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Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

With Michael Schueler

Read the bioRead the bio

Welcome to the Cisco Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn about resolving configuration problems on the WAAS platform that are not directly related to the WAAS software.

Peter Van Eynde is a customer support engineer in the Technical Assistance Center in Belgium, where he supports content technologies including Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Cisco Application and Content Networking System (ACNS), and Cisco Content Delivery System Internet Streaming (CDS-IS). He holds CCIE certification #23042 in Security.

Michael Schueler has been a Cisco support engineer in the Cisco Technical Support Assistance team in Germany for more than 4 years. He and is an expert on content technologies including Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Cisco Application and Content Networking System (ACNS), Cisco Content Delivery System Internet Streaming (CDS-IS), and Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS). He holds CCIE certification #23835 in Security.

Remember to use the rating system to let Peter and Michael 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. Remember that you can continue the conversation on the discussion forum shortly after the event. This event lasts through November 18, 2011. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

There will also be a live webcast on this subject on Tuesday, November 15, at 2 p.m. Pacific Time and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. During the live event, Cisco subject matter expert Bhavin Yadav will be presenting on how to troubleshoot WAAS Application Optimizations (AO) effectively. He will focus more on individual AO troubleshooting and he will explain about the different ways to work around AO issues with minimum impact to the traffic.

To register for this live webcast: visit, http://www.ciscolive.com/ate/index.php?sid=203284_2

  • Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)
38 REPLIES

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hi there,

can you quickly compare WAAS with ACNS and ECDS?

Regards,

Tenaro

Cisco Employee

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hello Tenaro,

ACNS and ECDS are designed for efficient delivery of video and other media assets. In addition, ACNS can also act as an HTTP/HTTPS proxy. Both ACNS and ECDS require a device at the client-side only in order to apply their optimizations (although in most network designs a device close to the server is recommended as well). In terms of ECDS clients are usually redirected to the appropriate service engine using DNS. With ACNS we can also leverage WCCP or even configure ACNS as direct or dynamic proxy in the client's browser.

WAAS on the other hand can provide benefits with a much larger variety of content and protocols - like HTTP, HTTPS, CIFS, NFS, MAPI (Exchange), VDI, live video and even legacy protocols (via TFO, LZ and DRE) -, but has less features and is thus not as flexible in terms of video. WAAS always requires accelerators to be installed at both the client side and the server side. With WAAS traffic optimization is completely transparent to both the clients and the servers. Also, while ACNS and ECDS can only help with server to client traffic, WAAS optimization works in both directions and even between multiple branch offices.

Please find further information on WAAS features here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/contnetw/ps5680/ps6870/prod_white_paper0900aecd8051d5b2.html

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/app_ntwk_services/waas/waas/v441/configuration/guide/intro.html#wp1122157

Good further reading regarding ACNS and ECDS can be found here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/app_ntwk_services/waas/acns/v55_13/configuration/central/guide/9136intr.html

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/partner/docs/video/ecds/2.5/configuration_guide/prodview.html

Best regards,

Michael

New Member

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Could you please tell me if WAAS supports the following features:

1. cache multimedia content such as YouTube video clips

2. optimize external SSL traffic on the Internet (websites whose SSL certs are not under our control)

3. optimize cloud / Internet traffic, when there's no peer WAAS on the other end of the flow

thanks,

Kevin

Cisco Employee

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hello Kevin,

> 1. cache multimedia content such as YouTube video clips

Yes, WAAS supports caching of multimedia content including YouTube and Cisco Show and Share video clips via its DRE ("Data Redundancy Elimination") feature.

The DRE feature has been further enhanced in WAAS version 4.4. Please find further information on these enhancements here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/contnetw/ps5680/ps6870/white_paper_c11-676350.html

> 2. optimize external SSL traffic on the Internet (websites whose SSL certs are not under our control)

WAAS can do TFO (TCP Flow Optimization) on such SSL traffic only, which includes optimizations like TCP Window Scaling or Selective ACK (SACK). To be able to apply any application layer (layer 7) optimization or effective compression and caching to SSL traffic WAAS needs to have the SSL key.

Please find further information on TFO here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/contnetw/ps5680/ps6870/prod_white_paper0900aecd8051d5b2.html#wp9000046

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/app_ntwk_services/waas/waas/v441/configuration/guide/intro.html#wp1122178

> 3. optimize cloud / Internet traffic, when there's no peer WAAS on the other end of the flow

WAAS always requires a peer at the other end of the flow in order to be able to apply any optimizations.

Best regards,

Michael

Cisco Employee

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hello Kevin,

I would like to add a few minor comments to the answer of Michael:

1 the caching for multimedia content will be better then using a normal web proxy because we cache the content based on the content itself, not on the URL. So if the video is the same, but the URL is different we will still service it from the DRE cache.

However the 'central' WAAS device still needs to download the whole video again to check if the content is indeed the same. So the saving will be on the internal WAN connection, not on the connection to the internet.

3 For the cloud we now have vWAAS (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11231/index.html) which you can run on your cloud setup to accelerate traffic. Provided of course you have a Nexus 1000v switch to redirect traffic from the virtual client machines to the vWAAS.

Best regards, Peter

New Member

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Thank you both for the prompt responses.

New Member

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hi, Quick question: How can I monitor the health of the WAE device using SNMP?

Cisco Employee

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hi Steva,

There are several things you can do to check the health of a WAAS device using SNMP:

  1. Monitor the WAAS for any alarms using CISCO-CONTENT-ENGINE-MIB.
  2. Via HOST-RESOURCES-MIB you can monitor system uptime (hrSystemUptime) and CPU usage (hrProcessorLoad).
  3. Use CISCO-WAN-OPTIMIZATION-MIB to monitor the number of currently optimized connections via the cwoTFOStatsActiveConn object.
  4. Use IF-MIB to monitor the interfaces (ifOperStatus, ifHCInOctets, ifHCInUcastPkts, ifHCOutOctets, ifHCOutUcastPkts).

Note, that memory usage usage is expected to be high on WAAS systems in production. So monitoring memory usage usually does not make much sense.

You can find further information regarding what SNMP MIBs are supported on WAAS and how to configure SNMP here:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/app_ntwk_services/waas/waas/v441/configuration/guide/SNMP.html#wp1118306

Best regards,

Michael

Ask the Expert:Understanding WAAS Platform

Hi,

i have a Problem with the new Cisco Wave 694 and the Power Supply.

In this Hardware are two Power Supplys are installed. Both Supplys are running good but in the Central Manager i have a Message that called "Power Supply Unit (PSU1) reports AC lost".

The Software Version ist 4.4.1.

Any Idea?

Thanks for help

Andreas

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