Cisco WAAS Solution
Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) is a comprehensive, cost-effective, cloud-ready WAN optimization solution that accelerates applications, optimizes bandwidth, provides local hosting of branch IT services, and enables cloud services., all with industry-leading network integration. Cisco WAAS allows IT departments to centralize applications and storage while maintaining productivity for branch-office and mobile users.
Cisco WAAS enables organizations to accomplish these primary IT objectives:
- Enhance productivity by mitigating the effects of WAN latency: Applications perform better, and data is transferred faster.
- Reduce bandwidth consumption, delaying or eliminating increased recurring bandwidth costs: Cisco WAAS enables IT consolidation, reducing both capital and recurring expenses for branch IT infrastructure.
- Lower operating costs by providing on-demand WAN optimization with integration into Cisco Integrated Services Router Generation 2 (ISR G2) routers through IOS-based Cisco WAAS Express and Cisco WAAS on Cisco Services-Ready Engine (SRE) Modules.
- Allow migration of business applications to the cloud without affecting application performance for end users in remote branch offices, campuses, and data centers.
- Enhance business continuity by reducing backup windows and achieving recovery-point objectives (RPOs) for storage administrators.
- Offer a superior end-user application experience by enabling rich media and collaborative applications with high performance without affecting the performance of other applications across the WAN.
Figure 1 shows a typical customer deployment using Cisco WAAS.
Figure 1. Cisco WAAS Deployment Architecture
Cisco WAAS is deployed on a physical appliance, virtual appliance, router-integrated service module or router-integrated Cisco IOS Software on each side of the WAN to provide application-specific acceleration and WAN optimization capabilities. Cisco WAAS appliances can be deployed out of the data path or physically in-path in the data center or in the remote branch office, and Cisco WAAS network modules as well as service modules can be deployed out-of-path in the branch office. Regardless of the deployment model, Cisco WAAS provides application performance improvements and enables centralization without compromising high availability and scalability by providing intelligent load-distribution and fail-through operation.
Figure 2 shows how Cisco WAAS devices, deployed on each end of a WAN link, optimize application traffic by using optimized connections over the WAN.
Figure 2. Cisco WAAS Optimizes Connections over the WAN
Cisco WAAS allows IT departments to:
- Consolidate and virtualize data centers
- Deliver desktop virtualization
- Deploy new, rich-media applications
- Deliver high-performance cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications
- Optimize organization branch sites with reduced network and IT infrastructure
- Optimize bandwidth for rich media and telepresence
- Manage bandwidth expense
- Protect remote data and help ensure business continuity for regulatory compliance
Cisco WAAS facilitates such benefits through a series of optimizations that are not only safe to all applications, but validated by the application vendors themselves while also being transparent to clients, servers, and the network itself:
- Application-vendor validated protocol-specific acceleration: Cisco WAAS provides application-specific acceleration features that are validated by application vendors themselves for both encrypted and nonencrypted applications. These techniques for improving application performance over the WAN reduce the effects of latency and bandwidth utilization through protocol acceleration, read-ahead, operation batching, multiplexing, and safe caching. The result is full correctness with protocol specification, full coherency of data, and a dramatically improved user experience when compared with native WAN access. Applications include Microsoft file services (Common Internet File System [CIFS]) and Microsoft Exchange (Messaging Application Programming Interface Remote Procedure Call [MAPI-RPC]), plus numerous other application protocols.
- Advanced protocol-agnostic WAN optimization: Cisco WAAS provides powerful WAN optimization capabilities that overcome limitations associated with the movement of data over a WAN. Cisco WAAS can compress data in flight using long-lived compression techniques including standards-based compression and Application aware Data Redundancy Elimination. Coupled with TCP optimizations that enable more intelligent and high-performance utilization of the network, the result is a significant reduction in network bandwidth consumption, more efficient network utilization, improved application throughput, and LAN-like performance for remote-office users and inter - data center applications.
- Branch-office consolidation through virtual blades: Cisco WAAS uniquely provides customers with the capability to consolidate application infrastructure on the scalable, high-performance Cisco WAAS appliance family for applications that must remain in the branch office. Cisco WAAS provides virtual blade support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with its entire suite of applications. Furthermore, Cisco WAAS support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 adheres to the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).
With Cisco WAAS, almost every TCP-based application can benefit from the network and application-specific acceleration techniques, including Internet and intranet, database, file service, file transfer, email, data protection, virtual desktop (VDI), client-server, data protection, video streaming and video on demand (VoD), and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted applications.
Figure 3 shows the Cisco WAAS hardware family.