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Enterprise Networks

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“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle


You could be excused for missing the press release from ThousandEyes earlier today. They’re an innovative young company with powerful network monitoring technology, but there are a flurry of announcements this time of year and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. What they announced today represents the first of many 3rd parties, partners, customers, students and friendly hackers developing applications to run in a Cisco network.


A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new technology we’ve been rolling out quietly on the Integrated Services Routers (ISR 4000 Series) and Aggregation Services Routers (ASR 1000 Series). It is really the worst kept secret ever from Cisco because we never really tried. We first introduced virtual machine hosting on routers in 2013 eventually opening up to non-Cisco developers late last year. Since then, dozens of developers (that we know of) have been writing applications for our routers. ThousandEyes is the first of these to launch an officially supported product using the technology.


What Makes ThousandEyes Unique


Our goal with hosted virtual machines on Cisco Routers is to create an open environment where all developers and applications are welcome. There’s no doubt ThousandEyes has interesting technology, but honestly that’s not why they’re one of the first non-Cisco applications with support on Cisco routers. To find out why they qualified as a great early adopter, you have to look at their customer list, which includes Cisco IT.


Imagine working in IT at Cisco. Of all the large enterprise environments you could possibly work in, Cisco’s has got to be the one with the highest stress level. Not only are you responsible for a global network with hundreds of locations and thousands of partners, but you have to do it with some of the smartest people in the industry as end users. It’s the typical enterprise network with demands such as perfect uptime, infinite bandwidth, and instantly responsive applications. For Cisco IT, those users are also inventors that create the technologies running in the network you support.

To keep that network up and running, Cisco IT uses ThousandEyes to triage and get to the root cause of network outages quickly. In the past, they would use a compact PC at Cisco remote offices to host the ThousandEyes agents. These agents constantly collect information about the health of the network, so Cisco IT could spot problems before they occur. This was ugly. The PC didn’t fit cleanly into a rack and it was another device to manage or fail.


The Development Process

Cisco IT proactively suggested that ThousandEyes look into running their agent directly on a Cisco router. With the ability to host the ThousandEyes agent directly on the ISR 4K or ASR 1K in remote offices, Cisco IT was able to reduce the footprint of devices they have to support remotely while eliminating one more thing they have to worry about failing. Through moving to an integrated model for the ThousandEyes agent, Cisco IT was able to reduce their mean time to troubleshoot by 43% and their mean time to restore by 8% while reducing the complexities of the remote office.


For us as a product development team this was a fantastic opportunity. We could have direct interaction with both the application developers as well as the end users. It allowed us to see firsthand the challenges a non-Cisco developer would face porting their application to run on a Cisco router. We provided ThousandEyes with some early versions of the developer guide that you can find in DevNet right now. We wanted their experience to be as close as possible to what a developer with no special access would go through.

As it turns out, the challenge wasn’t that imposing. Since ThousandEyes already had support for KVM agents, the development work to get their agent running on an ISR was minimal. They had the whole thing working in just a couple days.


What Does “Support” Mean

To be completely clear, when an unsigned application runs on an ISR 4000 or an ASR 1000, there is no support for that application from Cisco. This is no different than other hypervisor or hosting environments that you’ll run into.


The hypervisor vendor supports the infrastructure and the plumbing that the application needs. In this case the Cisco router provides the network and hypervisor so Cisco supports the hardware along with the IOS-XE operating system that includes the KVM hosting capabilities. Because all Cisco applications carry a Cisco digital signature while all non-Cisco applications don’t, it’s easy to see which applications are supported by Cisco and which are supported by the developer.

Because this is open-source KVM under the hood, there’s also no license required from Cisco or any other group to host an application on the router. KVM is fairly universal across Linux distributions so it should not matter which platform you develop an application or which distribution it runs on top of. Cisco IOS XE happens to use a lightweight Monte Vista distribution for efficiency, but the KVM component is completely standard. Of course the operating system or application within the KVM machine could have licensing requirements depending on what’s inside.



If you’re a developer, you are not on your own. Cisco DevNet is the primary source for everything you need to develop or modify your application for a Cisco router. There we have developer guides, sample code, useful tools, and a community of Cisco and external developers excited to help make your application a success. If you’ve never taken a look at DevNet, it’s a deep resource with plenty to get you started on whatever project you can dream up.


It is the responsibility of the developer to support the application running within that virtual machine. In this case the developer was ThousandEyes. That’s the newsworthy piece about the press release today. The packaging of ThousandEyes agents to run on a Cisco router was not the impressive thing from the press release today.


It is the confidence ThousandEyes has in Cisco that justified testing, certifying, and supporting their software on a Cisco router. That shows a level of trust in the infrastructure as well as a market understanding that the network is a compelling place for ThousandEyes agent and will be of interest to their customers. The announcement today is also a validation of openness and extensibility, a pillar of Cisco DNA. With open extensibility now available on Cisco ISR 4000s and ASR 1000s there’s a new world of possibilities to customize the capabilities of the branch router. As a result, it creates a benefit greater than any single vendor’s offer.

Twitter contest.JPGAttending Cisco Live Las Vegas and theEnterprise Networks Innovation Talk on July 13? You could win an Apple Watch – just for tweeting.


Here’s how it works:

Answer the question "What is the one wish you have of your network" on Twitter by 6:30pm PT on Tuesday, July 12.


Tweet your answer to @CiscoEnterpriseusing #CiscoDNA and #CLUS with your answer.


May the best tweet win!


The winner will be announced during the Enterprise Networks Innovation Talk, The Future of the Network is Here, on Wednesday, July 13th at 9AM. You must be present at the Cisco Live EN iTalk to be eligible to win and can collect the Apple Watch after the iTalk event.


We look forward to seeing you at Cisco Live!, July 10-14 in Las Vegas! Follow the link for more information on all-things Cisco Enterprise Networks at #CLUS.

View the official Terms and Conditions below:



#CiscoDNA Cisco Live 2016 Twitter Contest

Official Rules




This Contest (the "Contest") opens on June 29, 2016 at 8:00am Pacific Time and ends on July 12, 2016 at 6:30pm Pacific Time, or if earlier, until there are no more available prizes (the "Contest Period").  Entry into this Contest is acceptance of these Official Rules.  This Contest is sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc., 170 West Tasman Drive, San Jose, CA  95134 USA ("Sponsor" or "Cisco").


This Contest is open to participants ("Participants" or “you”) who are age 18 years or older at the time of entry, and are present during The Future of the Network is Here Innovation Talk at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, NV on July 13, 2016 at 9:00am Pacific Time This Contest is not open to: (1) employees or internally contracted vendors of Sponsor or its parent/subsidiaries, agents and affiliates; (2) the immediate family members or members of the same household of any such employee or vendor; (3) anyone professionally involved in the development or administration of this Contest; (4) employees or internally contracted vendors of governments and government-affiliated companies or organizations; or (5) any employee whose employer's guidelines or regulations do not allow entry in the Contest or acceptance of the prize(s).  This Contest is not open to individuals in the province of Quebec in Canada.  In addition, residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sudan are not eligible to participate. This Contest is void in these countries and where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law.
  1. 2.  HOW TO ENTER.
Answer the question, "What is the one wish you have of your network?" on Twitter by 6:30pm PT on Tuesday, July 12. Tweet your answer to @CiscoEnterprise using #CiscoDNA and #CLUS with your answer. Entries must be received during the Contest Period. Sponsor is not responsible for late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, void, corrupted, garbled, illegible, and/or unintelligible entries, or for any problems, bugs or malfunctions Participants may encounter when submitting their entry.  Only complete valid entries will be accepted.  Sponsor will not verify receipt of entries.  Participants must provide all information requested to be eligible to win.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify false entries or entries suspected of being false.  Incomplete, unreadable, or unintelligible entries, in the sole discretion of Sponsor, will be disqualified.  All entries submitted become the sole property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. JUDGING CRITERIA Cisco Enterprise Networks Marketing team members will be the judging panel. The judging panel will review all entries. The Judging Panel will make their final selection based on the following criteria of the entries: (1) originality and creativity and (2) perceived inspiration or vision
  1. PRIZES.  Subject to the terms of these Official Rules, once confirmed by Sponsor, the winner(s) will receive the following:
One (1) first prize winner will receive an Apple Watch Sport with approximate retail value (ARV) of US$349.00. Limit one (1) prize per Participant.  The approximate retail values are subject to change based on current market conditions at the time of prize fulfilment. Winners are not entitled to any surplus between actual retail value (ARV) of prize and stated ARV and any difference between stated ARV and actual value of the prize will not be awarded. No substitution, assignment, transfer, or cash redemption of any prize is allowed by Winner.  Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value should the advertised prize become unavailable for any reason. If applicable, prizes may be awarded in the form of voucher(s), coupon(s) and/or gift card(s) in Sponsor’s sole discretion.  If a potential winner is unable to participate in or accept the prize or any portion of the prize for any reason, Sponsor shall have no further obligation to such potential winner.  Neither Sponsor nor any of its prize suppliers will replace any lost or stolen prizes, cards or certificates after being awarded to winners.  In no event will Sponsor be responsible for awarding more than the stated number of prizes. NOTIFICATION OF WINNER(S).  Winners will be notified on stage during The Future of the Network is Here Innovation Talk at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, NV on July 13, 2016 at 9:00am Pacific Time  and by Twitter.  Sponsor’s decision will be final in all matters.  Sponsor may also send potential winner(s) a declaration of eligibility / liability / publicity release ("Release").  Unless restricted by law, potential winners receiving such a Release may be required to complete and return it within the time period specified therein.  The prize may be forfeited and, in such case, an alternate potential winner may in Sponsor's discretion be selected from among the remaining eligible entries (using the criteria described above), if a potential winner:   cannot be reached; (ii) fails to obtain all signatures on the Release and to return the documents in a timely manner as required pursuant to these Official Rules; or (iii) cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason.  Prizes will be sent to winner as quickly as practicable following notification (and receipt of any Release and related document, if applicable). CONTENT AND LICENSE TERMS. Originality:  By participating in this Contest, Participant warrants and represents that his or her entry:
  • is original and has been legally created, and that Participant owns all rights to the entry;
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  • complies in all respects with the requirements set out in these Official Rules.
Third Party Rights.  No part of any entry may depict recognizable third party marks, copyrights, brands or other property, unless Participant has obtained all proper licenses.  The entry must not contain any elements that would infringe upon any third party's rights (intellectual property or otherwise), and must not include any commercial content that: (1) promotes any product or service, other than one owned or branded by Sponsor, or (2) disparages Sponsor, its affiliates, partners, customers, competitors or any third party in any way.  Sponsor’s determination as to whether Participant's Submission potentially violates the rights of any third party is final.Permissions and Releases.  Participant acknowledge and agrees that he or she is responsible for obtaining any and all documents, policies and authorizations necessary to submit the entry to Sponsor in connection with this Contest, including but not limited to publicity releases, permits and venue permissions, as may be necessary; and Participant represents and warrants that he or she has done so and can make written copies of such permissions available to Sponsor upon request. If applicable: Participant represents and warrants that he or she has obtained permission from each person whose name, image, likeness and/or voice ("Likeness") is included in any entry, and that such person(s) has/have granted Participant all necessary rights to use the person’s Likeness as described in these rules, and that Participant can make written copies of such permissions available to Sponsor upon request.  If the Likeness of a minor is included, such grant of rights must include written permission from the minor’s parent or legal guardian authorizing the use of the minor’s likeness on behalf of the minor.  Participant represents and warrants that he or she has obtained written permission when filming or photographing any part of his or her entry on private property not owned or controlled by Participant, where such permission is required.Additional Content Limitations.  Participant’s entry must not include anything in its theme or language that would offend parents whose young children view the entry, and must not include any nudity, ***, explicit activity, violence or drug use, nor any references to same. License Grant.  By submitting any entry in this Contest, Participant irrevocably grants Sponsor and its affiliates, legal representatives, assigns, agents and licensees, the unconditional, irrevocable and perpetual right and permission, royalty-free, to reproduce, encode, store, copy, transmit, publish, post, broadcast, display, publicly perform, adapt, exhibit and/or otherwise use or reuse (without limitation as to when or to the number of times used), for any purpose, the Participant's entry and ideas and materials contained therein, including, but not limited to, any recordings and performances contained therein (in each case, as submitted or as edited/modified in any way by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion), as well as to use Participant's Likeness, and/or statements regarding his/her participation in this Contest (with or without using the Participant's name) in any and all media without limitation as to time or territory, and without additional compensation or approval from the Participant, or any other party.  Participant waives all intellectual property rights, privacy/publicity rights or other legal or moral rights that might preclude the Sponsor's use of the Submission, and agrees not to sue or assert any claim against Sponsor for the use of the Submission or Participant's Likeness or statements.  The grant of rights under these Official Rules includes all rights of paternity, integrity, disclosure, and withdrawal and any other rights that may be known as or referred to as "moral rights" ("Moral Rights").  If Moral Rights cannot be assigned under applicable law, then to the full extent allowed by law, Participant hereby waives such Moral Rights in favor of Sponsor and consents to any action of Sponsor which would violate such Moral Rights in the absence of such consent. GENERAL CONDITIONS. The Contest is subject to applicable federal, state and local laws, and these Official Rules. Each winner will be solely responsible for any local, provincial, country or any other applicable taxes, and any other costs, expenses and fees in connection with the prize.  If applicable, the winner(s) may be issued an IRS Form 1099 or other tax documentation for the approximate retail value of any awarded prize. Participant grants permission to Sponsor and its authorized representatives to use his/her name, address (city and state/province/territory/country), photograph, voice, and/or other likeness for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide, and on the Internet and world wide web, in perpetuity, without notice, consideration, review or approval. Following the Contest Period, Sponsor shall not be required to retain records of any Entries. By participating, Participant hereby: (a)  agrees bound by these Official Rules, and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding; and (b) waives any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law.  Once submitted, an Entry cannot be deleted or cancelled. If any prize involves travel, all potential winners are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents, including valid passports, visas and travel insurance, and complying with all health or other government regulations. Participant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor has neither made, nor is in any manner responsible or liable for, any warranty, representation or guarantee, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relative to any prize or the Contest.  All warranties are hereby disclaimed; and each potential winner will accept the Prize "AS IS."   All costs and expenses, including support services, not specifically listed above as part of the prize, are solely the winner’s responsibility. In the event of a dispute as to the source of any Entry, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter will be deemed to be the person making the Entry.  The authorized “account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address.Subject to applicable law, Sponsor reserves the right in its discretion, to (a) cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Contest and these Official Rules, for any reason, at any time and without any liability, and (b)limit or restrict participation in the Contest, upon notice.All Participants are solely responsible for compliance with any applicable laws, rules and regulations, contractual limitations and/or office or company policies, if any, regarding Participant’s participation in trade promotions or acceptance of promotional prizes; and by entering this Contest, Participant confirms that he or she is not in violation of any of the foregoing and has obtained the consent of his or her employer to participate, if applicable.  If a Participant is not permitted to accept any received prize, then the Participant may return such prize to Sponsor; and Sponsor will refund the cost of shipment, as appropriate. Use of any automated entry device or software is prohibited.  Creation or use of multiple accounts for registration or participation in the Contest is prohibited.  To the extent the Contest uses or requires functionality of any third party website (e.g., social media sites or platforms that enable broad communications, collaboration and/or posting of videos), you understand that the Contest is not sponsored by such third parties, and further agree to follow the policies on such website(s), as applicable.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Participant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or violating these Official Rules, or otherwise acts in an uncooperative, unsportsmanlike, disruptive, abusive, or threatening manner; and Sponsor reserves the right to cancel the Contest should it suspect fraud or for reasons out of the control of Sponsor.  Disputes regarding these Official Rules and/or this Contest will be governed by the internal laws of California.  CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST.  SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEY FEES) TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Sponsor is not responsible for: (a) lost, late, misdirected, undeliverable, incomplete or indecipherable entries due to system errors or failures, or faulty transmissions or other telecommunications malfunctions and/or entries; (b) technical failures of any kind; (c) failures of any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (d) unauthorized human and/or mechanical intervention in any part of the submission process or the Contest administration; (e) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or (f) other factors beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control.  Sponsor is not responsible for injury or damage to any Participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in the Contest or downloading materials from or use of the Site.If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned by Sponsor, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in Sponsor’s sole determination, corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.  If Contest is cancelled prior to the end of the Contest Period, for the reasons stated above, notice will be posted on the Contest website; and some or all of the prizes may, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, be awarded to potential winners to be selected (using the judging criteria described above) from among all the remaining uncorrupted entries received up until the time of modification or cancellation.Sponsor shall not be liable to any Participant or other person for failure to supply any prize or any part thereof, by reason of the prize becoming, for reasons beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor, unavailable or impracticable to award, or for any force majeure event, technical or equipment failure, terrorist acts, labor dispute, or act/omission of any kind (whether legal or illegal), transportation interruption, civil disturbance, or any other cause similar or dissimilar beyond Sponsor’s control. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY AND RELEASE.  PARTICIPANT AGREES THAT SPONSOR, ITS AFFILIATES, DIVISIONS, SUBSIDIARIES, RESELLERS, DEALERS, DISTRIBUTORS, ADVERTISING/PROMOTION AGENCIES, AND ALL OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS (“RELEASED PARTIES”) WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR, AND WILL BE RELEASED AND HELD HARMLESS BY PARTICIPANT FOR ANY CLAIMS, LIABILITIES, OR CAUSES OF ACTION OF ANY KIND OR NATURE FOR ANY INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES TO PERSONS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DISABILITY OR DEATH.  WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, EVERYTHING ON THE SITE AND IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.  SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, IN WHICH CASE SUCH LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION SHALL APPLY ONLY TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE LAW IN THE RELEVANT JURISDICTION.
  1. PUBLICITY. Participant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor may use the Contest (including any submission) for publicity, advertising or other marketing purposes, in any media, and may use the name, likeness, and hometown name and/or prize information of potential winners as part of that publicity, without additional compensation to the potential winners.
  2. PRIVACY. All personal information collected by Sponsor will be used for the administration of the Contest and in accordance with Sponsor's privacy policy.  Any questions regarding privacy matters should be directed to the address set out below. Please refer to Sponsor's privacy policy located athttp://cisco.com/web/siteassets/legal/privacy.html for important information regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by Sponsor.


OFFICIAL RULES AND WINNERS' LIST. For a copy of these Official Rules or the names of winners, please email your request to julmcphe@cisco.com. Winners list to be available approximately ten days after the Contest Period.

*    * *


1,000 CLI commands reduced to 10 GUI clicks…

240,000 total branches connected…

4 Managed Service Providers as partners…


This is what Cisco’s SD-WAN solution, Intelligent WAN (IWAN) can do for you.


Back in the summer of 2015, the Intelligent WAN Application (IWAN App) on Cisco’s APIC-EM was announced, and it brought Software Defined Networking to the WAN (SD-WAN) to Cisco’s ISR 4000 series routers. The IWAN App enables you to bring up new branches in minutes by:

  • Simplifying configuration, provisioning, and management of your WAN
  • Automatically translating business policy to network configuration
  • Providing openness, programmability, and customization



Now, you can do all of that on the industry-leading ISR G2 routing platforms. By leveraging the IWAN App, you will take the first step towards a Digital Network Architecture (DNA) by automating your WAN with SD-WAN, protect your investment, and save on bandwidth costs today – no adding new hardware or ripping and replacing necessary.


There’s never been a better time. To see for yourself what the IWAN App on APIC-EM can do for you, take a look at the first video in the WAN Resolutions series here.


Get more technical information on these recent updates and details on platform support for the IWAN App by reading Jake Sacharok’s blog here.


Lastly, if you’re ready to get started, download APIC-EM here or contact your Cisco sales team or channel partner team.

Intelligent WAN (IWAN) Application for the Cisco® Application Policy Infrastructure Controller - Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) allows you to accelerate the deployment of IWAN and align to business priorities based on applications and user needs.


So what’s new in 1.2?


The IWAN Application update brings a number of new features and improvements. APIC-EM IWAN App continues to simplify WAN deployments by providing a highly intuitive, policy-based interface that helps IT abstract network complexity and design for business intent.



Business policy is automatically translated into network policies that are propagated across the network. This solution enables IT to accelerate the transition to hybrid WAN, and quickly realize the benefits of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN): lower costs, simplified IT, increased security, and optimized application performance.


Cisco IWAN App includes the following features:






Below is a summary of what’s new in the IWAN App APIC-EM Release:

  • Improved application visibility and network monitoring via Prime Infrastructure integration
    • Monitor application bandwidth per link and per site
    • Quickly visualize site health and receive alerts
    • Simple application troubleshooting and remediation via the GUI
  • Increased scalability to 1000 IWAN devices (routers)
  • ISR G2 Support
    • Select IWAN supported ISR G2 Platforms are now configurable (See table below)
  • Post site provisioning improvements (Day 2 features)
    • Add or delete WAN clouds and service providers in any order
    • Connect hub devices to different service providers  
  • Improved LAN interface selection


Supported Cisco Platforms and Software Releases

Cisco IWAN supports the following Cisco router platforms and software releases:




Software Release

Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers


Cisco IOS XE 3.16.2S

Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers


Cisco IOS XE 3.16.2S

Cisco CSR 1000v Series Routers

Cloud Services Router 1000v

Cisco IOS XE 3.16.2S

Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR-G2) Series Routers NEW!

ISR 3945
ISR 3945-ISM
ISR 3945-E
ISR 3925
ISR 3925-ISM
ISR 3925E
ISR 2951
ISR 2951-ISM
ISR 2921
ISR 2921-ISM
ISR 2911
ISR 2911-ISM
ISR 2901
ISR 2901-ISM
ISR 1941
ISR 1941-ISM
ISR 1921
ISR 1921-ISM

Cisco IOS 15.5(3)M2a


For more details on the IWAN Application consult the IWAN App 1.2.0.x release notes here.

Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization recognized Cisco as a leader, again. More details about Cisco positioning are highlighted in Prashanth Shenoy’s blog post. This follow up post shares an overview of Cisco considerations for our WAN Opt (Cisco WAAS) vision and strategy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.48.08 PM.png



(Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization, May 2016. G00276843)

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Cisco.


Innovation is more than just about speed, feed, and the latest shiny box. A true technology leader evaluates current and future needs of the market, its customers’, then builds value-added innovations to help get customers towards that future. That, essentially, is our guiding principle. So what does Cisco see?


Market Needs

Cisco continues to see convergence of network services into a single platform that provides operational and capital cost savings as well as license flexibility for the customers. The exponential growth of mobile devices, high bandwidth apps, and cloud-based services adoption demands new WAN paradigm, for example, hybrid WAN. Internet as an alternative to offload the WAN gives rise to new application assurance challenge and security vulnerability traditionally not encountered with the DC backhauled model. Early adopters increasingly embrace virtualization, e.g. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with WAN opt as one of many virtual network functions (VNF), to lower operation costs and have greater deployment flexibility.


What Do These Mean? 

Customers are looking for more than just a narrowly focused solution, but a comprehensive and integrated WAN Optimization that helps them address a) digital business needs, b) operational complexity, and c) costs optimization across the WAN fabric.


A. Digital business needs. A one-second delay in web page response time could result up to 16% decrease in customer satisfaction1. The non-existence of an app, say on a mobile device or at a remote unwired location, boils down to missed revenue opportunity. The key to delivering great experience for digital customer is the ability to deploy application performance anywhere, anytime, through any connectivity, on any platform, i.e. physical or virtual. This means application optimization at the branch and WAN opt in the WAN or cloud (anywhere), instantiated on-demand (anytime), delivered via MPLS, Internet or 3/4G LTE (any connectivity), as dedicated hardware, virtual instance, or virtual network function (any platform).


B. Operational complexity. Agility is the desired state so IT can quickly respond to changing digital business needs. Therefore, the automation of network and branch services, like WAN opt, is central. Cisco WAAS is part of Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN), our solution for software defined WAN (SD-WAN). Cisco IWAN provisioning can be done in a few GUI friendly clicks using the IWAN App on APIC-EM, an SDN controller (see video below). Cisco WAAS also is a VNF supported by Cisco Enterprise NFV solution, manageable by the Enterprise Services Automation (ESA) app on APIC-EM.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 5.01.44 PM.png


Agility comes hand-in-hand with deployment flexibility as well. Customers should have the freedom to choose any platform for deployment:

  • Inline as a dedicated hardware in cases where Layer 3 topology must be preserved;
  • As virtual instances either in a container on a router (ISR-WAAS) or a router-integrated compute blade (vWAAS on the UCS-E), where branch infrastructure convergence is the goal;
  • As virtual network function in an NFV solution for greater deployment flexibility; or
  • As cloud service from managed services.


C. Costs optimization

Cost is always the elephant in the room when discussing IT initiatives. There is no better time than now to address that. By 2019, 59% of total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41% in 20142. Connectivity between users and their apps will become more dynamic. HTTPs traffic optimization, live streaming of video with adaptive bitrate protocols (HLS, HDS, HSS), and a variety of media formats such as Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft are a few examples of the new application assurance challenge. This translates to the need for web optimization feature and also an asymmetric solution, one that does not require a WAN opt device or service at either head end or each cloud provider – a 50% cost savings just by cutting the number of WAN opt devices or services in half. Cisco introduced this capability and enhanced features for Microsoft updates and single-sided SSL encrypt and decrypt handling in WAAS 6.2 Software Release (see NPI announcement). Apple iOS optimization on Cisco networks started with Cisco-Apple partnership, announced in August 2015. 


WAAS total cost of ownership (TCO), one of Cisco key strengths highlighted by Gartner, is very attractive in comparison to other point-product or SD-WAN solution. WAAS virtual instances reduce both CapEx and maintenance contract costs. That is because Cisco WAAS is an integrated part of Cisco branch and WAN solutions.


Why Cisco Does What It Does

Cisco goal is very similar to customer goal, and that is to achieve item a, b and c above. Cisco DNA is the architecture for customer to get there. Cisco DNA solutions: Cisco Enterprise NFV, Intelligent WAN, StealthWatch Learning Network, Connected Mobile Experience are a few key enablers in delivering a secure, open, programmable fabric that ties together the branch, wan, campus and data center. This fabric securely connects SaaS/cloud-based applications and virtual services delivered to/from cloud and also acts as sensor of threat and enforcer of security policy. A unified network control plane together with one consistent management framework delivers the ultimate flexibility for the enterprise: any app, any platform, any connectivity. One common deployment and operation model across the WAN fabric, whether customer premises, partner’s, or managed services, brings simplicity for IT and costs savings for the business.


Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



1. Gomez, Why Web Performance Matters

2. Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2014–2019

Are you attending Cisco Live! 2016 in Las Vegas? Want to learn how aging infrastructure can impact your organization and why you need to modernize your network for digital? Join Prashanth Shenoy on Thursday, July 14th to find out how Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) can help you innovate, generate actionable insights and create new customer experiences, all while protecting the business.

Follow this link to schedule: Session Catalog - Cisco Live US 2016

2016 marks the beginning of Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect (AKC) deployment at our flagship industry event, Cisco Live. This post will cover the process for that deployment at Cisco Live Berlin, design of the network, and reports showing the optimization results.



Optimization focused on Web based traffic including Apple and Microsoft Windows Updates.



WAAS Deployment Overview:

  • Two UCS C220 Rack Servers (one server per DC core)
  • VMWare ESXI 6.0
  • Ten vWAAS6k (6000 Concurrent Connections) instances across two DC Cores with Akamai Connect enabled
  • WAAS version 6.1.1a
  • VM Requirements: 40 vCores, 110 GB RAM, and 10 TB of Storage.
  • Interception and Distribution: two ASR 1001s running AppNavXE


Cisco Event Infrastructure team had a set of 3 top design priorities and requirements.

Design PriorityWAAS Object Caching
Reliable and proven technologies Deploying multiple vWAAS instances on a UCS server allowed for quick and easy setup. Redirecting traffic from the edge routers using AppNavXE ensured that load is distributed evenly and failed vWAAS nodes could be moved out of the pool.
Secure Network Access to the WAAS Central Manager is limited to secure network only.
Flexible Design - many last minute changes Using vWAAS allowed for flexible horizontal scaling. If additional caching capacity is required, a new vWAAS instance could have been enabled quickly, and AppNavXE would ensure traffic distributes properly to additional resources.



Network Diagram:

Network Diagram.png



Peak of concurrent devices connected to Cisco Live Wi-Fi:

Wi-Fi Chart.png


HTTP bandwidth offload - aggregated over a week

The graph below shows the total amount of data offloaded from the WAN by using caching. During the busiest days, over 300GB was offloaded amounting to over 30% of HTTP data served from cache.

Data Served Chart.png


HTTP response time saving - daily report for a single vWAAS

This report shows the amount of time saved due to content being downloaded from cache. This type of report is available per device. The graph below shows a single vWAAS at its busiest period (around 11am); caching saved over 18h in download time.

Response Time Chart.png


Top 10 sites based on WAN data offload - daily report for a single vWAAS

The graph below shows a list of Top 10 sites based on their WAN offload in GB. (Cisco Live had a dedicated IOS App that attendees could use to navigate around the venue and schedule sessions.)

Top Sites Chart.png



Throughout Cisco Live Berlin, Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect offloaded a total of nearly 1 TB of data from the WAN links. During peak times, up to 1GB of data per every 5 minutes was delivered from cache. There were also significant improvements to user experience for downloading applications and general browsing; saving at the peak 18h of download time in a 1h period.


The top objects delivered from cache were:

  • Apple IOS and App Updates
  • Windows Updates
  • Virus Definition Updates (Norton and McAfee)


Overall user feedback about the event was positive. There we no complaints raised at all about performance or stability.


(Credit: data and deployment details provided by Anthony Lockart, Cisco Product Manager)

CL Tweet.png

In a previous blog posting “What is Enterprise NFV Infrastructure Software” I described NFVIS and what it does within the Cisco Enterprise NFV solution. When people first look at the solution, occasionally the question comes up “what is the difference here with server hypervisors”?


I generally don’t like to compare Enterprise NFV with NFVIS to standard server hypervisors. The reason is that although there are some common uses of virtualization technology, they are developed, applied and used in a much different way. It’s like trying to compare a full sized pickup truck and mini-van. They both have combustion engines and an area to carry things, but what you need to carry in the back of a pickup is not the same as a mini-van. Also, what is important to the person who buys one or the other is very different.


What about using other hypervisors for NFV?

Standard server virtualization evolved for use in the data center. The idea was to take applications running on standalone servers and run them on top of a large sever(s) sharing the CPU/Memory/Storage. When looking at the commercially available hypervisors, attention was given to specific features and scale without as much around controlling footprint. This makes perfect sense at the data center and when you are running tens of thousands of VMs the overhead of the hypervisor is minimal to the load of the VMs. In standard server virtualization a common means of efficiency is to oversubscribe the hypervisor since at the data center there can be a high random rate of use to any given VM. This can be further stretched when considering that remote users may be from far different time zones allowing for further oversubscription.


Branch needs to be different

When at the branch, this is no longer the case. Many times branch footprints can be small and if you are running a few VNFs like router, firewall, IPS/IDS, proxy, and such, each one is processing nearly all of the same packets sequentially. In this case, there is no opportunity to really oversubscribe to gain efficiency. On top of software enhancements to maximize the use of resources, we’ve built in and we’ll be using hardware assistance coming soon.


One of the other differences to the more standard approaches of server virtualization is that the management system for hypervisor generally does not do much with the VM itself. What I mean by that is if you are configuring a VM to be a virtual router, the management system for the hypervisor does not know or care about the function of the router. The Enterprise NFV solution comes with components in its management framework that configure and managed services within the VNF as well as to spin up the instance; and this will only grow over time.


Hardware does make a difference

Another point is with the hardware itself. Management for standard server virtualization systems has a lot of features for interfacing to systems like external storage. They generally do not have capabilities for configuring hardware elements themselves and especially not devices that the hypervisor only connects to and does not run on. The management framework for the Enterprise NFV solution performs configuration much more broadly and includes other network devices such as routers, switches and wireless components. There is more to come on the topic of hardware but I’ll save that for the next post.


Looking at the commercially available hypervisor solutions there are specific functions on what is done by API directly to a standalone hypervisor instance or done without special licenses. This makes sense when looking at the vast majority of use cases around the data center or private clouds. To ensure reliable execution of features, especially under high load, the approach seems to be to keep the system a little more under control of the management system. With NFVIS, we designed the system with the idea that our NFVIS was in remote sites that are generally not staffed by IT. The REST or NETCONF APIs can be accessed and used by systems other than the Enterprise NFV management devices.


Let me make one last point on hardware. Recently, while talking with customers on Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) one of my colleagues, Cisco Distinguished Engineer Dave Zacks, had a quote in his discussion on Fabrics. The quote made me think of what we are doing with Enterprise NFV so will borrow it. Steve Jobs, who was actually quoting Alan Kay, said, “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”. I’ll be adding another posting as we get closer to CiscoLive Las Vegas in July 2016 with a lot more detail on this point.


Hopefully that helps shed some light on the differences.


Wrapping it up

The Cisco Enterprise NFV solution is built to be the next evolution of deploying network and applications services using automation and programmability to simplify turn up and on-going management. Along with many other technologies and innovative approaches, it leverages virtualization. However, in the solution, virtualization is just one tool used to achieve the end result. 

In a technical whitepaper located here Enterprise NFV Whitepaper, my friend and colleague Cisco Distinguished Technical Marketing Engineer Matthias Falkner and I provide and overview of the solution and guidance for when you would use each type of platform.  Also, I’ll be giving two new deep technical sessions on Enterprise NFV; one technical breakout (BRKCRS-2006) and one hands-on lab session (TECCRS-3006) at CiscoLive Las Vegas July 10th to July 14th this summer.


When combining these hardware options with NFVIS, the result is a pretty powerful NFV platform. You can get more information on Enterprise NFV via these resources:

  1. Mar 22, 2016 @10am PT, @1pm CT webinar: Exploring the Advantages of Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization. Register     
  2. http://www.cisco.com/go/enfv
  3. Watch this overview video to learn more.
  4. Enterprise NFV white paper
  5. Enterprise NFV Infrastructure Software Blog

There was a time when the network was thought of as a bottleneck to innovation. It is the weakest link in the chain. Its rigid, inflexible and labor-laden infrastructure inhibits growth for the business, productivity for its workforce, and diminishes the experiences for customers. Those days are long gone. The network has been reimagined.

The Era of a Digital Network

Last week, with Cisco Digital Network Architecture (#CiscoDNA) announcement, we shared how an open, extensible, software-driven and services-centric network design not only enable, but also propel digital transformation. In two blog posts by Raakhee Mistry, she highlighted the design principles behind Cisco DNA and the market applications. Key take-away message: innovation requires IT agility. IT agility is powered by a software-driven network.


Cisco Enterprise NFV – the key enabler

IT agility is the ability to respond to business demands in a fast and efficient manner. NFV enables that agility in three areas: the designing, the provisioning, and the management stages of the network infrastructure. However, only Service Providers and very large Enterprises have taken advantages of such NFV benefits thus far. That is no longer the case with Cisco Enterprise NFV. Our goal is to bring the same capabilities and more to all enterprises. That more part can be summarized as follows:

  1. Purpose-built software overlay (Cisco Enterprise NFVIS) optimized not just for applications, but also network functions. (More details in this post under Support System) NFVIS virtualizes and abstracts network functions from the underlying hardware, allowing Cisco and 3rd party virtual network functions (VNFs) to be managed independently and provisioned dynamically. But, we don’t stop there. Cisco NFVIS also adds life cycle management and service chaining capabilities. This helps ensure the health and performance of VNFs, ensuring the best user experience.
  2. Set of trusted Cisco network services as VNFs (ISRv, vWAAS, ASAv, and vWLC) to start the virtualization journey. This makes the path to virtualization easy and less cumbersome for a) Cisco customers as well as b) enterprises with a multi-vendor environment that includes Cisco.
  3. An orchestration app, Enterprise Service Automation (ESA), that works in tandem with NFVIS to unleash limitless possibilities in this “composable world” powered by SDN. Think “agility and flexibility” for NFV and “orchestration and management” for SDN. ESA is the fruit of that marriage. SDN and NFV allows enterprises to dynamically build what they need on a platform of their choosing and spin up and down services on-demand.

Imagine the following very likely ideals: having all of the above capabilities in a converged infrastructure with a purpose-built server blade, such as the ISR with UCS-E, that can host apps in addition to virtual network functions and (ii) a hyper-converged infrastructure on commodity hardware. The possibilities are endless!


Learn more on March 22nd

Join us on March 22nd for an online webinar with Markus Voegele, Sr. Network Architect from IBM Aviation as well as Liad Ofek and Allison Park from Cisco. Hear how IBM Aviation is evaluating Enterprise NFV and get a preview of Cisco Enterprise NFV components.

Key learning includes market drivers for and application of Enterprise NFV, and how Cisco Enterprise NFV will enable

  • Seamless migration to NFV at your own pace, while preserving existing network investments
  • Virtualization of physical network services using the same trusted Cisco technologies
  • Speedy deployments and dramatically simplified network management
  • Rapid respond to new opportunities and empowerment for business innovation

In the meantime, read the overview about Cisco Enterprise NFV here.


Earmark April 14-15th

Post webinar, there is another opportunity to get your technical questions answered by a panel of Enterprise NFV experts in Cisco Enterprise Network communities. No time commitment needed. Just join the event, register, submit your questions during the open period, and then go about your day. Come back at a later time to check on your questions as well as read others.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 2.49.25 PM.png


It’s the start of the new year, and with the new year usually comes a list of resolutions. Unfortunately, it’s also about the time of year that people start cutting corners on these resolutions: less frequent visits to the gym or staying up longer just because you’re not able to overcome the “Next episode playing” message on Netflix.


When it comes to managing your network, you can’t afford to cut corners anymore – the digital transformation is requiring that organizations big and small become digital businesses, and a digital business demands application agility. To achieve that agility, faster network provisioning is required. To provision your network faster, simplification is needed.


Enter: Cisco’s Intelligent WAN Application, or IWAN App. IWAN App is an application hosted by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) which allows you to accelerate the deployment of IWAN and align to business priorities based on applications and user needs through a highly intuitive, policy-based interface.


With the IWAN App, you will be able to fulfill your WAN Resolutions – 4 goals any organization should have for network management:


  1. Zero-touch deployment
  2. Automated site provisioning
  3. Dynamic business policy
  4. WAN monitoring and management


Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing a series of short videos on the Communities platform demonstrating how the IWAN App will help you achieve your WAN Resolutions.


Stay tuned and check out the link to the first video here!

On Mar 2, 2016, we unveiled Cisco Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (Cisco Enterprise NFV) as part of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) announcement. That announcement is available here in this community (under Announcements, News, and Events) as well.


NFV isn't just for SP! With the introduction of Enterprise NFV, Cisco aims to solve WAN challenges with a software-defined model, embracing digital readiness in mind. And no, this is not another "incremental WAN innovation...(like SD-WAN)" or "an alternate approach (to pitch) the next-gen Cisco routers," said Andrew Lerner, Research Director at Gartner. As with every new solution, there are always questions.

Join us for an Ask the Experts session regarding Enterprise NFV. Here are the details:

What: Q&A with the experts regarding Enterprise NFV

When: April 14-15, 2016

Where: here in this Enterprise Networks community

How: register, login (from Apr 14 to Apr 15), submit a question, we answer - simple as that.

With whom: a panel of Enterprise NFV experts

1. Liad Ofek, Director, Product Management, Enterprise NFV

2. Jay Chokshi, Manager, Product Management, Platform Routing

3. Kishan Ramaswamy, Product Manager, Enterprise NFV

4. James Sangathe, Technical Marketing Engineer, Enterprise NFV

5. Tony Banuelos, Product Manager, CSR 1000v

6. Matthias Falkner, Distinguish Engineer, Technical Marketing

7. Allison Park, Product and Solution Marketing, Enterprise NFV

So, check out Cisco Enterprise NFV and pencil down your questions for this Ask the Experts session.


Part II: The Role of the Network Must Expand for Digital Transformation


As we move into the Digital Era, organizations seeking to make a digital transformation must also make a network transformation. In my previous blog, I highlighted that it is the network that brings together all things digital. And as we leave the Information Era and enter the Digital Era (See Diagram I below), we must evolve the network to move beyond connectivity to a platform of Insights, Automation and Security.  In this blog, I dive in deeper into each area to discuss the opportunity for IT.


Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 12.52.25 PM.png

Diagram I: Network Evolution for the Digital Era


Insights. The network touches all things digital – users, devices, applications, sensors and cloud – and is in a unique position to capture insights in real time that allows businesses to make better decisions instantly and deliver better experiences. For example, there are organizations today that leverage location data from the network to better engage their customers or better serve their workforce. They use location data for a broad set of use cases including:

    • Measuring the impact of a promotion for storefront conversion.
    • Optimizing HVAC systems to lower costs and reduce carbon footprint.
    • Churning hospital beds faster to more quickly admit patients in need of critical care.
    • Monitoring expensive machinery and equipment and using analytics to pre-determine the service level to maintain safety standards.
    • Collecting enterprise real estate usage patterns to optimize floor plans or lower leasing costs.

These are all examples of business innovation through network intelligence or analytics. To do this effectively, IT professions will need to partner with their business leaders to explore opportunities for their organization. This means learning the language of business executives, and translating the technical possibilities into business results. (Check out this guide on the business value of mobility. Registration required.)


Automation. This area is centered on IT speed and simplicity. Today’s networking professionals are CLI jockeys, but that will offer less value as time goes on. The network is evolving to software with open APIs, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and more. Cisco’s new architecture is leading this effort with the evolved Cisco IOS XE, an open operating system that is programmable, service extensible and virtualized through model-driven APIs, application containers and Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (Enterprise NFV).


The great news for IT is that we are fully abstracting the network complexity and allowing networking professionals to automate all processes. This will free up cycles for IT to focus on innovation. We’re also virtualizing 30 years of networking innovation by decoupling hardware from software and bringing more speed and agility to networking – much like what the data center has been driving over the past 10 years.


This change also means IT needs to evolve their skills set for the future. IT will need to better understand the rich intelligence the network offers to more efficiently run the network and determine how to build competitive advantage for the business. That means networking professionals need to expand their skills in new areas and become more business savvy. We recognize the responsibility Cisco has to take our professional community forward and have already taken measures in our certification programs. Additionally, we are aggressively investing in our DevNet developer program so that partners, ISVs and customers can take full advantage of the open platform Cisco DNA offers.


Security. While digital technologies have opened up new opportunities they have also introduced a higher level of risk. As we see the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud adoption, the network perimeter is evolving and the attack surface has the potential to grow significantly. Even the world’s best next generation firewalls cannot protect an organization from threats when devices can easily jump between public domains and the private network.  By acting as the pervasive, always-on sensor for threats, the network can be the security team’s most powerful ally. And, through software defined segmentation, it can rapidly enforce policy and quarantine any threat.


In the Cisco 2016 Annual Security Report, we found that leveraging the network as a sensor and enforcer allows customers to reduce the time to identify threats from up to 200 days down to 17.5 hours. That type of protection can save a company’s reputation, especially knowing that 69% of customers are less willing to do business with an organization with a security breach.


The network will be more strategic to the business in the Digital Era. Job roles beyond networking professions – including executive, marketing, analytics, security, and operations professionals – will be eager to tap into the intelligence the network provides to gain a competitive edge, e.g. open up new business models, drive leaner operations and better protect the business. This will elevate the role of networking professionals, who now have a huge opportunity to take leadership in their respective organizations. Now is the time time to hone your skills for next generation networking and change the world once again!


Excited? Begin your journey by assessing your current network with this Digital Network Architecture requirements checklist.


Keep an eye out for my next post on how some forward thinking IT leaders are leveraging the Cisco DNA architecture today. And do continue to share your thoughts with me on this next era of networking.



miercom_logo.jpgThe application landscape of today’s enterprise space is changing. A proliferation of mobile devices, BYOD initiatives, voice, video, and rich media content at the branch locations adds to the already constrained WAN bandwidth. Now along with delivering the typical enterprise applications, such as email, file, and web access, the network also has to deliver new rich media content, which puts extra strain on the WAN. Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect are Cisco’s WAN optimization and application acceleration solution, a key pillar of the Cisco Intelligent WAN (Cisco IWAN) architecture. Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect optimizes web and mobile applications by extending the Akamai Intelligent Platform directly into the branch enhancing the way your users access applications.


Recently, Miercom did an independent evaluation of Cisco WAAS with Akamai Connect and comparable WAN-optimization product, Steelhead, enabled with Web Proxy from Riverbed Technology. Cisco is proud to announce that the Cisco solution is now ‘Miercom Performance Verified’. Key findings from the report showcase Cisco’s superior acceleration capabilities including:


chart image.JPG


Clearly, Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect comes out on top in the WAN optimization space. With Akamai Connect, we extend Akamai’s intelligent caching to the branch office where most businesses face severe bandwidth constraints and poor end user experience. This is represented in Miercom’s report. Riverbed’s Web Proxy feature also falls short of Cisco solution in terms of HTTP traffic optimization and feature robustness. One of the use cases where Cisco did exceptionally well is Apple OSx download. Riverbed’s Web Proxy cannot cache files greater than 2Gb in size (see graph below).


This graph shows that Cisco was able to reduce the amount of time it takes to download the Apple OSx by 97%, whereas Riverbed was not able to optimize the file download at all. Cisco solution empowers the customers to provide real benefits of HTTP caching without the constraint of file size. This gives customers the flexibility and peace of mind that their networks will not get choked when Apple releases a new update.


Read the full Miercom report here


Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts about this report.

The application landscape of today’s enterprise space is changing. The proliferation of mobile devices, BYOD initiatives, voice, video and rich media content at the branch locations adds to the already constrained WAN bandwidth. Now along with delivering the typical enterprise applications, such as email, file, and web access, the network teams have to also deliver new rich media content, which puts extra strain on the WAN. Cisco WAAS and Akamai Connect are Cisco’s WAN optimization and application acceleration solution and part of Cisco Intelligent WAN (Cisco IWAN). Akamai Connect optimizes web and mobile applications by extending the Akamai Intelligent Platform directly into the branch enhancing the way users access applications.


Recently, Miercom did an independent evaluation of Cisco WAAS with Akamai Connect and comparable WAN-optimization product, Steelhead enabled with Web Proxy from Riverbed Technology. Cisco is proud to announce that Cisco solution is now ‘Miercom Performance Verified’. The key findings of the report showcase the Cisco’s superior acceleration capabilities including:



Clearly Cisco WAAS enabled with Akamai Connect comes on top in the WAN optimization space. With Akamai Connect we have extended Akamai’s intelligent caching to the branch office where most business face severe bandwidth constraints and enhanced the end user experience. This is represented in Miercom’s report when compared with Riverbed’s Steelhead solution. Riverbed’s Web Proxy feature falls short in terms of the optimization and features it can provide the HTTP traffic. One of the use cases where Cisco did exceptionally well was Apple OSx download. Riverbed’s Web Proxy cannot cache files greater than 2Gb in size.




The graph shows that Cisco was able to reduce the amount of time it takes to download the Apple OSx by 97% where as Riverbed was not able to optimize the file download at all. Cisco solution empowers the customers to provide real benefits of HTTP caching without the constraint of file size. This gives our customers the flexibility and peace of mind that their networks will not get choked when Apple releases a new update.


Read the full Miercom report here and for more information go to Cisco WAAS.

Cisco launched the new Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) 4000 in 2014 and promised ASIC like performance for most features. Cisco internal test reports, of course, claimed that was true. Finally, in July of 2015, these routers were put to the test by Miercom, an independent company.

In this performance test all five platforms (ISR4321, ISR4331, ISR4351, ISR4431 and ISR4451) were configured with various single features, like NAT, HQoS and IPSec, and also some combinations of these features. All ISR 4000 have a platform-wide shaper that guarantees a certain performance, therefore, the CPU utilization was recorded to give an indication of the actual platform utilization.

ISR4331 300 Mbits blog screenie.PNG


















The results: plenty of CPU performance was available in all single feature tests, and all ISR 4000 platforms were able to perform to their advertised limits, including 1520 Mbit/s of payload encrypted by the ISR4451! Only in some very heavy service combinations did the ISR 4000 slow down a bit.


After a rigorous testing over a time-span of several weeks, Miercom was very impressed with the ISR 4000 performance and gave Cisco the “Performance Verified” logo.

Miercom Performance Verified logo.png

This should allow Service Providers, Partners and End-Customers to deploy the ISR 4000 Series routers in their network knowing that they can deliver what they promise, best of breed performance!

The complete test report including all test results can be found on Miercom’s web page: http://miercom.com/pdf/reports/20150817.pdf


If you have questions around this report or the ISR4k in general, feel free to comment here or just send me a tweet @MirkoGrabel.

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