Cisco Orients The Application Network

    June 21, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

New technology from the networking company promises faster, smarter, and more secure computer networks.

Cisco seeks to help its networks better understand the applications running across them. The company has introduced Application Oriented Networking (AON) and bills it as a new class of application message-level intelligence.

Research firm Gartner estimates the overall advanced application market — which includes messaging, integration, application acceleration, Web services, security and other fields — could be worth as much as $7 billion in four years time.

AON can understand the content and the context of messages generated by applications. Those messages could comprise a purchase order or a stock trade, for example. Then, the technology can perform operations on those messages.

The solution could be used for several purposes. Messages from vastly different applications would be translated by AON into a format that each application could understand and use.

Publicly traded companies who face compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley can enforce security policies with AON. The technology would be part of the overall internal controls that maintain system integrity within an enterprise.

Firms that perform messaging tasks like e-mail, and have to ensure certain content remains within the enterprise, can use AON for monitoring and filtering.

Also, AON supports several encryption and decryption options, including AES and 3DES. Based on policy, AON can encrypt the whole message or just certain elements, depending on what a security administrator might choose.

“There is a growing need for this from a technology point of view,” said Sandra Rogers, an analyst at market research firm IDC. However, she noted, these so-called service-oriented architectures will take years to develop fully.

Currently, Cisco has two products available with AON technology. Both integrate into Cisco switches and routers. The Catalyst 6500 AON module will be intended for use in major enterprise or core data centers, while the 2600/2800/3700/3800 series AON module would be installed at branch or remote locations.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.