All vendors get excited when their products win awards and get listed publicly. Cisco was no different when we won not one, but two GOLD MEDALS for our application networking products in SearchNetworking’s Product of the Year awards for WAN Optimization and Application Delivery Controllers.But what really should make vendors the happiest is growing numbers of satisfied customers that are getting real business benefits from their products…Cisco was happy in this context also this week — analyst firm IDC published a case study on a large US bank which deployed the Cisco ACE platform.The 8000+ end users of a key bank application, supported by 450 IT professionals, gained “very high marks” from the following benefits per IDC’s write-up:* Strong load balancing capabilities. All of these features improve performanceacross the MPLS network.* SSL load balancing. The Cisco ACE platform provides SSL offload so theexternal Web site servers do not have to use CPU cycles to encrypt/unencryptWeb traffic. This feature improves both performance and security of theexternally facing Web servers.* Role-based administration. This allows approved IT personnel to performmaintenance on specific servers without the involvement of the network team.The result is more efficient management of servers and lower operational andadministrative overhead.(source: IDC case study, March 2008)Clearly one customer’s achieved benefits and point of view. Now here’s the open question to readers: what makes you (or your end users) “happy” when it comes to deploying and using application delivery equipment? And what doesn’t??We would like to hear your thoughts….