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Big News from South Africa (and no, not about that football tournament)

This month many people are reading fewer technology blogs such as SP360 but are focused on the World Cup news blogs such as this one. At Cisco we’re hoping that you’re also watching ESPN when they show player, coach, and analyst interviews using Cisco TelePresence (if you missed it, you can view this short entertaining video announcing our partnership with ESPN).

However, the World Cup isn’t the only big news coming out of South Africa right now. Last week we discussed recent innovations at the core and new innovations coming in other places in the network. Today we issued a press release with Neotel (part of the Tata Communications global network) -- South Africa’s first converged communications network operator and Africa’s first Cisco TelePresence provider -- announcing major enhancements to their Metro Ethernet network and to the Cisco Carrier Ethernet system. These enhancements are being driven by increasing customer demand for video, cloud, and wholesale services, trends that we’re also seeing validated in our latest Cisco Visual Networking Index data.

Neotel first announced their decision to choose the Cisco IP NGN Carrier Ethernet system for their network back in 2007, including the deployment of the Cisco 7600. One reason that Neotel has grown so quickly is that they weren’t just buying a set of platforms but actually a pre-tested, validated, and carefully documented end-to-end solution that could serve as the architectural foundation for their network able to deploy both initial and future services. Cisco’s IP NGN Carrier Ethernet system enables operators such as Neotel to offer TDM and packet services over a converged IP infrastructure and that can easily support future network requirements.

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CRS-3 Scores A Goal…in Japan

footballAll eyes are glued to South Africa to find out the ultimate winner of the greatest sporting event in the world. The lucky few can see this in person. The rest of us must settle for the video screen in our living rooms (or dare say at work), though the experience is certainly being enhanced by new technologies such as  the 3D HD video transmission offered by ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain.

As you can imagine, three-dimensional visual experiences need beefed-up IP networks with massively scalable core routers capable of prioritizing the traffic and handling the increased bandwidth. The Cisco CRS-3 is indeed up to the job for this demanding function -- it wouldn’t work to have issues at a critical moment in a match. And, it’s the sort of innovation that scoring a few goals of it’s own as it won over the judges at Japan’s Interop event last week with the Cisco CRS-3 being presented with the “Best of Show” award.

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Happy Father’s Day! Best. Gift. Ever.

It’s Friday, and Sunday is Father’s Day in most countries. Just in case you’re still trying to choose between what will be his 3rd coffee mug, or, that monogrammed grill kit, I offer hope (and massive bandwidth). For the second year, 4 out of 5 CCIE’s agree that the perfect gift is…well…see for yourself!

And, to all the Fathers and role models out there, may you feel appreciated this Father’s Day!

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Scaling-Up the Network for Zettabyte Era Growth

Years ago, Cisco had asked the question, “Are You Ready?” Today, the citizens of the world certainly have said “Yes.”  Broadband service providers (SP) have seen progressive shifts in user demand. And now, the question seems to be the user’s asking their SP’s. “Are You Ready? -- to meet the needs of us users?”

If you haven’t seen the VNI statistics, the results will shock you. SP’s are on the verge of witnessing staggering amounts of network traffic streaming through their networks. You ask, how staggering? Well, it’s akin to streaming 130,000 titles in the Netflix DVD library simultaneously in just one second.

How do you prepare for that upswing in network traffic? Some forward-looking SP’s are already taking preemptive actions -- not just to meet needs through upgrades, but because they see an exciting upside opportunity. Consider the example of how Telstra has rolled out a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) in Australia.

In this business, growth is a given. However, the whole notion of what constitutes “high-growth” takes on new meaning when there’s a significant change in user application characteristics. For the SP, the answer cannot be simply larger and faster interfaces. There are new dynamics of traffic patterns and traffic flow that speed alone cannot solve efficiently. So, why has content distribution suddenly become an essential component of SP business strategy? The way we all consume information is rapidly evolving -- whether at work, at home, or on the move. The average user, in the course of their day typically:

  • watches HD video content
  • uses a smartphone to check email, watch video, connect with friends, and use life assisting applications.
  • attends a video conference
  • Spends time social networking or playing games with a friend(s) over the Internet

For an SP, this implies that there will be more video to stream, more devices to connect, and higher expectations from customers on quality of experience.

However, let’s look at the key challenges SP’s face from a network perspective:

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TELUS Foundation for Managed Cloud Services

According to a recent market study, the total global managed services opportunity will have reached $217 billion by 2014 -- with managed cloud services becoming a significant component of growth. Some service providers are still studying the revenue upside, while the most forward-looking ones have already taken decisive action.

TELUS, a leading Canadian service provider, announced yesterday that it’s applying the Cisco Unified Service Delivery (USD) architecture to facilitate their progressive move to agile cloud-based IT service delivery.

We know that innovative service providers are looking for better ways to unify data center and network assets, as they seek to find a profitable path to cloud service delivery.

However, for SPs to succeed they must meet the stringent SLA demands of enterprise customers. In the legacy data center model, that can be a big challenge. Unfortunately, many of today’s applications are provisioned out of data center service silos.

In contrast, a cloud solution that can unify pools of resources within each data center — use a common unified fabric, implement advanced peering to interconnect provider data centers to one another and then join them to an IP NGN — can put service providers on a pathway to profitable cloud service delivery. This is precisely how Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery offers providers a way to change the rules of the gameĀ in their favor.

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