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Cisco Unveils WAN Optimization Products, Business Unit

Cisco Systems on Thursday upped the ante in the WAN/application optimization game with plans to unveil new products and a new business unit for those technologies.

The new products include the Cisco Application Velocity System (AVS), a family of application acceleration, security and monitoring appliances for the data center, as well as the Cisco Wide-area Application Engine (WAE), an appliance line that provides application acceleration and file services to branch offices.

The product lines are part of the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant’s new Application Acceleration Business Unit. They are based on technology that Cisco picked up through its acquisitions of FineGround Networks in June and Actona Technologies last year. The unit is headed by George Kurian, vice president and general manager at the company.

In recent months, the WAN/application optimization space has seen a bevy of buyouts, startup launches and product introductions as vendors vie for a piece of a market that research firm IDC projects to reach $314 million this year and nearly $611 million by 2009.

To help drive its new WAN/application optimization offerings, Cisco is recruiting channel partners as early adopters of the products and later plans to move toward a more formalized partner designation or specialization around the technology, according to a company spokesman.

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