News Release

Cisco Extends ECDN Category; New Scalable System Optimizes Application and Content Delivery

Leading Enterprises Drive Immediate ROI with Business Video and Application Acceleration Services
Feb 25, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif., February 25, 2003 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today extended the capabilities of an Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) with its Cisco® Application and Content Networking System (ACNS). New Cisco ACNS Software, Version 5.0, and new hardware appliances and router-integrated modules bring significant performance, manageability and scalability enhancements to application and content delivery. Cisco also announced the availability of a new best-practices guide and "quick start" video solution to help customers deploy and implement content delivery solutions such as video for training and communications.

As the Cisco next-generation ECDN solution, the Cisco ACNS provides customers with highly scalable, flexible options to extend mission-critical business applications, Web content, Web-based portals and video to branch users to maximize security, employee productivity and network efficiency. Enterprise customers across many industries are benefiting from Cisco ACNS, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Sprint, and Curtin University of Technology.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which administers benefits and other services to veterans, their dependents and associated beneficiaries, wanted to increase customer focus, improve corporate communications and employee training through a technology-based education system. "We needed a solution that could enable us to cost-effectively deliver 40 hours of training annually to each of our more than 180,000 employees around the country," said Craig Davis, Information Technology coordinator, Employee Education Systems, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

"We found that our satellite network could effectively deliver live broadcasts and media rich content to our medical centers across the country, but we also needed a solution that could optimize our infrastructure to manage the bulk of content delivery at our various sites. Cisco ACNS allowed us to scale to deliver content from Web servers anywhere in the country. We can deliver content to 180,000 desktops across hundreds of locations. With other features like content and application acceleration, content filtering, virus scanning, and file or software distribution, we can also enhance content security, optimize WAN usage and improve overall network performance."

New Cisco ACNS Software and Hardware

With simple additions to their existing IP networks, customers can use the Cisco ACNS to generate near-term ROI through reduced WAN usage, improved application performance and online delivery of video-enabled training and business communications. Cisco ACNS also helps customers extend their network capabilities to support emerging and future applications. The new Cisco ACNS Software 5.0 gives customers greater scalability, security and manageability to simplify deployment and operations. In addition, the software provides the functional foundation of an enterprise-class system that can optimize business applications, such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and video-based training and communications, which drive productivity.

There are also four new appliance-based content delivery devices for Cisco ACNS: the Cisco 510 Content Engine and Cisco 565 Content Engine for branch-office locations, and the Cisco 7305 Content Engine and Cisco 7325 Content Engine for large-branch or data-center deployments. The new platforms, which all support Cisco ACNS Software 5.0, offer a significant increase in price-performance ratio, memory and storage so organizations can take advantage of multiple application and content services on a single device. Cisco ACNS Software 5.0 also runs on the new Cisco Content Engine Network Module that is integrated with the 2600, 3600 and 3700 branch routers and all previous Cisco Content Engine platforms.

With Cisco ACNS, customers have:

  • Scalable, manageable services - Cisco ACNS delivers critical new services to improve branch and remote employee productivity and reduce costs. With intelligent, automated and resilient content acquisition, distribution and management, Cisco ACNS scales to thousands of origin servers and edge delivery devices. The system's integrated multicast replication further boosts scalability of business video applications. Finally, for central management of all Cisco ACNS services, a new, roles-based Web graphical interface enables secure management and publishing across multiple user communities.
  • Comprehensive security that protects productivity - With integrated virus and worm blocking, plus content filtering, Cisco ACNS delivers strong security for branch offices by conserving and controlling WAN bandwidth use for sanctioned business information. Additional Cisco ACNS security features include authentication, authorization and access control services to protect mission-critical applications and information from unauthorized use.
  • Improved network, application and device integration - Cisco ACNS also provides enhanced integration with customers' existing networks and applications. Router-integrated network modules and interoperability with both direct-attached and switched storage area networks augment customers' existing infrastructure investments. Flexible, integrated multi-protocol support for MPEG, Microsoft Windows Media Technologies and RealNetworks streaming servers provides simplified deployment. Set-top box integration provides cost-effective video delivery to classrooms and retail kiosks.

Ready-to-Use Deployment Solutions

In addition to new software and hardware, Cisco also introduced new deployment programs to help customers quickly implement video applications to maximize productivity, reduce costs, and ensure network readiness for advanced video-based applications such as e-learning and Web-enhanced point of sale. The first available offering, Cisco Video on Demand solution, provides a prescribed solution that includes recommended video and audio capture studio components, integrated Web portal, and content authoring and management application, as well as detailed operational and deployment guides. Designed for enterprise customers, it is a cost effective vehicle for rapid implementation and management."In today's business climate, enterprises are investing in new technologies with clear, near-term ROI.

These technologies allow enterprises to deliver strategic business applications to branch and remote employees to elevate enterprise-wide productivity and profitability," said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of Enterprise Infrastructure at The Yankee Group. "Cisco recognized this trend and has delivered an innovative system that expands the parameters of the traditional ECDN. Cisco's end-to-end product offering, ecosystem of partners and deployment programs and guides give customers the tools to cost-effectively optimize existing IP networks to better handle applications that impact the branch."

Pricing, Projected Availability and Additional Information

Cisco ACNS Software 5.0 is available immediately for new Cisco Content Engines at the following prices:

Cisco 510 Content Engine -- $5,500
Cisco 565 Content Engine -- $11,000
Cisco 7305 Content Engine -- $25,000
Cisco 7325 Content Engine -- $60,000

Cisco ACNS Software 5.0 is scheduled to be available for the Cisco 2600/3600/3700 Series Content Engine Network Module beginning in April 2003. The Cisco Video on Demand solution is scheduled to be available in April 2003 from Cisco content networking partners.

For additional information about Cisco's content delivery solutions, visit