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Cisco: It's All About the WAN

Cisco Systems Tuesday is rolling out its vision for the consolidated branch office with an expansion of its WAN optimization portfolio that adds new appliances and a new module for its branch office access routers.

Cisco's new Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) lineup adds application acceleration and optimization to its existing Wide Area File Services capabilities, said Mark Weiner, director of marketing management for data center solutions at Cisco, San Jose, Calif.

"We're enabling customers to have fewer servers in the branch, to get rid of storage and back-up, and allow IT to centralize applications," Weiner said.

The product lines expand on technology picked up through Cisco's 2004 acquisition of Actona Technologies.

While many vendors, including F5 Networks, Juniper Networks and Riverbed Technologies are all playing in the WAN optimization market, the breadth of Cisco's portfolio gives it an advantage, said Vince Conroy, CTO of FusionStorm, a San Francisco-based Cisco Gold partner.

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