Enterprises have become increasingly dependent on their networks to deliver applications and data access to users throughout their organization, not only at corporate headquarters but also to branch offices and locations around the world. As employees become increasingly dependent on access to applications to perform their job functions, it is paramount that the Wide Area Network (WAN) provides the highest level of performance possible.
The emergence of WAN optimization in recent years has resulted in significant gains to the enterprise in terms of application performance, reduced network costs, and improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction. To date, the majority of WAN optimization efforts that have been concentrated in branch offices deployments were available primarily as dedicated appliances.
IDC research has found the demand for WAN optimization to be broad based among a large variation in the types of users, types of traffic patterns, and geographical mix of remote offices. As a result, in addition to evaluating the immediate benefit of WAN optimization, customers evaluate a number of factors within their own unique network configuration, including the cost to deploy and manage appliances as well as their relationships and contractual obligations with service providers.
In order to bring the benefits of WAN optimization to users throughout the entire network, Cisco provides a family of Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) offerings. Designed to optimize network service delivery in a range of form factors, they include dedicated WAAS hardware appliances, WAAS on Network Modules for Integrated Services Router (ISR), and WAAS Mobile software. These offerings are joined by the latest additions to the WAAS product portfolio: WAAS on Services-Ready Engine (SRE) for the next-generation ISR (Integrated Services Router G2), Virtual WAAS Software for VMware ESX/ESXi, and WAAS Express (IOS Based WAN Optimization hosted in Integrated Service Router G2), which are software-based solutions that allow companies to deploy WAN optimization to a broader range of deployment options and use cases.
IDC spoke with two enterprise customers that have successfully adopted Cisco WAAS and are early implementers of WAAS on SRE (Service Ready Engine) on ISR. These customers have realized a number of business benefits from the technology, including extending the life of their network infrastructure and providing improved application access to their end users. Any enterprise looking to provide the best possible experience to users throughout the organization could benefit from examining and adopting WAN optimization technology.
To learn more of these interviews, please read the joint IDC Whitepaper on “Optimizing the WAN with Integrated Service Router.“