Cisco upgrades WAN optimizers

Six new Cisco WAAS devices will replace current WAN optimization line

Cisco is coming out with six new WAN optimization appliances that upgrade its current line of Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) gear ranging from branch office to data center.

The refreshed line of WAAS devices are all in the WAVE family of products and will over the next one to two years replace the existing, less powerful WAVE and WAE products, Cisco says.

REFERENCE: The 2011 Application and Service Delivery Handbook 

Three new WAVE devices, the 294, 594 and 694, replace the current line of branch office devices, the WAVE 274, 474 and 574 and the WAE 674. The new devices support virtual partitioning of compute power and memory for servers that perform functions such as DHCP and network analysis. The new gear supports eight partitions, up from two in earlier models. The new gear has up to five times the throughput.

Two other devices - WAVE 7541 and 7571 - replace the WAE 7341 and 7371. A fourth new device, WAVE 8541 is the new top-of-line appliance that doesn't have an existing counterpart. These have 10Gbps Ethernet ports, and work with Cisco's WAAS that is integrated on its ISR G2 routers.

All the new products are available now, and pricing starts at $6,500 for the WAVE 294. Prices for the other new appliances are WAVE 594 ($12,500), WAVE 694 ($22,000), WAVE 7541 ($59,000), WAVE 7571 ($135,000), and WAVE 8541 ($235,000).

Cisco is also announcing Cisco WAAS 4.4 software, which includes context-aware data redundancy elimination (DRE), the practice of caching byte patterns previously seen and sending shorter pattern identifiers when the same pattern is called for again.

Application intelligence can prevent caching at both ends of a connection if the application is asymmetric and very little traffic is sent from one end such as video and virtual desktop applications. This makes better use of cache space.

The new software version also combines both peer-to-peer caching as well as single-store caching to combine the fairness of peer-to-peer with the efficiency of single-store. Users can set policies for which applications use which methods.

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