As enterprise businesses extend their size and reach to remote locations, guaranteeing application delivery to end users becomes increasingly important. In the past, remote locations contained their own application file servers and could provide LAN access to data and applications within the remote location or branch. Although this solution guarantees application performance and availability, it also means more devices to manage, increased total cost of ownership, regulatory compliance for data archival, and lack of anywhere, anytime application access. Placing application networking servers within a centralized data center where remote branches access applications across a WAN solves the management of devices and total cost of ownership issues. The benefits for consolidating application networking services in the data center include but are not limited to the following:
- Cost savings through branch services consolidation of application and printer services to a centralized data center
- Ease of manageability because less devices are employed in a consolidated data center
- Centralized storage and archival of data to meet regulatory compliance
- More efficient use of WAN link utilization through transport optimization, compression, and file caching mechanisms to improve overall user experience of application response
The trade-off with the consolidation of resources in the data center is the increase in delay for remote users to achieve the same performance of accessing applications at LAN-like speeds as when these servers resided at the local branches. Applications commonly built for LAN speeds are now traversing a WAN with less bandwidth and increased latency over the network. Potential bottlenecks that affect this type of performance include the following:
- Users at one branch now contend for the same centralized resources as other remote branches.
- Insufficient bandwidth or speed to service the additional centralized applications now contend for the same WAN resources.
- Network outage from remote branch to centralized data center resources cause "disconnected" events, severely impacting remote business operations.
The Cisco WAAS portfolio of technologies and products give enterprise branches LAN-like access to centrally-hosted applications, servers, storage, and multimedia with LAN-like performance. WAAS provides application delivery, acceleration, WAN optimization, and local service solutions for an enterprise branch to optimize performance of any TCP-based application in a WAN or MAN environment.
This document provides guidelines and best practices when implementing WAAS in enterprise architectures. This document gives an overview of WAAS technology and then explores how WAAS operates in branch architectures. Design considerations and complete tested topologies and configurations are provided.
Launch the Design Guide