Cisco adds security, monitoring to WAN optimization gear

Cisco adds encryption and monitoring tools to WAN optimisation gear

Cisco is beefing up its Wide-Area Application Services WAN-acceleration gear that improves branch-office application performance by adding encryption and better monitoring tools.

The company is introducing encryption of data as it sits on disks within its WAAS gear, making it impossible for thieves to make sense of the data even if they steal the drives. Keys for the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard security used to encrypt the data are synchronized by Cisco's WAAS Central Manager to ensure that they are readily available.

Cisco is also announcing a relationship with NetQoS that results in more detailed reports about how well user transaction times improve using WAAS, application by application. The relationship puts NetQoS software to its WAN optimization gear so it can generate more data about application performance than is produced by Cisco's Netflow management tools.

Previously Cisco Netflow data showed performance improvements overall between WAAS devices at either end of the WAN link, but not application by application and not from a user's perspective.

The NetQoS software on the WAAS gear gathers data about traffic on all links of WAN connections - from client to WAAS device, between WAAS devices, and between WAAS devices and servers. This data is transferred to and analyzed by the NetQoS Super Agent tool.

The reports can be used to plan for determine network impact of deploying new applications. For example, a company could add a CRM application to its network and based on reports discover whether it has an adverse effect on other traffic.

Addition of the NetQoS software to WAAS is standard with Cisco software upgrades, and support for the software on Cisco devices comes standard with NetQoS gear as well.

Cisco is also announcing its WAAS gear in conjunction with Cisco ISR routers preserve the functionality of Cisco's intrusion-prevention system and its IOS-based firewall.

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Tim Greene

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