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Cisco Joins WAN/WAFS in Name Only

(Nasdaq: CSCO) has unified the management of its WAFS and WAN acceleration products, but it's holding the phone on actual product integration.

In an internal memo last week, Cisco announced creation of the Application Delivery Business Unit, which will draw together the groups that up to now have developed and managed Cisco's WAFS (wide area file services) and WAN optimization products.

These include the appliance the company bought with its purchase of WAFS vendor Actona for $82 million in June 2004, as well as gear from the acquisition of WAN optimization supplier FineGround for $70 million in May 2005. (See Cisco Acts on Actona and Cisco Chomps FineGround.)

Cisco is following the industry verbiage about combining the bandwidth-scrunching features of WAN optimizers with WAFS applications' ability to eliminate the chattiness characteristic of IP networks. (See WAFS vs WAN Optimization: No Contest, Expand Wakes Up to WAFS, and Remote Site Rapprochement.) But apparently there's no real rush to blend the two technologies. Like Packeteer and Tacit Networks, which recently announced a joint sales agreement, Cisco seems to be in no rush to join WAN and WAFS at the hip. (See Packeteer Gives Tacit Approval.)

Cisco's new unit combines the engineering and marketing of the products, which have been given new names and some new features (more on that momentarily). The group's new VP and general manager is George Kurian, who up to now has headed the Caching Services Business Unit at Cisco and was formerly VP of Cisco's Routing Technology Group.

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