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Packet or Transport? Get Your Questions Ready for October 5th

cisco webcast panel presentersThe OSI stack has long served the telecom industry as a model for engineering since the early 80’s (which IMHO was the best decade for music, but I digress). Nowadays the industry is abuzz with a host of developments in the lower layers of the OSI stack. Technologies like OTN and MPLS-TP are being built to extend transport characteristics in the packet domain. At the same time, bandwidth technologies continue to scale upwards to 100G and beyond. While discussions at layer 8 abound on some of them, the industry is largely converging on a standards-based path for development.

Earlier in May, Cisco hosted the IP NGN Virtual Summit where many of you got a flavor of the Transport Architecture evolution amongst various other topics. Following its success, we decided to expand on Transport Technologies in more detail in an hour-long event. The format is much more interactive, and those of you with burning questions can ask them live to our panel of experts. (Register Here)

The event will be held on Tuesday October 5, 2010 with two broadcasts to suit your schedule (each features the live Q&A):

  • First Broadcast: 0500-0600 PDT (San Francisco), 1200-1300 GMT (London)
  • Second Broadcast: 0900-1000 PDT (San Francisco), 1600-1700 GMT (London)

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Service Provider Network Advantage in the Cloud

At VMworld 2010, we were excited to receive the “Best of VMworld 2010” award in the Hardware for Virtualization category with our Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) technology. Running on the Cisco Nexus 7000 series, OTV allows Service Providers to bridge LANs between separate data centers in an intelligent, secure, and dynamic fashion. In essence, it brings layer 2 capabilities to layer 3 over a unified IP network and was designed for large networks. This enables SPs to use their scale to provide better services (i.e. resource utilization and optimization), decrease costs (i.e. workload balancing), and ensure service delivery (i.e. business continuity and flexible upgrading options).

We were also glad to meet and interact with customers at the Cisco booth. Our theater sessions were full, our demos were in high demand, and we had some great conversations. A recording of the full presentation of the opportunity for SPs in the Cloud is now available:

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Doobie Brothers Unique Premiere via TelePresence

Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy - new album release

The Doobie Brothers are the sound of my childhood as my Dad would seemingly wear out record player needles, playing albums over and over again. Now, the classic American rock legends, the Doobie Brothers, are back – with a new recording entitled “World Gone Crazy,” releasing on September 28. All of us at Cisco are really excited to partner with AT&T and Marriott to host the band’s live performance – broadcast via Cisco TelePresence and Ustream – on Monday, September 27th at 3:30pm PST from the CiscoTV studios in San Jose, California. In fact, I didn’t realize how many Doobie Brothers fans there were until we opened up a few seats in the studio audience to Cisco employees and were simply bombarded by, no kidding, thousands of requests. (Of note, my administrative partner is one of them…I need to get her in or else she’ll book my next flight to Boston with a connection in Bangladesh.)

The good thing is that you don’t have to be in our San Jose studio for the event. We invite you to join the live concert on Ustream – from anywhere in the world – to hear their classic and new songs. And many others, through various promotions, will be able to attend the concert via the AT&T TelePresence service and Marriott TelePresence locations. Together, working with our partners, we can help to transform how we all experience music and video, in a truly interactive online format.

Harnessing the Power to Bring People Together

You know, back in January, when Marriott announced their Go There Virtual Meetings facilities, I have to admit that I don’t recall discussing with them the possibility of launching an album over it or helping a band effectively create a “world tour” event in a single evening…

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Differentiated Services from the Service Provider Cloud

Service Providers have a growing opportunity in the delivery of cloud services, which Cisco IBSG forecasts as a $48.8 Billion worldwide in 2013. Service Providers who best differentiate their offerings to the emerging needs of their customers will take market share and out-compete other providers with a “one size fits all” approach to cloud services.

Cisco’s strategy for service providers is to use a common platform for all services; we call this Unified Service Delivery (USD). USD combines the capabilities of the Service Provider Data Center with the IP Next Generation Network to deliver secure virtual services. Unified Service Delivery combines virtual machines on our Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus networking in the data center with core routing with the CRS-3.  Cisco offers Service Providers a number of services  delivered over  USD which include Hosted Communications & Collaboration; Infrastructure as a service. 

Cisco’s Data Center Business Advantage architectural framework for enterprises, announced earlier this week, introduces new solutions, services, and infrastructure to enable rapidly deployable, scalable and reusable infrastructure. These capabilities will also be available for use by Service Providers in delivering differentiated cloud services as part of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery Solution.

Services which were once delivered by a dedicated physical infrastructure are increasingly deployed on demand from virtual infrastructure.  Unified Service Delivery allows these virtualized services to be delivered by a common platform supporting end-to-end virtualized infrastructure, and for virtual appliances to be delivered on demand by our Unified Computing System.  Building on the success and capabilities of our Nexus 1000v virtual switch, new virtual devices and services are now available as virtual appliances including:

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My Top 5 IBC 2010 Observations

Always a pleasure to visit Amsterdam, even though every year it seems the cab fares from the hotel to the RAI center get more random (€11 on the first day, €15 on the second, €20 on the third…I had to cry uncle at 25!)

This year’s event served as a predictably solid playground and portend of “What’s Big” for the foreseeable future. Here’s my quick view of the Top 5 IBC 2010 trends:

  1. Connectible Everything: TV isn’t just for TV anymore, that’s for sure. Little screens, medium screens, big screens – all with IP plumbing, all shouldering in for a shot at becoming a viable new way to experience television. From smart phones to iPads and tablets, to laptops, PCs and “old fashioned HDTV’s,” the way ahead is strewn with connected devices, all wanting to be video-proficient.
  2. Remote Control Variations: Sure, we’ve been seeing gesture-based navigation for a while now, but mostly as an oddity; a cool-but-expensive-looking side show. Seems more real now. Ditto for free-space remotes. Watch for this to pop even bigger in early November, when Microsoft releases its Xbox Kinect – think Wii without the handhelds.
  3. Point That Thing Anywhere: Speaking of remotes, it also seems like we’re on a brink, of sorts, in how the TV remote “talks” to the TV. Forever and ever, we’ve used infrared. Now, more and more RF, and even Blu-Tooth. It means this: We’ll no longer have to point directly at the set-top or TV. Aim the thing backwards over your head, still get a channel change. Not quite Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar behind his back, but close.
  4. Goodbye, Grid-Guide: More screens wanting to be video-proficient necessitates a navigation environment that’s suitable for different screen sizes. If you’re a service provider wanting to extend subscription video to those connected devices, you’ll need a way to keep your look-and-feel, on screens measuring 2.5 inches, up to the 50-inch flat-screen.
  5. Soft Landing, Please: Connectible everything is great, but not if it means ripping out and replacing the triple-digit millions of legacy digital devices, already installed in homes around the world. Migrating to IP video – not flash-cutting – is a big deal for anyone sitting on the giant capital investment that is legacy set-tops and modems.

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