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SofNet 2008: Soft-what?

logo_header2.gifI’m in London this week for a Next Generation Network conference that I’ve been attending each of the last four years. The first two times, the conference was very much around the transformation of service provider networks from TDM to IP with BT’s 21st Century Network being the shining example -and rightly so, considering their ground-breaking effort firmly puts them as one of the leaders of the industry. Last year, the conference moved to Milan, where the topic was IMS, or IP Multimedia Subsystem. While many of the vendors were jumping on the IMS bandwagon with abandon, Cisco has what I believe to be a more balanced view of IMS. Rather, instead of looking at it as an end-all-be-all approach to deliver services over the IP network, a provider should look at it as one potential part of the solution but not the only one needed. Because IMS is based on SIP, it can’t support many high demand and important current and future services that are non-SIP, from web-browsing to IPTV -and many of the services to be delivered over IMS, such as VoIP, are already delivered over IP in a non-SIP fashion, making its value quite questionable. Add lengthy standards body procedures into the mix, and it makes sense not to bet everything that IMS is going to be an SP savior. Read More »

Insatiable Demand for Bandwidth Continues

So you’ve read about our IP traffic study in some past posts — If you’ve been wondering whether traffic growth is really occurring and what’s the impact of this growth to the networks, I can firmly attest that absolutely it is. Every major service provider I have interacted with over the past 6 months has talked about how their traffic is growing faster than before -- but not necessarily at the same rate for all. What’s behind this traffic growth? Personally, all you have to do is look inside any of our homes to see the drivers. Let’s take mine as an example. My 15 year old son has stopped watching television and lives his academic and social life in the virtual world through a laptop or through a game console. My 12 year old daughter is also spending more time online with her friends but with slightly different interests. What’s most intriguing is that my 8 year old son is watching videos online continually. Even my wife prefers to occasionally catch snipets of her favorite shows from the www than on live television. As soon as a provider can deliver faster bandwidth to my house, they can count on me as a customer. Where am I going with this? I know that I am not an exception but more of the standard of homes with kids. It is clear that video is the big driver of this growth and will continue to be as we increase the number of creators of content and consumers of content and ways that it can be consumed. Read More »

Welcome to the Exabyte Era, part 2

In a previous post, I wrote about our Cisco IP Traffic Study, entitled”The Exabyte Era.” It’s getting a lot of attention now as its topic is being featured as one of the drivers of the need for new platforms such as our recently launched Cisco ASR 1000 and because the adoption of web 2.0 and”all-things video” is getting increasing relevance to the industry, the market, and our daily Connected Life, whether it be at home, at work or on the move. It is well worth a read and was even was featured on the front page of the New York Times, a few weeks ago.Here are a few of the takeaways for those who like the Cliffnotes versions: At Home, the story is video, video, video. Here are some video’s effects as a driver of bandwidth growth. -- Three years from now, Internet video will be six times what it is today, and twenty times what it was in 2006. -- In 2011, online video will generate 1 billion DVDs worth of traffic each month. -- Online video will drive 30% of consumer Internet traffic by 2011. At Work, new business services and applications will drive the growth:- By 2010, telepresence will generate more traffic than the entire US Internet backbone in 2000.On the Move: the coming ubiquity of Mobile Data- Mobile data traffic in 2011 will be sixteen times what it is today. The next few years should be quite exciting for the industry, and, because providers are actively investing in their networks to get ahead of the end customer demand for bandwidth and value-added service, the next three years will have quite a beneficial impact to all aspects of our own Connected Lives as well.

What is an Exabyte?

“œWhat comes after Petabyte?” was my question to Arielle Sumits, our lead researcher on the IP Traffic Study a few years ago, when we started the effort a few years ago. Even with a wide variety of very regional and granular market forecasts on topics such as”VoIP subscription growth in Western Europe” and”IPTV subscriber forecasts for AsiaPacific,” we didn’t have visibility on what these all mean to the network as a whole. And having a global focus with a global customer base, we needed a global view. Since the market didn’t offer one, we set off to create one (and from Arielle’s standpoint, she likely did it to cease the never ending questioning from me along the lines of”But what does this all mean?” Depending on my level of caffeine consumption, my questioning can often be a far too fast and quite annoying- as my wife, Annie, can firmly attest). Read More »

Ideas, Musings, and Perspectives from the Blogosphere

Here are a few items that came across my reading queue this past week that I found of interest and thought that you may too-Enjoy and thanks for reading,DougSecond Life is pretty intriguing and here’s a New York Times blog post about amping up the reality part of virtual reality even further. At Cisco, our customers are often awe-struck when we conduct a presentation over or give a demonstration of Cisco TelePresence -with its high definition screens and spatial sound, the experience becomes so real that you have to resist the urge to shake hands with the participants on the other side of the table (who actually are thousands of miles away). As innovations such what is presented in the video on this post build upon virtual reality and”transposed reality” such as Cisco TelePresence, the holodeck and remote Holographic”presence” that was envisioned by NTT years ago and even demonstrated by Cisco the past fall, may very well enter the mainstream far sooner that many think. Read More »