The No Brainer Speed Demon of Networking

December 1, 2011 - 2 Comments


If you got the Thanksgiving week copy of Network World, you’d have seen a feature article on the testing they did on the newest Cisco Wide Area Application Services, or WAAS for short. The Clear Choice test looked at the speed and scalability of the industry’s most scalable WAN Optimization appliance – the WAAS 8541.

Below, we provide an overview of the article, list the highlights of some great testing, and show a fun video that goes through the case for WAN optimization.

The company famous for routing packets can also shape, optimize and accelerate them.

While you can read the full article “Cisco WAAS Shows Pizzazz,” the findings are pretty stellar. A few highlights:

  1. Performance: The basic goal of this testing was to determine if the WAAS 8541 lived up to the claims of its speeds and feeds:
    • The 8541 scaled to 150,000 TCP connections without any issues even while the default set of WAN optimization policies was enabled.
    • With all four clients active, the LAN side reported approximately 3.96Gbps of traffic and the WAN side peaked at 1.97Gbps. That represents some of the best performance seen on previous tests of WAN optimization gear.
  2. Context-Aware DRE: Network World found traffic reduction of 90% using Cisco’s Context-Aware DRE (Data Redundancy Elimination) capabilities.
    (Click here to watch a technical deep dive on Context-Aware DRE)
  3. Manageability: The Network World team found WAAS easy to use, quick to set up, and straightforward to manage:
    • From pass-through to TFO (TCP Flow Optimization) to TFO with DRE and LZ data compression, WAAS covered just about all possible scenarios. The testing team was able to create custom policies quickly in just minutes and easily deploy them to specific device groups.
    • One big benefit of WAAS managing all devices in a single location was the ability to view the status of all locations at a glance and create consolidated usage reports.
  4. Reporting and Monitoring: The reporting and monitoring engine was rated top notch and overall, Network World found the system easy to navigate and use.

The following video highlights the use case for WAN Optimization and summarizes some of the cool features of Cisco WAAS.  It is also, dare I say it, fun.  Check it out below:

What do you think? Have you looked at various WAN Optimization solutions lately? If so, what was your experience?

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  1. A big thank you for your article. Fantastic.

  2. I think, it’s good where the infrastructure will be good enough for 2Gbps