Application infrastructure, comprised of application servers, web servers, and often database servers, is a core component in most network architectures. This part of the network infrastructure delivers high performance application services to the LAN as well as to employees, partners and customers on the WAN. Some of the key functionality of application infrastructure includes transaction management, clustering, reliable application-to-application messaging, system management, advanced application development tools, proprietary access, and interoperability with legacy technologies. These devices allow organizations to integrate, manipulate and deliver data from a variety of backend solutions including databases, webbased applications, and web-enabled legacy applications. Application infrastructure provides a powerful platform to support and extend a broad range of application services from small, taskoriented and limited scale applications, to large, advanced e-commerce transaction systems supporting thousands of users.

The portfolio of Cisco data center solutions for Application Networking Services has two significant additions. First, the Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) introduces new levels of application control as a module on Cisco Catalyst  6000 Series Switches. Second, significant security enhancements have been added to the Cisco Application Velocity System (AVS) dedicated appliance. Both products result in an application solution that overcomes the following challenges: