Cisco sending enterprises to the cloud

Readies integrated platform optimized for cloud connectivity

In an effort to accommodate enterprise users looking to implement private and hybrid clouds, Cisco in the coming months will unveil an "integrated" WAN routing system of existing, but enhanced, products.

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Cisco's Integrated Enterprise WAN Solution (IEWS) is comprised of its ASR 1000 edge router, ISR branch routers and WAAS WAN optimization appliances. It's designed to allow enterprises to connect to the cloud with an application aware infrastructure that is simple to provision and manage, says Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Network Services Technology Group, which oversees enterprise routing.

"We 're leveraging our extensive network footprint and credibility to connect [users] to cloud assets," Akkiraju says.

He would not go into specific detail on the cloud-optimized enhancements to the individual platforms within IEWS. But as an example, an ISR at a branch office could recognize traffic that's destined to or coming from the cloud, route it to Cisco's own ScanSafe SaaS-enabled security service for cleansing, and then to its destination.

IEWS is in customer trials now. Akkiraju says it will launch formally in the "next few months."

IEWS is specifically optimized for cloud connectivity, but can also serve traditional infrastructure deployments, Akkiraju says, just as its individual piece parts always have. It's intended to be customizable for the enterprise user's specific environment, whether a private WAN, private cloud, or part of a hybrid cloud solution.

"Cloud is not a single product," Akkiraju says.

Management of IEWS will be through Cisco Prime, he said, which debuted last spring.

Cisco's share of the enterprise router market is 52% in the high end, and 84% in access routers, according to third-quarter 2011 data from Dell'Oro Group. The worldwide enterprise router market in the third quarter was $873 million, according to Dell'Oro.

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