Cisco and Microsoft, long time partners, are happy to share that we have taken the next steps to bring our joint solution, Windows Server on WAAS (WoW), to market. We’ve developed a new, independent website with a wide range of information: www.WindowsServerOnWaas.com. The vision for this solution was first announced on February 26, 2008 at the launch of Windows Server 2008 (aka Longhorn).What Is WoW? What excites us about WoW is that it combines key branch IT services from Windows Server 2008 with Cisco’s leading WAN optimization solution, WAAS. This is a first of its kind offering where our joint customers can now run Windows Server branch IT services on a WAN optimization appliance from Cisco, the same way they would run Windows Server on a physical (white or branded box) server, but with substantially lower operating costs and much greater flexibility for locating individual IT services. You can call this the”branch version” of what many have been blogging about today — at the opposite end of the computing spectrum — Windows Server on midsize and supercomputers. Windows Server on WAAS — which is available and shipping — helps businesses improve the user experience in branch offices — and equally important, it helps IT teams reduce their branch IT costs and complexity. Customers now have the flexibility of maintaining key Windows services such as printing, authentication and DNS/DHCP services in a very efficient manor on a network appliance in the branch while still consolidating much of their technology infrastructure in data centers.More Choices = More Wins The ability for customers to make their own decision about centralization vs. localization of IT services allows them to design their branch IT infrastructure according to their business’ unique objectives and requirements, as well as cost priorities and IT footprint. For example, a customer might be able to centralize email services at the data center for branch employees to access remotely, and at the same time locally host Windows print services on Cisco WAAS at the branch.IT Services + WAN Optimization = Perfect MatchWindows Server on WAAS helps optimize application and IT service performance and reliability. Because WoW leverages Cisco’s strong set of WAN optimization technologies, WoW can really impact the performance of centralized applications, as well as those users might want to centralize as part of this IT project. Says one major US financial services company:”Windows Server on WAAS can offer flexibility to optimally locate IT resources, by moving servers to the data center but still maintaining local branch IT services. Based on our evaluation, one could achieve this flexibility with a minimal learning curve as Windows Server management on Cisco WAAS is the same as on a physical server.”œCisco and Microsoft are looking forward to rolling out Windows Server on WAAS and addressing customers’ branch needs and challenges with a flexible, innovative joint solution.