Cisco WAN Optimization Solution Tops 1,000 Customer Sites Worldwide
Banner Health, Fulton Financial, and Manufacturers Nanometrics and Bissell Select Cisco WAAS for Performance, Scalability and Reliable Network Integration
SAN JOSE, Calif.- Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that it has passed another milestone in the rapidly evolving wide area network (WAN) optimization market with the deployment of its 1000th customer. Since launching its Wide Area Applications Services (WAAS) solution in September 2006, Cisco has seen broad adoption of its product across multiple industries, helping customers to solve IT challenges such as branch office application performance, remote backup and server consolidation.
Cisco WAAS is a powerful application-acceleration and solution for branch offices that helps optimize the performance of any TCP-based application operating in a wide-area network (WAN) environment. This allows information technology (IT) organizations to consolidate costly distributed servers and storage into centrally managed data centers and to deploy new applications centrally, while still offering LAN-like application performance for remote users.
“WAN optimization is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement. Increasingly, IT decision-makers want the option to integrate WAN optimization and application acceleration into a single branch-office device,” says Robin Gareiss, executive vice president and senior founding partner of Nemertes Research. “Already, 17% of organizations are using all-in-one devices, and 55% are using WAN optimization. Moving forward, they want devices to provide switching/routing, security, voice over IP, optimization, and WAFS. Vendors who can provide these capabilities independently- and as part of an integrated solution-will end up on the short lists of enterprises assessing the market.”
Cisco WAAS has experienced a rapid market adoption rate across multiple industry sectors, including finance, healthcare and manufacturing, while addressing multiple IT initiatives. The technology has been proven in large-scale enterprises, with key customers deploying Cisco WAAS at 100+ sites. Cisco is the only vendor to offer a variety of hardware form factors for its solution, including stand-alone appliances as well as modules that can be integrated into the widely deployed Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) series.
Speeding up Healthcare Services
Cisco WAAS has helped Banner Health, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, speed application performance across 20 hospitals and other medical facilities that offer an array of services including inpatient/outpatient hospital care, home and hospice care, nursing registries, surgery centers, laboratories and rehabilitation centers. Applications benefiting from Cisco WAAS include McKesson application suite for nursing, MTS DELFT for PACS, Cerner suite of clinical applications, Misis Laboratory Information System, MEDICS pharmacy and Siemens MED Series for medical imaging, Lawson for materials and people management, and Kronos for workforce management.
Banner Health selected Cisco WAAS to accelerate the application performance of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and to minimize WAN bandwidth usage. According to Steve Rains, system director, information technology, Banner Health Western Region, Cisco WAAS achieved superior performance results over other vendor’s offerings by reducing latency and bandwidth consumption, improving throughput, centralizing management, and providing transparent out-of-path network integration.
“Before moving to Cisco WAAS, our bandwidth would spike to 100 percent during the day, but we’ve been able to decrease that to 40 percent,” says Rains. “The product’s transparency, which preserves our existing monitoring and security infrastructure, and centralized management with the ability to characterize the traffic according to days, months, traffic type, as well as effective throughput per application, have all been a real plus for us.”
Increased Performance and IT Consolidation for Financial Services
In the financial services industry, Cisco WAAS is supporting data center and application consolidation and improving branch office printing performance at Fulton Financial Corp., a $14.7 billion regional financial holding company headquartered in Lancaster, Penn. Fulton provides a variety of financial services throughout 12 affiliates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia.
To simplify management, Fulton’s IT team is dedicated to maintaining a centralized and consistent infrastructure across headquarters and affiliate locations. The most acute problem facing Fulton was the amount of time it took to print documents delivered by Citrix Presentation Server. Although the company has a 6Mbps MPLS network connection to a regional affiliate office in Virginia Beach,WAN bandwidth was constantly saturated at 80-100 percent and it took up to one hour to print large loan application documents in the branch office.
“Upgrading bandwidth was cost prohibitive, inefficient and non-scalable, and installing and managing local servers just for print jobs violates our server and application centralization strategy,” says Barth Bailey, vice president of network infrastructure and security for Fulton Financial. “With Cisco WAAS, we’ve maintained our centralized and standardized IT infrastructure while ensuring LAN-like application performance for branch offices. We are seeing 75-80 percent response-time reduction for print jobs, and our bandwidth consumption went down to 30 percent of the 6Mbps link, which allows us to avoid a bandwidth upgrade altogether.”
Increased Operational Efficiencies for Worldwide Manufacturing
Nanometrics Inc., a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-performance process control metrology systems used in semiconductor manufacturing, is deploying Cisco WAAS in its offices worldwide. Cisco WAAS has been instrumental in lowering the company’s overall operational costs associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and reducing IT expenses by enabling branch office IT centralization into the data center, including centralized applications, a single repository for all data, and single-version control.
“The deployment of Cisco WAAS has resulted in significant cost savings to Nanometrics’ worldwide operation, and will deliver continued ROI going forward, ” says Dave Kizer, director of information technologies, Nanometrics. Nanometrics selected Cisco WAAS appliances as well as modules in the Cisco Integrated Services Router series, for reliable integration throughout its international offices, including Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and the U.K. Cisco WAAS has enabled a dramatic improvement for the company’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, as well as providing LAN-like response times for Microsoft Exchange and Solidworks CAD file access.
“We replaced an existing WAN optimization solution with Cisco WAAS because it gave us better performance with a much lower total cost of ownership,” says Kizer. “Cisco’s transparent and reliable integration with branch-office routers minimizes our installation and management costs, and its seamless integration with our voice network further reduces our ongoing management efforts in QoS and application performance monitoring. Since the Cisco solution uses a single set of robust QoS policy on the router that is not overwritten by the WAN optimization solution, we are protected against VoIP performance degradation and assured of voice integrity. Moreover, Cisco WAAS network transparency enables us to maintain granular control of each application individually, rather than just dealing with one big opaque data stream and losing application visibility.”
Bissell Homecare, Inc., a floor care innovator and international manufacturer of home cleaning products, is relying upon Cisco WAAS to speed replication data from its Web-based Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) solution. This solution is used for all R&D and product manufacturing purposes, between Bissell’s Grand Rapids, Mich., headquarters and its manufacturing facility in China.
According to Paul Babcock, manager of network and computer operations, it used to take 16-24 hours to replicate data from the central site in the United States to the local site in China. “During our migration to the PLM product, we had to move 50 gigabytes of data across the ocean,” says Babcock. “Since it was a single TCP connection, we couldn’t even fill up the 5-Mbps pipe that we were paying for. Clearly, the WAN latency problem was also causing low IT asset utilization.”
The Bissell IT team selected Cisco WAAS, which features inline modules that are easily deployed by remote technicians in just 15 minutes without disrupting operational routers and switches. “It now takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes to replicate data changes across the WAN, compared to 5-6 hours before. We’re extremely satisfied with the results, and the performance increase will be even greater if changes are more substantial,” says Babcock.
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