ACE as cache engine for wccp redirection

Unanswered Question
Jan 15th, 2009

Does anybody know if the ACE 4710 appliance supports WCCP acting as a web-cache engine? I am exausting all possible options, and then some, for deploying a new application networking environment. I just returned from ACE training last week and found myself ramping up to deploy a new ACE.

I have pretty much exhausted my options for topology. We discussed several different designs in class and I don't like any of them. I have some serious problems with using the ACE as a default-gateway for servers. That options is out due to how other "non application" traffic is handled. Traffic such as RDP from IT support staff, patching from SMS servers, virus dat updates, vulnerability scanning... it all routes to the ACE which has to have static routes... then clients hitting the application VIPs have to be natted so the ACE does not use the static routes and reply directly... it all becomes a very big problem over time.

Second and third options are one-armed and direct server return... both not suitable for my requirements.

Now... that leaves me with an option we currently have deployed. That is to use a distribution route-switch (Catalyst 4500 Sup-IV) in the middle. The Cat uses PBR to return http traffic from the web servers back to the ACE. All other traffic follows normal routing table.

Ok... that works perfect... except PBR is not supported in the Sup-6 engine. Unbelievable... I know. This is a major fly in the ointment for this new deployment.

Now... there is another protocol that is often used for redirection... WCCP. If the ACE were a wccp web-cache, the router could be configured to redirect ingress http to the ACE. But... the ACE would have to act as a web-cache engine and register with the Cat as a home-router.

I am sure this option is not an option... but it would be nice. The ACE 4710 appliance has the general processor to do it but it would have to be implemented in software. I'm running A3(1.0) and I cannot find anything related to wccp. Nothing in the command-reference.

If there are any Cisco developers interested in adding some killer funtionality... this would be it. Wccp can be done in layer-2 as well as layer-3. The Sup-6 supports layer-2 redirection. Since the ACE is generally layer-2 adjacent this would be rather easy to implement. Anyway... food for thought.

I have this problem too.
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Gilles Dufour Mon, 01/19/2009 - 04:29

I just would like to mention that you could have ACE in bridge mode inserted between your servers and the gateway (4500).

All traffic will go through ACE but no need for nating and no statc routes (just one default route pointing to the 4500).

The only problems would be if you exceed the BW of the 4710 with all your traffic.

Regarding the WCCP support for the 4710 this is not currently in our roadmap.

Ask your cisco account team to introduce the request.




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