News Release

Cisco Announces Next-Generation Application Delivery and Acceleration Solution

Cisco High-Performance Application Control Engine for Catalyst 6500 Series Switch Improves the Way Applications Can Be Deployed, Delivered, Secured, and Managed
Apr 10, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 10, 2006 - Cisco Systems today announced the availability of its next-generation Application Delivery solution, the Cisco® Application Control Engine (ACE), with the industry's highest performance of up to 16 gigabits per second (Gbps) of throughput, rich multi-layer security, and unique virtual partitioning capabilities. The ACE multi-service module for Catalyst® 6500 Series Switch, offers many new capabilities, including hundreds of virtual partitions, per-partition resource allocation, role-based access control, and a powerful XML management API. The ACE also consolidates functionality such as server load balancing and off-load, application acceleration, and application-layer security. Cisco ACE allows IT to control the infrastructure centrally while delegating application administration to separate operational teams. Cisco ACE also simplifies application infrastructures, shortens the workflow necessary to bring applications and business services online, and shortens time-to-deployment of applications.

Cisco also announced today a new application security software module for the Application Velocity System (AVS), its leading application acceleration and security appliance. The new security software module works seamlessly with Cisco ACE and adds bi-directional application inspection and protection while eliminating vastly more application vulnerabilities.

"As market leaders, both Cisco and Oracle have been working closely together to meet the latest application and network-performance challenges of our enterprise customers to help them successfully realize business productivity improvements," said Vijay Tella, vice president of development and chief strategy officer, Oracle Fusion Middleware. "The Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) services module for the Catalyst 6500 improves the delivery performance of Oracle Fusion Middleware 10g to improve business productivity for our customers. It will also help improve the performance of Oracle's applications products when we complete our validations."

ACE Delivers Better Control of the Application Infrastructure

Using the new Cisco ACE virtual partitioning capabilities, IT managers can create up to 250 logical devices which can be managed and operated separately. Cisco ACE offers role-based access control capabilities that enable IT to delegate management tasks to distributed IT teams, while keeping application delivery and policies centrally controlled. With ACE module, IT managers can also guarantee resource levels for each logical partition and apply desired functions to each partition separately, to quickly add or change applications, simplify their infrastructure topologies, consolidate resources, and respond rapidly to business demand. These combined benefits dramatically improve application delivery workflow by reducing the time and resources needed to deploy and manage the network application infrastructure.

"Selecting the Application Control Engine module will allow us to address the overall need for load balancing and application optimization for PSA Group's business applications. Given the move towards the consolidation of application services that we are experiencing today, the ACE module will allow us to effect this shift by offering new functionality coupled with the performance levels we require," said Benjamin Daussin, INSI team, PSA Peugeot-Citroën.

"The new Cisco Application Control Engine solution will enable our customers to further improve the speed and performance of their SAP application environment, including enhanced access to applications from remote branches across wide area networks," said Gordon Simpson, vice president of Applied Platform Technology for SAP. "Working together with Cisco on their application delivery and application oriented networking solutions, we aim to raise the application awareness of the network layers of the IT architecture, resulting in a stronger, more effective business process framework for our customers."

Industry-leading Application Performance

Cisco ACE and the updated Cisco AVS software together deliver industry-leading application performance for customers. The solution provides up to two to five times improvements in application response times that is greater than with other market-leading solutions. Cisco ACE sets a new performance industry benchmark with support of up to 4, 8, or 16 Gbps of data throughput and up to 345,000 sustained connection setups per second. Several ACE modules can be deployed in a Catalyst 6500 Series chassis for even higher throughput. In addition, ACE offers a comprehensive set of high availability and failover modes, including between application partitions, within a chassis, across chassis within a single data center, and between data centers.

"Netflix has 4.2 million customers who visit to rent 7 million DVDs a week, choose from 55,000 titles, add to the site's 1 billion movie ratings, check on their shipments, and view thousands of movie trailers. Since the Netflix Website is the primary interface with our members, it is critical that our application infrastructure is able to handle additional demand while assuring uninterrupted availability of our service," said Ken Florance, director of IT operations at Netflix. "The Cisco Application Control Engine will enable us to scale to meet increasing performance demand on the Netflix application infrastructure and helps us retain our position as the world's largest on-line DVD rental company and the number one Website in the world for customer satisfaction."

Multi-layer Application Security

To protect against the increasing number of attacks on applications and to protect corporate data on the network, Cisco ACE with AVS security software module provides rich levels of application security including bi-directional protection of application traffic and efficient inspection as well as filtering and fix-up of popular data center protocols. Since a major component of modern application security is speed, ACE offers the first hardware-accelerated protocol inspection and control engine integrated with application delivery, as well as support for up to one million Network Address Translation (NAT) entries and 256,000 access list entries.

Fewer Devices With Superior Control

The Cisco ACE simplifies application infrastructure by combining the functionality of multiple application delivery appliances into a single module, including server load balancing and off-load, Secure Socket Layer (SSL), security, and application optimization capabilities. Cisco ACE is fully integrated with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch, the most successful network switch in history. This tight integration enables enterprises and service providers to leverage core network and network virtualization capabilities to easily and cost-effectively increase application performance across their wide area network. Cisco ACE also allows companies to save valued footprint and lower data center power requirements. The ACE service module adds to the Catalyst 6500 Series' growing service module portfolio, which includes firewall, virtual private network (VPN), and wireless services.

The Cisco ACE can be managed simply using either Cisco Application Networking Manager, a graphical user interface (GUI)-based multi-device manager, a powerful command line interface (CLI), or an extensible markup language (XML)-based application programming interface (API).

Pricing and Availability

Cisco Application Control Engine module is available immediately in configurations that support up to 4, 8 and 16 Gbps throughput-levels for $39,995, $59,995, and $99,995 respectively. The scalable architecture of the Cisco ACE family allows customers to upgrade performance and scalability of the ACE through purchase of software licenses. The AVS application security software module is available in early May and is priced at $10,000.