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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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Managed Services Leads Economic Recovery

The recession of 2009 has completely changed how businesses view and consume information technology once and for all. Companies looking to thrive in the near and long term have had to take a hard look and cut costs while keeping their competitive advantage intact. Businesses locked down spending to core competencies and looked for ways to outsource non-core attributes of the business. As a result, the adoption of Managed and Cloud Services as a way of meeting IT needs has skyrocketed.

Cisco recently commissioned Forrester to perform a worldwide detailed study on this trend. In its findings released today, Forrester found that the Global Managed and Cloud Services Market is expected to reach $217 Billion by 2014. Pegged to grow at 15% CAGR from 2009-2014, this is about twice the rate of the overall IT industry growth overall, as we come out of the recession. But why this sudden increase in growth?

There are multiple factors at play:

  • Rapid technology and regulatory changes
  • Increased technology complexity
  • Cost efficiencies gained by moving from a CapEx to an OpEx cost model
  • Awareness and acceptance by enterprises and SMB’s

Whilst the economic downturn acted as a catalyst for managed and cloud services it also seems to have fundamentally changed IT buying behaviors. So, as the economy begins it recovery, we will continue to see strong adoption of these new consumption and delivery models.

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Cloud Management and Security: Being Ready

Well it seems like yesterday since my participation at TM Forum Management World 2010 in Nice, France, during May 17 2010 week. Specifically, I participated in a wonderful session, Opportunities, Business Models & Requirements for Cloud Providers.

Having just returned from Paris, France where I had presented at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference, I could not help but pick up on common themes of Cloud Management and Security and will state that management and security are absolute table stakes when developing a sustainable Cloud-based service architecture blueprint. Further, another theme for discussion was the role of network virtualization (not a new concept by the way) specific to the network infrastructure enablement e.g. multi-tenancy. Architecturally, considerations such as proximity of the network to the data center infrastructure itself as to mitigate latency and ensure the required quality of service when moving virtual machines were also common topics for discussion at these venues. Oh yes, it is no surprise that with the launch of Cisco’s CRS-3, we have integrated the Network Positioning System (NPS), that implements L3-L7 best path for content.

However, in focusing on cloud management there is the notion of “on demand” as opposed to hours, days and weeks. Therefore cloud management autonomic flow-through provisioning may be the norm and will consequently have implications to OSS systems as these move to cloud management architecture as I highlighted at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference in my presentation last week:

cloud management

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