Cisco boosts application delivery efficiency with virtual partitions

Cisco has developed partitioning technology for its high-end routers designed to enable users to run applications more efficiently.

Cisco has developed partitioning technology for its high-end routers designed to enable users to run applications more efficiently.

The company said its virtual partitioning module would enable IT managers to create up to 250 logical devices that could be managed and operated separately.

Called Cisco Application Control Engine (Ace), the technology offers role-based access control capabilities that enable management tasks to be delegated to distributed IT teams, while keeping application delivery and policies centrally controlled, Cisco said. 

The Ace module also helps IT managers ensure that applications are allocated adequate resources. Cisco said the module enabled users to quickly add or change applications, simplify infrastructure topologies, consolidate resources, and respond rapidly to business demands.

This could dramatically improve application delivery workflow by reducing the time and resources needed to deploy and manage the network application infrastructure, Cisco said.

The technology could improve the performance of enterprise applications. Gordon Simpson, vice-president of applied platform technology at SAP, said, “The new Cisco application control engine 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.”

Steve Broadhead, director at network research firm Broadband Testing, said, “This whole application layer technology development wave – focusing on both performance and security improvements – is one that we see as redefining networking for the future.”

Broadhead said Ace was significant to Cisco’s Layer 7 traffic optimisation strategy.

Last May, Cisco acquired Fineground, a provider of web application acceleration technology. Through the £40m acquisition, Cisco said it would be able to provide advanced application acceleration across networks for secure and optimised delivery of web-based applications.

The Ace module supports up to 16gbps of raw data throughput and up to 345,000 connections per second. Several Ace modules can be deployed in a Catalyst 6500 Series chassis for higher throughput. 

In addition, Ace offers high-availability and failover models, including partitions between applications, within a chassis, across a chassis in a datacentre, and between datacentres.

According to Cisco, 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 entries.

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