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All Applications and No Performance makes Work a Dull Boy: Part 2

In my earlier blog, I introduced the concept of Application Velocity and how Cisco is addressing the application performance issue as a holistic approach under Borderless Networks Architecture. I touched upon one of the key components – Visibility – under this concept and the need for it.

Let’s focus on the other two components under Application Velocity starting with Optimization…

Optimization: The second component to Application Velocity addresses the traditional role of application and network optimization. This includes compression, caching and protocol optimizations like Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) as well as quality of service (QoS) based controls to deliver speedier responses to endpoints.

In addition to application acceleration and optimization, Application Velocity optimization delivers policy-based control of applications—such as user policy to application access. But application acceleration and optimization even with policy control does not provide a tool to distribute content effectively.

The final element of optimization is content distribution or the ability to reposition content for distribution factoring in endpoint capabilities. For example, a video session with a mobile endpoint would require a different compression and coding scheme than a Telepresence session; content distribution matches content to endpoints and provides the appropriate content reposition.

WAAS or Wide Area Application Services, WAAS-Mobile for mobile users and the new WAAS Express deliver application acceleration and optimization over the wide area.  WAAS is a proven technology deployed by more than 5000 customers and the idea with WAAS Express is to cater to a huge base of customers that predominantly need a low-cost entry level bandwidth optimization technology without all the bells and whistles of a comprehensive application optimization solution. More on this on my next blog post.

Agility: The third component of Application Velocity is agility or the ability to offer IT business leaders capabilities to quickly deploy applications and simplify their management, closing the gap between business and IT executive management execution expectations. From a network perspective, it’s the ability to dynamically and intelligently detect network and application conditions and make decisions based on those criteria while providing the much needed application reliability. A perfect example of this is the Performance Routing (PfR) embedded in Cisco routing platforms. PfR, unlike traditional routing, uses application characteristics and real-time network conditions to select the best path for a given application.

Another Cisco technology example of providing survivability and predictable performance for applications hosted centrally in a data center or in the cloud is Unified Computing System Express (UCS Express).  We already did a blog post on this technology for your reading pleasure!

In the next post, I’ll delve into the details on some of the new innovations in the Application Velocity space – specifically Enhanced NBAR, WAAS Express and UCS Express – and how they have been deployed in our customers’ networks.  Stay tuned.  If you have any further insight, please leave a comment below.

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