On Monday, Cisco Systems unveiled a new solution that will help enterprise VARs offer more robust and secure application delivery while creating ongoing revenue streams.
Targeted primarily at large enterprises that want to consolidate data centers and server farms, the Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE), a multifunction module for the Catalyst 6500 switch, allows IT managers to deploy, deliver, secure and manage applications. It is designed to streamline IT workflow processes during application deployments and upgrades via virtual partitioning--the delegation of application management tasks to distributed IT teams,
The partitions allow IT managers to use a single ACE module segmented up to 250 logical devices that can be separately managed and operated by hierarchical-management domains and role-based access control.
"Different groups from HR or accounting, for example, each have their own security, server and network teams and can manage their own set of services using the partitions," says George Kurian, vice president and general manager of Cisco's application group. The partitions also mean IT can add new applications, consolidate data centers and simplify their network topologies.
The new solution also should provide partners with a chance to deploy the Lifecycle Services that Cisco has been encouraging partners to phase into their lineup.
"It gives partners the opportunity to provide differentiation around their data-center solutions and creates high-margin opportunities for things like up-front assessment of a customer's applications, workflow analysis and security," says Steve Benvenuto, senior manager for business development for Cisco's worldwide channels. "It also creates an ongoing revenue stream for application maintenance and monitoring."
Cisco also has updated its Application Velocity System (AVS) software to provide a two to five times increase in application response times. Cisco ACE supports 4-, 8- or 16-Gbps of raw data throughput and 345,000 connections per second. A maximum of four ACE modules can be deployed in a Catalyst 6500 chassis. ACE is available now, ranging in price from $39,995 for the 4-Gbps version to $99,995 for the 16-Gbps model.