint effort extends Cisco's Application Delivery Network strategy to meet customers' needs for flexible IT resources."

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