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Australia’s Country Fire Authority rolls out Cisco UCS

At Cisco Live in Melbourne last week we hosted a customer showcase panel (see photos here) for attending press and analysts. Alongside St Andrew’s hospital, an Adelaide-based private hospital, and Relationships Australia WA, a not-for-profit which has rolled out Cisco collaboration kit, the IT Operations Manager from Country Fire Authority (CFA), Gary Phillips, discussed the roll-out of a Cisco UCS based data centre platform.

In a country where threat to property and life from bushfires is a major concern every summer, it is important that the men and women tasked to protect us are equipped with the best and most advanced technology available to them. The CFA is the state of Victoria’s dedicated rural fire brigade.

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Mobile World Congress 2013: Coping with Exploding Data Demand

A dominant theme for the mobile networking industry at this year’s Mobile World Congress was how to cope with exploding demand for mobile data. Part of the answer is new technology but part is better spectrum policy.

Network operators today are facing a stiff challenge to expand infrastructure to keep pace with data traffic growth as more consumers stream HD video on their mobile devices and businesses employ collaboration tools to increase productivity.  As a result, service providers are working harder than ever to manage their networks and scarce spectrum by deploying high quality small cell Wi-Fi in combination with traditional macro cell base stations. This is the “heterogenous network” or Het Net.

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The Australian and New Zealand Mobile Data Traffic Explosion

Australian mobile data traffic will increase sixfold between 2012 and 2017, reaching 0.075 exabytes. Meanwhile, New Zealand mobile data traffic will increase eightfold in the same period.

These were the key findings from our latest Global Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI), an ongoing initiative to predict global traffic growth, which were presented last week at Cisco Live in Melbourne by Dr. Robert Pepper, Cisco’s vice president for global technology policy (see slide presentation here).

Dr. Pepper identified four trends driving this data consumption growth: more users, more devices per user, faster network speeds and more media-rich content.

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South Australia’s St Andrew’s Hospital deploys Cisco Medical Grade Network

Adelaide-based St Andrew’s hospital is one of the most progressive medical facilities in the world consistently leading in new technology adoption. Most recently, St Andrews decided to move to a Cisco Medical-Grade Network (MGN) to continue the development of its digital future. The Cisco MGN is an end-to-end networking framework designed to support any application and any device. The hospital has also rolled-out a Cisco VoIP platform to enhance communication between nurses, doctors and patients.

In an announcement at Cisco Live in Melbourne last week, St. Andrew’s announced partnering with KPMG and Data Mobility Voice to deploy a network including Cisco Catalyst® 3750-X Series Switches in the core, distribution and edge to support IP telephony and digital theatre environments. The technology roll-out is extensive and stretches well beyond one hospital building. The Cisco MGN encompasses areas such as campus networks, clinics, remote clinicians, and data centres.

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At Mobile World Congress, Operators Go on the Offensive

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in early March, I had the opportunity to meet with leading mobile operators from several countries, small and large, and the focus of each discussion was remarkably consistent – how can mobile operators cost-effectively monetize the growing traffic on their networks?

This was music to my ears, because Cisco had many of the answers they sought. 

We had over 900 customer meetings in Barcelona, and I personally heard from many service providers that we are solving their real business problems and that they see great value in Cisco’s broad architectural solution.

 The fact is, Cisco had seen the mobile Internet explosion forming years ago.  With the mobile Internet predicted to grow 13-fold between 2012 and 2017 by the addition of billions of connections between people, devices and objects, we accurately predicted the business opportunities and challenges facing mobile service providers today.   

And so last month, Cisco introduced several major innovations to enable service providers to more effectively monetize those connections.  These Cisco technologies enable service providers to deliver new, better and more personalized connected experiences and to gain more intelligence about those networked connections that they can utilize to deliver new revenue-generating services.

Many of the new business opportunities presented by the growing connectivity of people, data, processes, information and devices (the ‘Internet of Everything’) center on analyzing and monetizing “data in motion,” which basically consists of real-time and near real-time data generated by mobile and fixed connections between people, things and processes. 

To help ensure service providers accommodate exploding network traffic and profit from it, Cisco recently introduced innovative mobile solutions in three key areas: software, access and infrastructure.

Intelligent Software via Cisco Quantum

To better enable service providers to analyze and monetize the data in motion in their networks, Cisco last month introduced Cisco® Quantum™. The result of the integration of more than $1.5 billion in recent acquisitions with in-house innovation, Cisco Quantum delivers unparalleled mobile network intelligence and is a component of Cisco’s ONE programmable networking approach, which is a key building block for the delivery of new network services and is fundamental to Cisco’s cloud, core networking, and data center strategies. The Quantum suite includes:

  • Cisco Quantum Network Abstraction Suite: provides a real-time network abstraction layer for network data collection, aggregation and orchestration to augment available information in all network decision processes.
  • Cisco Quantum Policy Suite: offers a next-generation policy management solution that enables service providers to scale, control, monetize and personalize any service on any type of network through a flexible, interactive architecture that supports application-centric policy capabilities.
  • Cisco Quantum Analytics Suite: provides business and network analytics capabilities that enable both historical and real-time predictive policy decisions. It includes dashboards for data visualization and programmable interfaces to create system alerts in conjunction with policy.
  • Cisco Quantum RAN Optimization Suite – Service provider mobile investment is shifting away from macrocell-only networks to heterogeneous networks (e.g., macro and small cells such as Wi-Fi, 3G, or LTE).  The size and complexity of these networks necessitates self-optimizing networks and a transition to live and automatic optimization in the radio access portion of the network. This Quantum suite addresses this pressing need, allowing service providers to effectively manage their networks, with major network investment savings for both operating and capital expenditures.

Mobile World Congress confirmed this strategy, as global service providers, including Vodafone Netherlands, recognized the importance of using Cisco’s intelligent network to deliver new experiences and expand revenue opportunities.

Two other service providers announced that they are using “Cisco smarts” to offer new types of services: Cricket, a U.S. mobile operator selling downloadable songs with its Muve Music service, and Shaw Communications, a Canadian cable operator offering its subscribers mobile service via Cisco Wi-Fi hotspots.