Monday, April 20, 2009

Cisco Enhances WebEx Collaboration Cloud for SaaS, Adds Security Products

Cisco unveiled a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture and enhancements to its SaaS-based Cisco WebEx collaborative applications.

Cisco said it is pursuing a vision as "everything as a service". The goal is to give customers the flexibility to extend on-demand services into the on-premises network, and utilize the network as the platform for highly secure collaboration.

The Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud is a purpose-built network designed to deliver high-quality, highly secure, and reliable collaborative experiences within and between companies. It utilizes intelligent routing based on location, bandwidth and availability to provide global load balancing, and seamless global backup for data, audio and video for collaborative applications including conferencing, instant messaging and team spaces.

The Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud uses eight Cisco-powered global datacenters. The company said it is now delivering greater than 99.99 percent uptime and has a multilayered security model. The Collaboration Cloud hosts more than 200,000 WebEx meetings every day, including CiscoWebEx Connect collaboration sessions.

New versions of Cisco WebEx SaaS meeting applications are also being released, including upgrades to CiscoWebEx Meeting Center, Cisco WebEx Training Center, Cisco WebEx Event Center and CiscoWebEx Support Center, all of which are delivered through the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud. The applications support new features for e-training, virtual events, and remote support as well as an enhanced user experience, expanded device support and expanded global reach.

In addition, the company is introducing the new Cisco WebEx Node for the ASR 1000 Series aggregation services routing platforms. The WebEx Node for ASR 1000 allows the edge router to act as a point of presence (PoP) within an enterprise network for meeting attendees on that network. This reduces bandwidth requirements, enhances video and VoIP performance, while utilizing the global load balancing and availability features of the WebEx Collaboration Cloud to help ensure optimal performance for customers within the enterprise network.

Cisco also announced today five new additions to its security portfolio. These include:

  • Cisco Security Cloud Services: tying together the cloud and the enterprise network for highly secure collaborative communications. The Cisco Security Cloud supports the recently announced Cisco IronPort Hosted Email Security Services as well as Global Correlation, a powerful new technique that powers security services integrated into Cisco's broad range of security offerings.

  • Cisco IPS Sensor Software Version 7.0: Global Correlation for intrusion prevention system (IPS) harnesses the power of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, a powerful threat-defense ecosystem.

  • Cisco ASA 5500 Series 8.2 Software: This offering helps companies to more securely connect, communicate and conduct business. It offers a new Botnet Traffic Filter for identifying infected clients, IPS availability for small offices, and increased clientless remote-access capabilities.

  • Cisco ASA Botnet Traffic Filter: The new Botnet Traffic Filter enables Cisco ASA 5500 Series appliances to more accurately identify infected clients using information from Cisco Security Intelligence Operations: - more than 1,000 threat-collection servers that receive information from more than 700,000 sensors and 500 third-party feeds.

  • Cisco Remote Access and VPN Enhancements: Cisco ASA Software Release 8.2 expands remote access capabilities with next-generation tunneling and session persistence through Cisco AnyConnect Essentials for corporate and mobile users.