Cisco upgrades Wide Area Application Services and Application Control Engine

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Networking giant Cisco today announced a raft up updates that should enhance enterprises’ virtualisation and datacentre management efforts, including upgrades to its Wide Area Application Services (Waas) and Application Control Engine (ACE).

Speaking at the vendor’s CiscoLive event in Orlando, Florida, application networking services business manager Kerry Partridge said Waas 4.1 boasted a raft of significant enhancements.

“We've added application-specific acceleration support for Microsoft Exchange through a Messaging Application Programming Interface [MAPI] adapter, as well as HTTP and Secure Sockets Layer [SSL] capability, and support for Real-Time Streaming Protocol [RTSP] for live and on-demand video,” he said.

“Then, as part of Windows-on-Waas, we've added support for Windows Print services. There's also Network File System [NFS] support for Linux/Unix file sharing."

Partridge said that the appliance on which Waas runs can be virtualised so that half of the device runs as the WAN optimiser, speeding up application protocols such as Exchange, and the other half runs as a Windows Server 2008 system.

"The advantages being that some firms could consolidate all their IT, reducing costs at a hardware level and an operational one," he added.

Partridge said ACE 3.1 doubles the throughput of the 4710 application switch from 2Gbit/s to 4Gbit/s.

The ACE 4710 delivers application switching over a virtualised architecture, and now supports Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and RTSP for use with unified communications, collaborative technologies and video applications.

Cisco also released version 1.2 of its VFrame service provisioning platform, allowing firms to integrate ACE with VMware's ESX hypervisor. Cisco said this would give firms the ability to "virtualise servers to ACE virtual devices, and/or to select a server out of a utility pool, and configure it end-to-end with ESX."

In addition, Cisco announced enhanced programs to help firms deploy and manage advanced datacentres. These included an update to its Data Center Efficiency Assurance Program (EAP) – a web-based tool designed to help customers analyse datacentre power use more accurately by establishing energy benchmarks across infrastructure.

Partridge said that all the upgrades would be available this summer.
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