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Enhanced Appliance Eases Running of Windows Apps

Providing needed services to users stationed in dispersed locations is never easy. Small and medium businesses constantly need to balance the cost of such capabilities versus their productivity improvements. Two industry giants teamed up to make that decision a bit simpler.Cisco has worked closely with Microsoft to enhance Cisco's Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) networking appliance, so it can run Windows Server 2008 services locally. Previously, customers would either to place a Windows Server at every branch, which could be costly, or deliver the needed functionality from a central location, which could result diminish performance.

Ciscos Windows Server on WAAS, whose pricing starts at $10,000, now locally supports Active Directory, Microsoft Print Services, Microsoft Domain Name System Server and Microsoft Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server. The product is designed to improve WAN performance, which should reduce a companys costs and ease its management functions.

The WAN acceleration market has been growing at a rapid clip as small and medium companies have used communications to increase their corporate reach. Cisco has been a bit behind competitors, such as Riverbed, in delivering needed functionality. The networking giants latest enhancement makes it product line more appealing to companies using Microsoft software, so it should gain some interest from small and medium businesses.

How much interest do you have in WAN acceleration products? How much would you pay for such a product? What do you know about Ciscos products?