Unified Network Services (UNS) is one of the three architectural pillars of Cisco’s Data Center Fabric, along with Unified Fabric and Unified Computing Services (UCS). UNS represents our portfolio of Layer 4-7 application services, including security, WAN optimization, application controllers, network monitoring and orchestration. This TechWise TV episode is a great overview to the vision behind UNS and the benefits of pulling this all together, especially for virualized and cloud environments.
As reported in InformationWeek (click here for full article):
Cisco today announced that United Bank of India, one of India’s leading nationalized banks, has chosen to deploy Cisco’s Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization solution across all of its 1,600 plus branches. The solution, to be deployed by Wipro, is amongst the largest globally, for any Public Sector Bank. The network will help enable UBI’s vision of providing the benefits of banking to rural and agricultural economies, and to India’s burgeoning small and medium-sized enterprise sector.The solution will include 1,600 plus Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) devices, Cisco’s WAN optimization solution, in addition to application accelerators for the data centre and disaster recovery sites.
The Unified Network Services (UNS) portfolio of Layer 4-7 services (such as ACE and WAAS) also includes Cisco’s data center security solutions. A critical part of that security portfolio is our virtualization-aware firewall solution, Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). In a series of upcoming blog posts, I’ll be sharing a few use case scenarios that our customers are implementing with VSG.
For those of you new to VSG, I’ll point out that VSG’s role is to act as a virtual firewall between zones of virtual machines. Isolating traffic between VM zones has been very challenging prior to VSG because: 1) security policies have to be enforced between VMs running on the same server or same virtual switch (where there’s no place to put a firewall), 2) VMs move all around the network and the security policies (as enforced in the firewall) must follow the VM, and 3) the need to maintain segregation of duties for compliance purposes between the security and application server teams, where security is potentially enforced inside the virtual server.
A common discussion I hear a lot is around how to ensure application performance when accessed remotely over WAN from a centralized data center. At the same time, efficiently utilizing the limited network bandwidth available is key to customers. Cisco WAAS solution can help achieve both these objectives in a cost efficient way.
WAAS (Wide Area Application Services) is Cisco’s WAN optimization solution that helps accelerate enterprise applications delivery and data transfer in cloud. The key benefits that Cisco WAAS solution provides for enterprise applications are:
- Improving end user experience for the global workforce accessing enterprise applications in private/virtual private clouds, resulting in enhanced productivity.
- Improving efficiency (reduced bandwidth requirements/time) for remote replication of the enterprise application data to the DR site are
The requirement for optimizing WAN traffic becomes even more critical as customers continue to adopt data center virtualization and private/hybrid cloud to run their most demanding applications.
Deployment flexibility/options with Cisco WAAS
Cisco WAAS offers multiple deployment options (both physical and virtualized), and can easily plug into different architectures across your datacenter/private cloud, virtual private cloud at service provider, remote/branch offices, Backup/DR site, and mobile workforce. The picture below shows the different deployment options available with Cisco WAAS.
With an ever growing mobile and distributed workforce, application developers are being tasked to develop applications that can also be remotely accessed by this global workforce. Application developers, with a very basic understanding of networking, assume the network has no boundaries and applications perform optimally regardless of the mode of access. At the same time, cloud computing is enabling applications to be consolidated into centralized and virtualized data centers, further increasing the distance from where the applications are being accessed. Network architects are also being challenged with current network designs for this application deployment and delivery model. The available bandwidth is being taxed as the ever growing applications portfolio competes for network resources to provide a satisfying user experience across the network without boundaries. This application delivery model also demands capabilities for better visibility and control, WAN optimization, and agility of the network to rapidly deploy and manage enterprise applications.
The Cisco Application Velocity solution addresses all the challenges associated with the delivery and consumption of enterprise applications over the network without boundaries. It is one of the five services in Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture and is composed of innovative Cisco technologies that help IT professionals meet or exceed business SLAs, maximize user experience, optimize resource utilization, and increase reliability and user expectations.
Tags: ACE, Cisco, Cisco ISR G2 Services-Ready Engine, Cisco Nexus, Cisco UCS, Cisco WAAS, cloud, Exchange 2010, NBAR, netflow, Oracle E-Business Suite, PfR, QoS, Sharepoint, SQL Server, UCS Express, virtualization, VMware, waas, WAAS Express