To function properly, most cloud based applications need good bandwidth and low latency and in large-scale WAN deployments, latency, bandwidth constraints, and packet loss are inevitable.  SDWAN promises to overcome application performance bottlenecks associated with network architectures that were designed for data center, not cloud-based, applications, but is SDWAN  always enough?

It’s true that Cisco SDWAN provides WAN optimization with Intent-based dynamic path control to optimize network and application performance by selecting the most efficient WAN links on an application-by-application basis helping to avoid latency and bottleneck concerns, but SDWAN cannot overcome the inevitable issues caused by latency and geographic distances.  To ensure user quality of experience and productivity, WAN optimization and application acceleration remain important features to both enterprise and service provider customers

And Cisco delivers! Cisco is a recognized leader in WAN Optimization and has been for several years in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant with Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS).  By adding Cisco WAAS to SD-WAN deployments you can further reduce those concerns by adding; caching, compression, application optimization and improved transport of data across the WAN on top of the optimization provided by SDWAN.

Cisco WAAS provides the technologies necessary to provide application acceleration and WAN optimization capabilities to branch offices, data centers, public and private clouds and users to achieve application delivery performance similar to that of a LAN.  Enterprises and service providers can save money and reduce costs with reduced bandwidth requirements and increased user efficiency by alleviating the effects of latency and distance between branch offices, data centers, and the cloud.  Enterprises will also save time and increase the velocity of business functions and transactions like backup/disaster recovery and retail commerce.

Cisco WAN Optimization

Optimize your WAN traffic by dynamically selecting the most efficient WAN links that meet your service level requirements (ie: MPLS, 4G/LTE, broadband etc)

Cisco WAAS
Cisco WAAS delivers next generation WAN optimization and application acceleration and helps businesses deliver high-quality digital experiences.

Cisco WAAS in the cloud
· Accelerate business SaaS and IaaS applications delivered from private and virtual private cloud infrastructures
· WAAS in Azure; as part of Office 365 support, and as an end-to-end solution with enterprise branch offices.
· Additional cloud providers coming soon

Cisco WAAS with Akamai Connect
The Akamai Connect feature integrated with WAAS further accelerates HTTP content whether it is delivered via your internal corporate network, direct from the Internet, or from Akamai’s Intelligent Platform.

Cisco ENCS 5400-W Series WAAS Appliances

Cisco is now proud to announce continued leadership with the next evolution of WAN optimization with Cisco’s Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) and availability now for the Cisco ENCS-5400-W Series a series of purpose built WAAS hardware appliances which replace the Cisco WAVE appliances and expands the choice of form factors and platform for WAAS services.

Cisco 5400-W Enterprise Network Compute System purpose built appliance for WAAS – Front and Back

The ENCS 5000 Series and WAAS are key parts of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA).  One of the key innovations in DNA is Enterprise Network Function Virtualization (ENFV) and how that can be architected to resolve the challenges faced by IT teams in enterprise networks.   The NFV approach to branch virtualization provides a platform for customers to deploy virtualized network elements, as and when, required. Coupling this with an easy-to-use, end-to-end automation, orchestration and management framework, enterprises and service providers are able to significantly reduce costs, time and increase velocity of business initiatives.

Lookout for more Enterprise NFV blog series’ coming soon and read more about network virtualization here:



Adam Keller

Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking and Mobility