Know your gear
Cisco WAAS is centrally managed by a scalable, secure, and simple function called the Cisco WAAS Central Manager that runs on Cisco WAE appliances. The central manager can be configured for high availability by deploying a pair of Cisco WAEs as central managers; configuration and monitoring data is automatically shared by the two central manager WAEs. The central manager provides a centralized mechanism for configuring features and reporting and can manage a topology containing thousands of Cisco WAE nodes. The central manager can be accessed from a Web browser, allowing management from essentially anywhere in the world. Access to the central manager is secured and encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and users can be authenticated through a local database or a third-party authentication service such as RADIUS, TACACS, or Microsoft Active Directory. Within a Cisco WAAS topology, each Cisco WAE runs a process called central management system (CMS). The CMS process provides SSL-encrypted bidirectional configuration synchronization of the central manager and the WAEs. The CMS process is also used to exchange reporting information and statistics at a configurable interval. When the administrator applies configuration or policy changes to a WAE device or a group of WAEs (called a device group), the central manager automatically propagates the changes to each of the managed WAEs. Cisco WAEs that are not available to receive the update will receive the update the next time they become available.