Cisco aims to join up the branches

Cisco is promising to wring 'LAN-like' performance out of a wide-area network

Cisco launched new products to help speed the exchange data between branch offices and datacentres at Storage Expo on Thursday.

The Application Velocity Server (AVS) works as a comms server in a head office while the Wide-Area Application Engine (WAE) is a branch office solution.

The AVS is one of a range of appliances for security and monitoring in the data centre, and WAE is intended to accelerate the delivery of applications. The products are designed to work together. The principal aim is to help IT managers who are trying to consolidate their networks to get better performance from those networks.

The AVS has already been tested at sites like the Royal Mail. According to Royal Mail eBusiness technology manager Shankaradhas Tharmananthar, the AVS system "has helped to improve average performance of [the Royal Mail's] externally facing Web applications".

Cisco claimed the devices can help organisations improve both their security and speed-up network performance by optimising applications over HTTP and HTTPS, with "response time improvements of as much as 500 percent" as well as decreased bandwidth requirement.

Cisco is promising "LAN-like" application performance from a WAN. The WAE does something similar at the branch level, improved application response across branches.

"These products are all about trying to aim at the issues people have with networks," said Ian Bond, consulting engineer with Cisco. "This is a way to do things like consolidation and still get the performance you need."

The AVS 3120 is priced at $34,995 (£19,600); the AVS 3180 management station is priced at $14,995. Pricing for WAE begins at $5,500. UK pricing has not been released.