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ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATION

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn how to optimize your WAN and accelerate application delivery to branch offices. Feng Meng is a solutions marketing manager on the Cisco Data Center team, where his focus is promoting optimized branch best practices. Shashi Kiran is a senior manager at Cisco and leads the Access Routing team for the Network Systems group. In this capacity, he also guides Cisco's solution initiative for the branch as a place in the network, focusing on routing, unified communications, security, mobility, and WAN optimization.

Remember to use the rating system to let Feng and Shashi know if you have received an adequate response.

They might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through August 22, 2008. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

55 REPLIES
Gold

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

What is your opinion on the improvement microsoft has made to SMB and CIFS. Does this appear to reduce the need for hardware wan acceleration of cifs over high latency links?

A little backgroud for those reading that don't know. Most the time when you share a file with microsoft it uses a protocol called CIFS. Even though the TCP window size can be set to 64k and even larger now with scaling the old version of CIFS will still only send 16k of data before it wants a acknowledgment. This will limit the amount of traffic you can send on a high latency circuit that does not have utilization issues. You end up with user complaints about slow file transfer and "you need to buy more bandwidth"

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Sorry for the delay answering your question. I was watching the NBC Olympics opening ceremony last night, this is a big deal for Cisco because NBC is using our IP network, video and Cisco WAAS (WAN optimization)solutions for the entire production. Everything went very smoothly.

On the CIFS topic, I agree the improvement that Microsoft has made to SMB and CIFS will mitigate some of the latency issue. Having said that, the following issues remain unsolved:

1. Other application protocols. For example, HTTP and NFS (both are open source), MAPI, storage related protocols such as EMC SRDF, NetApp SnapMirror. The list goes on for any TCP-based protocols.

2. TCP transport layer inefficiency. This type of optimization requires the optimization devices to sit right next to the WAN links, not on a server hardware in the data center that's a few hops away.

3. The need for data compression to reduce WAN bandwidth consumption. You could argue that compression can run on the server as well. But data compression is very CPU intensive, it would take away a very significant chunk of server computing resources and hence result in low performance and scalability. History provides some guidance here, compression or functions such as SSL processing and firewall could run on servers as well, but they ended up running on dedicated networking and security appliances.

I hope this helps.

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi all,

What is the advantage and disadvantage of eBGP and iBGP for a full mesh network?

Best regards

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi - the focus of this session is on WAN Optimization and Application Acceleration. Kindly restrict the scope of questions to this topic.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Thanks for hosting this event.

Can you tell me when the release of WAAS 4.1 will be? I am eagerly awaiting the new features that 4.1 has to offer.

Thanks

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

WAAS v4.1 release is targeted for First Customer Shipped (FCS) at the end of August. Does this answer your question?

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi,

The WAE-674, I been told it has the same specifications as the 612, in terms of maximum tcp connections, cifs sessions etc. It has been explained to myself that the 674's extra hdd and memory is for virtualisation so you can deploy a server as well as the WAAS software. Is there anymore information on the 674 and what its capabilities are? I was also after a Cisco document that conntains the scalability and performance specifcations of the no. of TCP sessions, CIFS flows, WAN link capacity etc.

I can only find this information in my WAAS training manual.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Here are additional specs for you to consider. Let me know if this answers your question. Thank you.

Feng

Performance Ratings: Below are the official ratings.

Max# Optimized TCP Connections:

with 4G RAM (default option) - 2000

with 8G RAM (with MEM-WAE-4GB option) - 6000

DRE Disk Allocation: 110 GB

CIFS-Cache Allocation: 110 GB

WAN Bandwidth:

With 4G RAM (default option) - T3

With 8G RAM (i.e. with MEM-WAE-4GB option) - 90 Mbps

Core Fan-Out - maps to the same values as at both low and high-end i.e.

WAE-612-2G maps to WAE-674-4G

WAE-612-4G maps to WAE-674-8G

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi

I am new to the world of WAAS having never used it before. Currently looking to deploy it amount other thing like exchange, voice but also for video streaming (specifically itunes to apple TV) over 4 remote brach offices. Question I have are:

1) What WAAS equipment is required. I see that NME-WAE-502 can be used at the branch office sites, what WAAS equipment is required at the main site? Do you used another NME-WAE-502

2) How effective is the WAAS is video streaming?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Welcome to the world of WAAS!

We require the following equipments:

1. Branch: NME-WAE-302 or NME-WAE-502 for the Integrated Services Router (ISR) 2800 series, or NME-WAE-522 for the ISR 3800 series. Or you can deploy WAE standalone appliance 512, 612, or 674. The WAE 674 is virtualization capable, allowing you to host Windows DNS, DHCP, Print and Active Directory as virtual services.

2.Main site. WAE standalone appliance 512, or 612, or 674, or 7341, or 7371. We also require a standalone appliance 512 to run central manager which can manage up to 2,500 WAE devices in the network.

WAAS can help video streaming in two ways:

1. Make room for video streaming by reducing WAN bandwidth consumption due to data. If the data stream (for example an archived video clip) is already downloaded by a branch use, then any subsequent download of the same clip by other users in the same branch will be much faster, because the clip is now cached and served from the branch WAE device.

2. High quality live video streaming without WAN bandwidth upgrades and complex configurations. For example if there are 15 users in each of the 4 branches, WAE main devices will send only 4 streams across the WAN, and have them split into 15 streams/branch by the branch WAE. So instead of sending 60 streams, you will reduce bandwidth requirements.

Does this answer your question?

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi Feng,

Thanks for your reply. I just wanted to clarify a couple more things.

1) At the main site do you require two appliances? Sound like from above that you need a dedicated appliance to run central manager and another for WAAS operation or do you just require one appliance and run central manager on it as well?

2) You spoke about caching the video but what about compression of streaming video? & if compression is done what pecentage can you expect?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi Mark:

The main site requires at least 2 appliances. One for optimization operation (or a pair for high availability), another one for central manager.

WAAS does indeed remove further redundant data pattern from video stream. However as you know, streaming video is already compressed especially for low resolution format, so further data redundancy elimination varies depending on 2 main factors:

1. The compressibility of the video. This has to do with the actual video content. A "non-moving talking head" content with an uniform background color can be substantially compressed further. But a rapidly moving sports video with a lot of background variation will be very difficult to compress further without impacting quality.

2. The quality you want. Too much reduction can make the video look bad.

I hope this clarifies.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi Feng

1) The main site, does if have to be two appliances or can you have an appliance for central manager and then use a NME-WAE-502-K9 for optimization.

2) Does the Central manager need to be located at the main site or just be on the network somewhere.

3) Also is the NME-WAE-502-K9 a cut down version of the appliance or are they similar in function and the only difference been the form factor.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Mark:

1) The main site must have 2 appliances. One for optization, one for central manager. NME-WAE modules for the ISR can't be used at the main site.

2) The central manager can be located anywhere on the network.

3) The NME-WAE-502-K9 supports the same software version - enterprise license as the appliances. So the functions are the same. The main difference is form factor. Its performance is very close to the appliance WAE 512.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hi

I am new to the world of WAAS having never used it before. Currently looking to deploy it amount other thing like exchange, voice but also for video streaming (specifically itunes to apple TV) over 4 remote brach offices. Question I have are:

1) What WAAS equipment is required. I see that NME-WAE-502 can be used at the branch office sites, what WAAS equipment is required at the main site? Do you used another NME-WAE-502

2) How effective is the WAAS is video streaming?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Welcome to the world of WAAS!

We require the following equipments:

1. Branch: NME-WAE-302 or NME-WAE-502 for the Integrated Services Router (ISR) 2800 series, or NME-WAE-522 for the ISR 3800 series. Or you can deploy WAE standalone appliance 512, 612, or 674. The WAE 674 is virtualization capable, allowing you to host Windows DNS, DHCP, Print and Active Directory as virtual services.

2.Main site. WAE standalone appliance 512, or 612, or 674, or 7341, or 7371. We also require a standalone appliance 512 to run central manager which can manage up to 2,500 WAE devices in the network.

WAAS can help video streaming in two ways:

1. Make room for video streaming by reducing WAN bandwidth consumption due to data. If the data stream (for example an archived video clip) is already downloaded by a branch use, then any subsequent download of the same clip by other users in the same branch will be much faster, because the clip is now cached and served from the branch WAE device.

2. High quality live video streaming without WAN bandwidth upgrades and complex configurations. For example if there are 15 users in each of the 4 branches, WAE main devices will send only 4 streams across the WAN, and have them split into 15 streams/branch by the branch WAE. So instead of sending 60 streams, you will reduce bandwidth requirements.

Does this answer your question?

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Could you confirm if the directed mode (to help traverse 3rd party FW) is available in CISCO WAAS 4.1 foreseen for end August ?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Yes indeed the directed mode will be available in Cisco WAAS v4.1 release for end of August.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

I see that in order to run in Disconnected mode after a wan failure, you need a domain controller in the branch office (as well as the main domain controller at the HQ site). Will this ever change?

We're trying to reduce the number of servers in our branch, not add another one. So we are debating whether or not to try to support Disconnected mode.

Thanks,

Kelly

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Our solution to this problem is to host Windows Server 2008 core with domain controller function (DHCP, DNS, Active Directory) and Print services on the WAAS platform. The goal is to eliminate the need to have standalone servers in the branch just to serve domain controller functions.

So the bottom line is, you can have Cisco WAAS providing WAN optimization and application acceleration, as well as hosting Windows Server 2008 core functions to reduce the need for branch servers.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Sounds nice, but we already have NME-502s in our 2811 routers. I would get fired if I said that we had to rip them out and spend $10K - $30K more per branch (we have over 50 branches) to get a bigger WAAS device just so we could host a windows server there.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

Could you send me an email to fenmeng@cisco.com with your concerns on this? I will ask around in order to help you.

Thanks,

Feng

fenmeng@cisco.com

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

I have a question with regard to using WAAS over standard IPSEC. Our backup WAN consists of a hub and spoke standard IPSEC network through ASA firewalls running 8.02 code. The HUB WAAS appliance is WCCP redirect and all the remotes are running Inline with one connection to the primary WAN and another directly to the ASA. If I test failover and WAAS functions on the backup WAN the Central Mgr shows the status of the remote engine on backup as offline even though there is no loss of connectivity.

I believe it is safe to rule out MTU and MSS as possible issues. Do I need ASA code 8.03 for WAAS inspection?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

What options available when clients using Remote Desktop Protocol and Connectivity is through IPSec enabled GRE Tunnels. How can we accclerate RDP application ?

Regards

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello:

Our RDP optimization will work even with IPSEC GRE Tunnels, since the IPSEC part is handled by the router.

We recommend you turn off native RDP compression and encryption, because Cisco WAAS can provide RDP response time acceleration as well as WAN bandwidth usage reduction.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello,

It is recommended to use 8.x ASA code when WAAS is using that path. It has the intelligence of using “inspect WAAS” command to interoperate with the TCP options and Sequence Number Shift.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello Feng,

We are looking at implementing Link Fragmentation to support VoIP on low speed (512Kb) circuits. Test lab results are good, but are in controlled environment. Can we expect the same quality of calls using LFI as we would with a full T1? Any reasons not to do LFI for small VoIP sites?

Thanks,

Bill

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

Hello Bill:

Yes LFI should be fine with Cisco WAAS, assuming the appropriate QoS enforcement is in place in the router.

Thanks,

Feng

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - WAN OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATION ACCELERATI

I have a NWE-WAE-522-K9 in a remote 3845 router as our Edge-WAE and a WAE-612-K9 as our data center Core-WAE both running 4.0.19.b.14.

I'm new to this and just got it all up and running with the WAAS-manager (which is another WAE-512-K9).

Right out of the box will it do CIFS acceleration, or do I need to go thru the process of adding file servers and all that?

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