As part of our IWAN series, I wanted to provide a deeper dive into PfR. Why PfR? It is a fundamental feature that helps customers protect critical apps while increasing bandwidth utilization. I think it is fair to say, every organization can benefit tremendously from this powerful capability.
PfR or Performance Routing is a feature that complements traditional IP routing protocols by adding application intelligence when making routing decisions. Why do we need application intelligence? Routers forward data packets based on their routing tables which are built using dynamic routing protocols such as RIP and OSPF to calculate the shortest path to the destination for the data packets. RIP and OSPF do not look into data packets to determine the type of application they belong to when making routing decisions. As a result if the application is time sensitive like voice over IP (VOIP) or bandwidth intensive like a file backup data packets are treated with the same priority and will be sent over the same route until they reach their destination. This can create problems if you have a single WAN link since a file backup could consume all bandwidth preventing voice packets from passing in a timely manner and impacting the quality of the voice call. QoS or Quality of Service can help to prioritize data on a single link but you may ultimately need more bandwidth.
Network optimization is a touchy subject for many in the IT world, and a particularly thorny issue for the Wide Area Network (WAN). The idea that the network architecture as designed cannot meet the needs of tomorrow is the cause of much discussion, anxiety and in some cases, gnashing of teeth. However, the reality is that the rate of change of applications and ways the WAN is utilized is accelerating, and the methods of designing, testing, implementing and troubleshooting of today are not keeping pace. In addition, traditional services offered throughout the WAN only offer a partial view of the capabilities of what may be available.
On March 12th, Cisco announced the ISR-AX and how Cisco is changing the game, reducing complexity and making it simpler for enterprises to deliver and manage application delivery to users. Cisco is expanding the role of our Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) to deliver application-centric networks that provide granular visibility, control, and optimization without additional devices or bandwidth upgrades -- Cisco® Application Experience (AX) Router family is now a part of the ISR family of routers! The Cisco ISR-AX Routers directly integrate Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Data/IPBase and Security services into a platform that is simple to order, configure, and deploy for secure, optimized cloud connectivity and branch-office routing. The Cisco ISR G2 and ISR-AX Routers are based on the same hardware and software that you know and love and are deploying today. Today I wanted to go into the technical details of each of the components. Read More »
I have been working for Cisco for over 15 years, much of that time as a Consulting Engineer for Routing and Switching.
I understand strengths and weakness of routing, the value of a good hierarchical design…. But what’s worse than having an end-user having problems with one of his business application and being unable to provide an answer? Yes we have traceroute, ping and other fancy networking tools but nowadays we have to deal with applications and user experience. We have to move forward and take into account the performance of an application rather than just forwarding packets based on static cost metrics. It’s not just about connectivity anymore.
Therefore I’ve moved to the Application Visibility and Control (AVC) group in Engineering. It’s like jumping from standard L3 to advanced L4-L7 kind of routing.
I know what you may be thinking when you read these lines … yet another new acronym. We have the good old routing protocols, why should I care about this new AVC? Read More »
Today, marks an important milestone in the history of routing, as Cisco introduces ISR-AX (Integration Services Router Generation 2 with Application Experience) and redefines the role of the router as the application delivery platform.
Quintiles – a biopharmaceutical in Durham, North Carolina – has experienced, first-hand, the benefits of an application aware router. They have successful rolled out VDI to thousands of users globally with key services of ISR-AX, namely Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS). With this solution, they have been able to onboard new acquisition employees within days instead of months, and dramatically increase productivity.
HDR – an Omaha, Nebraska-based architecture and construction firm – also relies on application services integrated on the router to guarantee application performance. HDR runs several mission-critical engineering applications worldwide, which are latency sensitive and transport over 10 terabyte files. They depend on the Cisco Application and Visibility (AVC) services available on the ISR-AX to provide a high quality of experience and resolve issues in a matter of minutes and minimize downtime. Read More »