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Making Cloud Possible by Changing the Game

A Game changer occurs when something that is thought about enables competitive advantages that were previously unachievable. Ideas that level the playing field or outpace the competition don’t come along every day. The Cloud is considered a game changer for service providers (SPs) enterprise and consumer customers alike. It’s a solution offering mutual advantage to all participants. There are so many people writing about it that we’re almost all becoming cloud-weary.

But like every good idea, execution is the key. If the Cloud cannot be leveraged by businesses profitably then the scorecard doesn’t go positive –  and in the case of service providers the scorecard is based on new revenue generating services, faster ways to get there, new levels of customer satisfaction, new ways to trim costs and new business opportunities.

For enterprises, using an SP or hybrid-Cloud approach offers new ways to cost reduce IT budgets and concentrate limited human capital on their core business offers. Mobile workers and teleworkers, can access resources at their fingertips while branch offices are linked to scalable, virtually unlimited resource pools via the network.

Cloud offers SMBs  a way to compete head-to-head with Fortune 1000s using new pay-as-you-go (or a pay-as-you-grow) business models. Applications that were unaffordable are now available on-demand.

Cisco Unified Service Delivery is helping Service Providers change their game when it comes to the Cloud. Service providers need a flexible, dynamic solution that enables on-demand service delivery. They need to integrate pools of resources within, across and beyond the data center and Cisco USD is the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution. The ability to manage a  cloud solution from the data center all the way to the end point while applying the right QoS and security and meeting numerous other parameters will be critical metrics for success.

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There is No Split Standard in MPLS OAM

There has been a lot of buzz recently about a second OAM (Operations, Administration, and Maintenance) solution for MPLS-TP that will cause interoperability problems between MPLS-TP and MPLS. It is accurate that there is an alternative OAM based on ITU-T Y.1731 (Ethernet OAM) proposed by a number of vendors and countries and indeed, it will cause interoperability issues. As a strong believer in standards, I certainly hope that a second approach does not occur because vendors and customers do not need the additional cost burden that a lack of interoperability causes.  The fact is that only the draft recommendation for MPLS-TP OAM based on Y.1731 has begun the first step in a very long approval ITU process – but nothing more – and in my estimates will take well over a year and could easily take up to two years to standardize. IETF MPLS OAM is widely deployed in MPLS networks today and will simply be extended as MPLS-TP is deployed as a next generation transport solution. In fact, recent interoperability testing of MPLS-TP took place at the MPLS World Congress earlier this month in Paris.

I believe that after careful consideration most operators will see the benefit of having a single end-to-end methodology to operate and manage converged packet optical transport networks, which MPLS-TP using MPLS OAM provides. Operators who select another method that is perceived to meet their short term needs now my ultimately learn that it fails to  provide everything they had expected, and that having multiple OAM methods (one for Ethernet and another for MPLS) is not cost effective. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward. At the very least, operators should make an informed decision on which approach is right for them.

To summarize:

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The Future of Television: Sweeping Change at Breakneck Speed

Have you ever wished you could watch the news on the bathroom mirror while you get ready for work? Wave your hand to order a pizza from an irresistible commercial? Not only watch shows, but smell, feel, and taste them, too? Turn your TV viewing into an immersive experience that allows you to engage with characters outside of the storyline and see additional scenes based on your profile and preferences? Well, you might be able to do these things and more in the not-too-distant future.

Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 50 TV experts and examined three industry drivers – technology, consumer behavior, and business models – to paint a picture of what the future of TV will look like. Our point of view offers the first holistic vision of the future across all key dimensions of the television industry and sheds new light on the likelihood and timing of innovation.

Today, I unveiled our predictions on what the future of television might look like during my keynote presentation at OTTCon – a trade show that hosts executives from the most innovative technology, media, and entertainment companies including PayTV operators, content producers, consumer electronics manufacturers, media aggregators and service providers.

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Making Money in Internet Video

If you are a service provider, the title of this blog probably has you shaking your head. SPs know only too well that Internet video is costing them money because of the expense of maintaining an infrastructure capable of delivering high-quality online video. The good news is that there is a way to monetize that demanding video traffic.

In 10 to 15 years, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) estimates that consumers will be watching Internet video as much as 50 percent of their video-watching time. Rather than panicking at the thought of supporting that magnitude of video traffic, SPs should be thinking about how to turn it into profits.

SPs have a strategic advantage over current content delivery network (CDN) providers; traditional CDN services allow content providers to bypass Internet congestion points, but do not allow them to bypass potential congestion points within the SP network that provides Internet access to consumers. CDN services delivered via the SP’s network are delivered by CDN caches placed much closer to the final viewer, reducing the probability of having congestion issues over the delivery path.

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IPv6: The Time Has Come

IPv6’s time has come“IPv6’s time has come. For a long time considered a satisfactory but too costly technical solution to implement, IPv6 is now an issue that cannot be ignored.” Thus begins the preamble for the V6 World Congress Inaugural Event.

Conference Day One: On Tuesday, February 8th, Mark Townsley, of Cisco opened the meeting with the first keynote presentation: Business Case for IPv6 – giving an overview of the state of the Internet and the Networking Industry. The central theme of the meeting was how “…as an industry we need to work together to create a network effect, in order to stimulate a virtuous cycle of IPv6 deployment amongst all the players in the industry.”

Erik Kline of Google spoke at the meeting along with distinguished guests. Google, Facebook, Comcast, Akamai and others highlighted what they were working on. Content providers such as YouTube also spoke about their involvement in IPv6. Alexandre Cassen from Free (Iliad Group) made an announcement that they already have more than 490,000 users on IPv6. Free Telecom’s new Freebox gives new subscribers IPv6 by default.

“Free is committed to providing the latest innovations for its customers, including full support today for the IP Next-Generation Network, IPv6. We have chosen the Cisco Series Aggregation Services Routers ASR 1000 router for their support of an integrated high-performance IPv6 Rapid Deployment or 6rd technology, which allows us to supply IPv6 to our users in a remarkably simple and cost-efficient manner.”
Maxime Lombardini, chief executive officer, Free (Iliad Group, France)

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