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Looking to help partners take Cisco’s virtualized networking environment from its big customers down into their branch offices to enable applications from Microsoft Office Communications Server to Cisco’s Telepresence, Cisco has updated its WAAS offering, introduced new Cisco Data Center 3.0 professional programs and services, and announced a handful of other updates.

"We are bringing virtualization to all elements of our data networking portfolio," George Kurian, Cisco’s vice president of appliances tells Channel Insider.

The WAAS 4.1 announcement builds on the company’s two-year-old WAAS offering that has been adopted by 500 customers since its introduction. The most recent version, available for download in the third quarter, provides for virtualized application hosting services, greater application acceleration and video deliver for the branch office, according to Cisco.

"A customer buys the ACE 4710 (Application Control Engine) appliance, and they get twice the capacity for virtualized application switching," Kurian says. ACE software release 3.1 for the application switch, available in the third quarter, offers 4 gigabits per second throughput, up to 2 gigabits per second of compression capability, and multimedia readiness on a virtualized platform, according to Cisco.

Cisco also announced Data Center 3.0 professional programs and services.

"We think that virtualization is a $10 billion plus business opportunity for Cisco and our customers. We are looking at enabling our resellers to take advantage of this significant IT transformation," says Kurian.

Among the new professional services and tools, Cisco is offering the Efficiency Assurance Program (EAP), a web-based tool to help analyze data center power use. It also establishes energy benchmarks across facilities and infrastructure, according to Cisco.

Cisco announced both new and enhanced programs to help customers successfully deploy and manage advanced data centers, including the new Data Center Efficiency Assurance Program, extensions to the Data Center Assurance Program (DCAP) 4.0, and DCAP for Applications.

Cisco also updated its Data Center Assurance Program with an enhanced service provider section with an updated baseline architecture and new overlays for video streaming and mobility services, the company says.  In addition, it now supports solutions including Oracle 11i E-Business Suite, Microsoft Exchange 2003, Tibco Rendezvous, and active-active disaster recovery. The company as also extended its DCAP for Applications program for the Cisco Application Delivery Networks portfolio by offering validated delivery for Oracle 12i E-Business Suite and Microsoft Office Communications Server.