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Storage & Networks Converge

LAS VEGAS -- WAFS, security, and data compression are all on the agenda at this year's Interop show, as the worlds of networking and storage converge in Sin City. Here's a look at some items to expect:

WAFS

Cisco has overhauled its 7200 router platform with enhancements designed to boost its WAFS (wide area file services) story. The story highlights how WAFS is heating up, with Riverbed's recent decision to file for its S-1, underlining the growing momentum in this space. (See Riverbed Makes It Official, and Sources: Riverbed Reaches for IPO.)

The 7200 is used in data centers to aggregate information from Cisco's Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) situated at branch offices. In addition to other voice and data features, the ISRs also contain WAFs technology from Actona, which Cisco acquired for $82 million in 2004. (See Cisco Wades Into WAFS, and Cisco Acts on Actona.)

At the heart of today's announcements is a new network engine that Cisco claims can double the 7200's throughput to 2 million IP or MPLS packets per second. The engine, which is essentially a router blade, offers users a higher-speed link for file sharing, according to Cisco execs. Stefan Dyckerhoff, director of the vendor's midrange routing business unit adds: "This could be a good fit for SMBs looking to aggregate their storage across different sites."

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