You are on page 1of 3

Cisco Response – Gartner 2009 WOC Magic Quadrant

Executive Summary

This document provides an overview of Cisco’s perspective on the recently released
Gartner 2009 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers (WOCs).

Cisco agrees with Gartner analysts on the Cisco strengths identified within this report,
including breadth of product and service offerings, market success with managed
service providers, and competitive pricing + compelling TCO.

While Cisco has seen a portion of its submitted information and feedback (as part of the
Gartner MQ process) represented in the final report, Cisco also disagrees with several of
the “Cautions” highlighted.

This document provides the Cisco viewpoint and additional information to enable
customers and prospective customers to make more informed decisions with respect to
this Gartner MQ report.

Areas of Agreement

The Cisco WAAS team is in agreement with Gartner in several of the analysts’
observations and call-outs:

• Breadth of overall product and customer/professional service offerings
• Market success with managed service providers (MSPs)
• Alliance with Microsoft (though Gartner chose not to mention the alliance and
jointly validated VDI solution + go-to-market with VMware)
• Competitive pricing and TCO

Cisco recognizes the Gartner observation that Cisco has not always led in new feature
releases (see Caution #1). However, as Cisco WAAS and its 4.1 software release has
now (1H’09) incorporated the industry-required core feature sets, this point is no longer
critical to new or existing customers.

Additionally, Gartner chose not to recognize Cisco innovation in both platform
virtualization (Microsoft Windows Server on WAAS) and automatic optimization for live
video, both of which were industry firsts when introduced in 2008.

Areas of Disagreement

The Cisco WAAS team disagrees with Gartner analysts in several of the published
“Cautions” in the 2009 WOC MQ, including:

All contents are Copyright © 1992–2009 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 1 of 3
• “Lack of functional integration makes for a complex and potentially expensive
solution. QoS, some monitoring capabilities, and SoftWOC are not integrated
into the WAAS product…”

Cisco disagrees with Gartner in this area. Cisco has carefully integrated WAAS with
Cisco IOS, security devices and QoS to ensure that security, VoIP and other key IP-
based services interoperate well. Other vendors’ solutions have been proven to
negatively impact these types of services by using a tunnel-based approach.

With respect to QoS, the majority of customers prefer to implement QoS policies within
routers and switches rather than a standalone WANopt device. Using network-based
QoS ensures that complex traffic patterns (e.g. voice, video, data) are handled properly
at the network congestion points. This same data is captured in ongoing industry
surveys, such as this from TheInfoPro in 2009:

QoS as Part of WAN Optimization

How likely is it for quality of service to be provided as part of a WAN optimization solution in lieu of
providing it as part of the network routing infrastructure?

Extremely Likely

Very Likely

Somewhat Likely


Not at All Likely

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

With respect to soft WOCs, Cisco made the decision to release a purpose-built soft
WOC solution. The Cisco WAAS Mobile client offers optimizations tailored to a mobile
environment, where bandwidth, latency and packet-loss are radically different from those
encountered by a stationary WOC. Cisco believes that a soft WOC is deployed and
managed as desktop software, not a networking device. WAAS Mobile is therefore fully
integrated into a native Windows management environment, and architectural choices
were based on the need to offer the best performance to mobile users while fully
integrating with desktop PC environments.

Finally, in regard to monitoring, it is important to note that each of the major WOC
vendors has either partnered or acquired monitoring technology, and has not fully
integrated it. Riverbed and Blue Coat respectively acquired Mazu and Packeteer, which
are yet to be integrated. Cisco recognizes that customers have a variety of network
monitoring tools already deployed throughout their network. Cisco selected to partner

All contents are Copyright © 1992–2009 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 2 of 3
with network and application performance monitoring vendors through open interfaces,
as well as evolve its own NAM monitoring tool to interoperate with WAAS. .

With regard to Gartner analysts’ assessment of Cisco WAAS complexity in deployment,
Cisco has already significantly simplified deployment processes and ongoing
management with its 4.1 software release (view an actual demonstration here). Cisco
remains committed to streamlining deployments through innovation in each ongoing
release of WAAS software.

Other Analyst and Customer Perspectives

Many industry analysts and customers have worked with Cisco WAAS, and offer
different perspectives from those in the 2009 WOC MQ:

Forrester Research

“For our Organization, Cisco WAAS carried a low level of risk, a positive 176% risk-
adjusted ROI, and a reasonable 14-month horizon to recoup the investment.”


“From a technology perspective, Cisco has aggressively focused on performance and
recently achieved performance test results that are very similar to those of other vendors
in its 4.1 release.

IDC believes that if Cisco does not rest on its accomplishments in application networking
and meets enterprise needs for cost-effective branch office application delivery solutions,
WAAS will continue to be a leading solution in IDC’s predicted growth of the WAN
application delivery market.”

Casas Bahia

Casas Bahia, one of the largest retailers in Brazil, has optimized application delivery with
Cisco's Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) solution. Cisco WAAS is deployed in
over 550 Casas Bahia stores throughout Brazil, which specialize in furniture and home

"Response times for several applications fell significantly, and bandwidth usage has
been optimized, freeing up space for other applications and/or services to be
implemented at the stores.”

NBC Olympics

“Cisco is a trusted partner, and in the demanding IT environment for the Olympics
Games, we depend on trusted relationships. We have absolute deadlines for when
Olympics coverage begins and ends. Cisco technologies help us exceed expectations
and meet our timetables in an unforgiving environment.”

All contents are Copyright © 1992–2009 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 3 of 3