An RODC is still a Domain Controller and requires a full or core installation of Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2. Since it requires a normal installation of Windows and the installation of the Active Directory binaries, it, by definition, requires a server and not an appliance. It needs to be updated and maintained like any other Domain Controller in your organization. Just because it's not writable doesn't mean that it shouldn't be protected with the same safeguards as everything else.
Edit: I'd like to just point out that this answer was written before the OP edited the Cisco WAAS part into his question. WAAS uses some baked in virtualization tech to run Windows Server 2008 Core, making it possible to install a DC on it. IMO, it's not a standard LAN/WAN accelerator project, but rather virtualization in a box. Either way, this answer may not answer the question in its current state, but it did answer the original question as asked at the time.