The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Eating our own dogfood, part 2

Posted by riverbedtest on June 24, 2009

In my previous blog, I raised a few questions about Cisco's internal use of their WAAS product.  While I never doubted that Cisco has some WAAS devices deployed in their internal network, I did ask important questions about whether internally, Cisco is truly using and embracing WAAS to the same extent that they want their largest customers to.  Larry Chaffin echoed my questions in his Network World blog:

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/42889

Subsequent to the discussions on Larry's blog, Feng Meng provided a few vague pieces of information about Cisco's internal use of WAAS in his Cisco blog:

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/comments/wan_optimization_and_application_acceleration_case_study_-_cisco/

From the few tidbits of information Feng has offered, there are few things we can now conclude about WAAS:

1)  While Cisco aggressively encourages their customers to deploy WAAS to hundreds of sites, Cisco internally has yet to deploy it internally at such scale.

2)  While Cisco is a US-based company, they have yet to deploy WAAS in their domestic locations where the majority of their employees are located.

3)  The scale and scope of Cisco's WAAS pilot remains unclear, as Feng gave no details as to how many employees actually used WAAS in the pilot.  Caution is in order, as conveniently left-out details can be used to lead readers to inaccurate conclusions.

4)  Since Feng complained that Cisco has almost 10,000 servers, it seems Cisco is burdened with the same "server-sprawl" issues that are typical of other large enterprises.  But WAAS apparently has not allowed Cisco to consolidate servers and eliminate data centers as Riverbed's similarly-large enterprise customers have been able to do.  Indeed, the number of servers in Cisco's IT infrastructure appears not to have changed from the 9360 that existed before WAAS, as documented in Cisco's WAAS case study from June 2008.

As Feng lamented, I can understand how WAAS has been prioritized below other projects such as Telepresence by the internal Cisco IT team.  As a former IT manager myself, I certainly would have done the same thing.  But IT organizations that do not report to Cisco have the option to consider Riverbed.  Unlike WAAS, Riverbed has been deployed to the largest IP networks in the world–including networks that are much larger than Cisco's internal network.  And also unlike WAAS, the Riverbed solution has a track record of consistently delivering positive ROI–often within a period of a few months–for networks of all sizes.  Many IT organizations would readily place a project like that at the highest priority.

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One Response to “Eating our own dogfood, part 2”

  1. Kim said

    please feel free to post on the blog,
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/43245#comment-212334

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