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Cisco Selected by AT&T for Domain Network Equipment Supplier

Collaboration is a beautiful thing especially when two parties share the same goals and values. Our long-standing relationship with AT&T exemplifies this.

Today, Cisco was selected by AT&T as one of three domain suppliers for Internet Protocol (IP)/MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS)/Ethernet/Evolved Packet Core equipment for AT&T’s industry-leading IP network.

Cisco is proud to be selected by AT&T to continue to provide our innovative product family of solutions within the IP/ MPLS/Ethernet/Evolved Packet Core domain. This reinforces our long-standing, strong relationship with AT&T, a thought-leader within the communications arena.

AT&T’s Domain Supplier program, launched in September 2009, facilitates a more collaborative relationship with its equipment and software suppliers, ensuring that AT&T has the best technologies in place to serve its customers.

The confidence that AT&T has shown us is greatly welcomed. At Cisco, we like working with visionary companies, and AT&T is certainly one of them with a history and a future of aggressive deployments and innovative offerings that can change the market and raise the expectations of what’s possible for the networked experience for all of us.

Our collaboration with AT&T extends well beyond their Domain Supplier program. For example, earlier this year:

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Cisco SP360 SPice Social Media Event

We were so impressed by the Old Spice Social Media campaign, we decided to have some fun and work it Cisco-style.

So, send us topics via twitter to #CiscoSPice or comment on our blog as we’ll be creating and posting videos throughout the day on our blog based on your inputs.

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Cisco Announces Winners of $10,000 Cisco TV Contest

Yesterday Cisco announced the winners of its “What if Your TV Could…” contest live via a special live Talk2Cisco broadcast via If you weren’t able to watch the live broadcast, we pulled out a few of the highlights:

  • 2:03-5:03 Murali Nemani talks about the future of video
  • 5:03-5:42 Winners of (3) USD$500 Amazon Gift Cards for most viewed announced
  • 6:15-8:48 Winner of $10,000 announced
  • 9:40-12:58 Interview with winners via phone

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IPoDWDM is Crossing the Chasm

Cisco IPoDWDM solutionThe survey results are in. They confirm that service providers are ready to go mainstream with IP over DWDM (IPoDWDM). More than half of the respondents plan to deploy IPoDWM within a year. Eventually over 85% of them will do so beyond 2012. Infonetics Research carried out a global survey recently on packet-optical convergence technologies for routers including IPoDWDM, OTN and others. It published the findings for its clients on July 16th under the ‘Carrier Routing Switching and Ethernet’ Continuous Research Service.

The motivation for developing IPoDWDM for us was simple. By integrating colored optics as interfaces within routers, providers could reduce the need for external optical-electrical-optical (OEO) transponder racks, cross connects and SONET/SDH switching layers. This dramatic network simplification resulted in lesser number of devices in the network, thus lowering maintenance, power, cooling and rack-space operational expenses. Additionally, routers now had direct visibility into layer 1 optical transport network (DWDM) leading to innovative resiliency features like Proactive Protection.

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Why Cisco Supports Standards for Interoperable MPLS

applesI just read a blog from Eve Griliches of ACG Research which highlighted some recent challenges related to the progress of a single, industry-wide MPLS-TP standard being developed by the IETF/ITU Joint Working Team. I tend to agree with her that these recent events are a problem and an undesirable pothole on what is a very promising highway to a standardized next generation packet network. Let me provide a bit more background.

First, the world is shifting from TDM to IP and therefore (of course) the telecommunications infrastructure is also moving from TDM to IP equipment. The industry showed us their understanding of that when T-MPLS was put to rest and an almost revolutionary event happened – the IETF and the ITU joined forces to create a Joint Working Team to define how MPLS is used in a transport network. That was back in 2008.

Here’s a recap of what happened (also documented here):

  • Determined that it’s technically feasible to extend IETF MPLS and Pseudo-wire architecture to support transport functions
  • In the IETF: Define MPLS-TP
  • In the ITU-T: Integrate MPLS-TP into the transport network, align current T-MPLS with MPLS-TP, terminate work on T-MPLS

The industry started out working on MPLS-TP standardization in earnest, and just last week IETF published RFC5921 defining MPLS-TP framework.

However, what happened recently is disappointing. At the last ITU-T meeting, strong efforts were made to resurrect T-MPLS on the final day, when some of the key member countries had already gone home. The justification provided by some members was based on few pilot deployments and older interoperability results of T-MPLS technology between two vendors. The result is a potential paralysis of future work with a possible outcome being two different development tracks – creating significant expense for both service providers and equipment vendors.

T-MPLS is based on Y.1731 Ethernet OAM which is quite different from MPLS OAM. The bottom line is that T-MPLS is not interoperable with MPLS and will create an expensive lack of interoperability between the T-MPLS domains and MPLS domains. A key reason for the joint working group to terminate work on T-MPLS in 2008 was to ensure OAM alignment with MPLS. This would ensure a single OAM infrastructure – protecting investments and promoting interoperability.

To make matters worse, some customers have told me that claims are still being made to them (by certain vendors) that T-MPLS equals and interoperates with MPLS-TP. Additionally assertions are being made that upgrading from T-MPLS to MPLS-TP is going to be painless and trivial. These claims are simply not true.

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