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Cisco Rolls Out XML-Aware Network Architecture

Cisco today unveiled its new Application-Oriented Networking (AON) architecture, designed to bring XML security and management to enterprise networks.

AON was developed in response to solve the increasingly difficult integration problems that enterprises face. By creating a network architecture intelligent enough to understand XML, Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Cisco is trying to create a holy grail of sorts for network managers -- the ability not only to integrate applications, but to embed that integration directly into the network.

AON embeds intelligence into network devices, and lets them read application-to-application messages, and in doing so, integrate application message-level communication, visibility, and security into the fabric of the network.

Cisco announced several AON modules, thin, stackable devices for data center switches and branch office routers. It also announced development and management tools and professional services for designing, implementing, operating, and optimizing the new architecture.

Cisco cooperated with multiple vendors in its announcement, including IBM for its Websphere line, and SAP to integrate Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA) with AON to deliver end-to-end solutions for enterprise data centers, branch offices, and small and midsize businesses.