Reducing Power Consumption
"Cisco in the past was not considered a top-tier performer. It has improved our Web site responsiveness. It's hard to measure, but we see a positive gain in raw speed and performance. From a management standpoint, I am happy to intro another product that doesn't require a new learning curve," Ehr said. The ACE 4710 also helps with green IT initiatives, because it can reduce the footprint and power consumption by cutting the number of devices required. It can "rack up dozens of server farms behind a single load balancing switch, instead of one device per server farm," Kurian said.WAAS Mobile, which consists of client software and server software, can accelerate any TCP application across the WAN. It can be installed without reconfiguring existing clients, file or application servers, or switches and routers, and it preserves existing network security policies. For road warriors who move in and out of branch offices, WAAS Mobile can sense when existing WAN optimization is already in use in the branch and defer to the most appropriate method of optimization. WAAS Mobile fills in a gap in application acceleration, said Tom Gibson, strategic business unit executive at outsourcer ACS. "The WAAS technology was really for remote sites to connect to the data center. The ACE 4710 is for the connectivity inside the data center, but what about remote users? With more people working from home and road warriors, there is a real requirement to enable these mobile users to have a more efficient solution," Gibson said. With the growing range of acceleration methods and different types of applications responding differently to each technique, Cisco also seeks to add professional services and a testing program aimed at helping customers choose the most appropriate technology. The new Data Center Assurance Program for Applications provides testing and validation of major enterprise applications across a range of infrastructure elements and server topologies over Cisco's application delivery products. The new Application Profiling Service helps customers to profile their applications' performance, security and availability and provides recommendations on which technologies are most appropriate. The Cisco ACE 4710 Appliance and WAAS Mobile software are available now. The 4710 starts at $15,995 and the WAAS Mobile Server is $5,000 and starts at $8,750 for 25 concurrent clients.
With its new Cisco WAAS Mobile client, the company joins a growing number of vendors offering WAN optimization and application acceleration software for individual PCs and laptops. Rivals Riverbed and Blue Coat already offer a so-called softWOC, and Packeteer plans to release its implementation by mid-year.