What is Cisco AppNav
Cisco AppNav is a hardware and software solution that simplifies network integration of WAN optimization. It also overcomes the challenges related to provisioning, visibility, scalability, asymmetry, and high availability.
The Cisco AppNav solution reduces the dependency on the intercepting switch or router by distributing the traffic among Cisco WAAS devices for optimization by using a powerful class and policy mechanism. You can use ISR-WAAS to optimize traffic based on sites or applications. This includes device-level and template-based configurations.
An intelligent load-balancing mechanism in the Cisco IOS-XE software allows the diversion of TCP traffic to various products, including Cisco WAAS and OneFirewall, where Cisco WAAS is the initial target. Router management is performed through the Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management application.
The Cisco AppNav solution, is made up of a distribution unit called the Cisco AppNav Controller (AC), WAAS Service Nodes (SNs). The Cisco AppNav Controller distributes the flow, and the service nodes process the flows. You can group up to four Cisco AppNav-XE (routers) together to form a Cisco AppNav Controller Group (ACG) to support asymmetric flows and high availability. However, must ensure that all of the routers in the ACG are on the same platform and have the same memory capacity.
The Cisco AppNav solution's components perform the following functions:
- AppNav Controller—This is component that intelligently distributes traffic from a router to service nodes. The Cisco AppNav Controller is a part of Cisco IOS-XE Release 3.10 on the Cisco ISR-4400, Cisco CSR, and Cisco ASR 1K platforms.
- Cisco WAAS Service Nodes—These optimize traffic flows and are available in different form factors, for example, standalone appliances and virtualized ISR-WAAS running in a Cisco IOS-XE container.
- Cisco WAAS Central Manager—This is used to monitor and configure the ISR-WAAS.
- This chapter describes the configuration of the Cisco AppNav Controller functions on routers.
The following figure describes the components of Cisco AppNav
The advantages of using the Cisco AppNav components are:
- They can intelligently redirect new flows based on the load on each service node. This includes loads of individual application accelerators.
- If the flows do not require any optimization, service nodes can inform the Cisco AppNav Controller to directly pass the packets, thereby minimizing latency and resource utilization.
- There is minimal impact to traffic when adding or removing service nodes.
- The Cisco AppNav components support VRF. The VRF information is preserved when traffic returns from a service node. However, Cisco Prime Infrastructure does not support VRF.
- For specific applications, such as Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) and Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the components ensure that a family of flow is redirected to the same service node.
- Asymmetric flows can be optimized in situations where traffic in one direction goes through one Cisco AppNav Controller and the return traffic goes through a different Cisco AppNav Controller. But both redirect the traffic to the same ISR-WAAS. This is achieved using the Cisco AppNav Controller Group.
The Cisco AppNav technology allows IP flows to be intercepted on routers and sent to a set of Cisco WAAS Service Node for processing. The initial application of Cisco AppNav which is supported in Cisco IOS-XE Release 3.10, is in Cisco WAAS.