Network-embedded virtualization: Cisco WAAS virtual blades host Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Network-Embedded Virtualization

Steve Ballmer and John Chambers
Perhaps the ten-year alliance between Cisco and Microsoft has finally hit pay dirt for channel partners. How? Their mutual announcement of the running of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 on the Cisco WAAS (Wide Area Application Services) appliance via the embeddment of a virtualization component adroitly coined as Cisco WAAS Virtual Blades.

Microsoft specifically pointed out that Cisco WAAS Virtual Blades were validated for hosting Windows Server 2008 as well as Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 or higher through testing by its Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). Both claim that Windows Server on WAAS provides branch Windows Server infrastructure services like Print, Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Domain Name System (DNS) Server, and Microsoft Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server as viewed in the diagram below: Windows Server on WAAS Schematic Structure

Click to view large image - Windows Server on WAAS Schematic Structure
View large image of the diagram above According to Cisco and Microsoft, with Windows Server on WAAS, core IT services can be hosted at the branch office minus the costs associated with additional branch servers. Cisco notes that by using a combo of technologies developed and tested with Microsoft, the Cisco WAAS appliance can accelerate enterprise applications as shown below when properly deployed:
Typical and Peak Performance Improvements Provided by Cisco WAAS
Concerning prospects for the future, Cisco advises that branch offices running legacy applications on separate hardware boxes could consolidate on a virtualized server getting rid of legacy hardware. However, Cisco also duly notes that virtualization of a disk-intensive application might not work. Nevertheless, in regard to box appliance implementations, Cisco claims that many of the same functions as an option blade can be added to Cisco routers and switches, providing the ability to run more virtualized applications on a router than there is physical room for blades. View Windows Server on WAAS testimonials. For more information, Cisco channel partners are encouraged to email: waaspartner@external.cisco.com Related Story: Cisco, Microsoft roll out server, networking appliance


Is it possible that Cisco and Microsoft may have hit a home run with their Windows Server on WAAS collaboration? Let us know your thoughts!

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