Show 84 – Cisco WAAS – The Sleeping Giant Awakens – Sponsored

Liad Ofek from the Cisco Borderless team joins Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro to discuss the state of Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) in this sponsored show. WAAS is Cisco’s WAN optimization platform, competing against products from Riverbed, SilverPeak, Exinda and others. If you’re wrinkling your brow while remembering a bad WAAS experience back in 2007-2008, the software functionality and implementation process have changed for the better. Are you in the market for a WAN optimization solution? WAAS is worth another look.

In this show, we cover the following points:

  • WAAS was a rough ride back in day. Are we right to have some bad memories?
  • 2010 was a breakout year for WAAS releases, while 2011 saw additional innovations.
  • What are the deployment options for WAAS? (We discuss appliances, ISRG2 modules, Nexus 1000V and more.)
  • We get into some detail about deployment scenarios. When does it make sense to deploy a WAVE appliance versus WAAS Express, for example?
  • WAAS has some rich features and options that arrived in 2011, including new appliances, upgradeable network modules, context-aware DRE, and application optimization for Citrix XenDesktop.
  • Network World seemed to like WAAS in their November 2011 independent testing.


Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 3M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction. @ecbanks
Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks
  • Ben Johnson

    This was a really interesting show for me as someone who’s not looked into WAN acceleration to any depth before.  Some good general info on what’s going on under the hood as well as where, and to some extent why, you would or wouldn’t use this technology.

    I must give Greg an extra point for “clarifying” a fairly simple (and relatively clear IMHO) precis of TCP backoff/slowstart from the guest with:  “[TCP…] asymptotically increases the window on a parabolic curve.”  After diving for the dictionary I still have no idea what that means!