The new Cisco WAAS Appliances, a game changer?

New appliances does not mean success for Cisco

Everyone has been waiting to see my reaction to the next generation Cisco WAAS appliances that were announced at Interop. Could these be the game changers that Cisco needs to compete with Riverbed and also stop losing deals to Blue Coat and Certeon? Well they are really pretty boxes, they have a lot of memory and a very big WAN card. But they are not what the doctor called for, sorry Cisco.

I have been saying for years that Cisco needs to fix the software by adding features that would allow them compete against Riverbed and others. They have had I think three years to innovate the product and add features that would allow them to optimize encrypted protocols, but sadly they have not.  They have done what networking companies do, they come out with bigger and better, faster, more powerful appliances. But when you don't have the features in the software, the new WAAS will be a nice foot rest for the data center.

These are the features we have been telling Cisco they need to optimize, yet none of these are in the new version 4.4 that was just released.

No encrypted MAPI, SMB2, SMB-signed CIFS or SMB2, Citrix ICA, Lotus Notes, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Forms,

Also, it seems from what I been reading that they have not fixed the data store problem that they have and that hurts them in large deployments. Very hard to scale when you have a data store managed per peer.

They have not grown the Mobile WAAS product. It is still a separate product with different software/features from the Appliance WAAS and the new 4.4 software that came out. So any features you see from the appliance software, don't expect those in the mobile.  Cisco has refused to integrate the products. 

I figured that Cisco would have learned its lesson after the 6500 launch and media blitz, but no.  In both cases,  the WAAS and 6500 Cisco has not innovated.

It looks to me like Cisco had to do something to appease the Cisco purist  who only buy Cisco and were  crying each time Cisco came out with a bug fix for the WAAS Software. But they will put the "Cisco Marketing Machine" into overdrive to push the new appliances. They will push the speed, the memory and how fast it is. But Cisco still has to face a fact, they are losing. Cisco just does not innovate anymore, if so they would have fixed problems with the WAAS software three years ago and added all of the encrypted protocols.

 Cisco will give its normal deep discounts to customers to gain market share; but most customers are seeing past the discount and looking to a product that works for them. Unfortunately for this writer, Cisco had a huge chance and blew it. It is just another missed step, one of many by Cisco executives over the last three years. 

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