Cisco Systems has launched a number of products designed to improve application delivery over networks.

The company said that its Application Control Engine (ACE) 4710 Appliance, would accelerate applications for end users and reduce costs by limiting datacentre power and cooling requirements, said George Kurian, general manager of Cisco's application-delivery unit. The product is designed for small and midsize businesses and will support up to 2Gbit/s of application traffic, as well as 50 virtual devices from a single application.

Also shipping is a new Cisco Wide Area Applications Services (WAAS) mobile software package that consists of server software for $5,000 (£2,560) and 25 concurrent user licences for $8,750 (£4,480).

WAAS Mobile provides application acceleration for TCP-based applications in the WAN used by mobile or remote workers, Kurian said.

A new Application Profiling Service offers custom support to customers to help them profile the performance of various applications and come up with recommendations on technology that can improve performance.

Affiliated Computer Services in Dallas said it had deployed both the Cisco WAAS and ACE internally, and plans to deploy the portfolio for its integration customers. The products can be integrated into existing points throughout a network to optimise a broad range of applications, regardless of where they are stored, said Tom Gibson, strategic business unit executive at Affiliated Computer Services.

"Cisco's application-delivery technology increases end-user productivity and accelerates business opportunities for our company, as well as [those of] our clients," Gibson said.

Cisco also announced that it has validated the software performance over a network to support applications from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and BEA Systems.

The ACE appliance and the WAAS Mobile software "fill gaps" in Cisco's product mix, said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group.

Riverbed Technology and F5 Networks have been the application-delivery market leaders so far, and "rightfully so," Kerravala said, because they could demonstrate how their products improve application performance for complex applications such as SAP software. Now, Cisco is saying it also can validate its own software's capabilities, he added.