Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

Cisco and Microsoft Accelerate Cloud Providers’ Journey to the Hybrid Cloud

It can be a tough world out there for a cloud provider. You’re facing stiff competition from the big cloud players like Amazon and Google to deliver more flexible cloud services. But you have an edge that they don’t. Customers can trust you to deliver guaranteed reliability, security, and data sovereignty for business-critical applications in a way that pure public cloud providers can’t match.

To capitalize on that trust, you need to:

  • Offer a suite of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions “as a service,” and bring them to market fast
  • Deliver business-class performance (scalability, flexibility, reliability and security, and more) against customer SLAs
  • Support key hybrid cloud capabilities like workload portability; and security, policy, and infrastructure management across clouds
  • Deliver globally while retaining data sovereignty

There are technologies available to do all of that, but typically you’d need to spend a lot of time and money knitting together hardware and software from multiple vendors. Then you’d have to test them to make sure they work together, and you could encounter a lot of complexity deploying and provisioning new services.

But there’s good news: Cisco and Microsoft have teamed up to create the next-generation architecture for cloud providers. It’s called the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform. And it’s going to make capturing the cloud opportunity a whole lot easier for you and your customers.


Introducing Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform combines Cisco’s world-class hardware with Microsoft’s enterprise-ready software to help you build comprehensive hybrid cloud solutions—faster, more easily, and more profitably. It’s part of a multi-year agreement between two of the world’s hybrid cloud heavyweights, Cisco and Microsoft, to deliver joint engineering, product development, and go-to-market support.

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform is the result of a shared vision about how the cloud needs to work for businesses. We know that if you’re going to deliver viable cloud solutions to your customers private, public, and hybrid clouds need to work together seamlessly. And they need to be a lot easier to deploy and operate.

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform maps application policy to infrastructure policy for Microsoft and third-party ISV applications. And it implements our Unified Data Center and Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) with Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (WAP) as part of a complete, pre-tested and validated, ready-to-deploy cloud platform. So you can deploy new applications and services at DevOps speed, with lifecycle support from the partners you trust.

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Mark Your Calendars for Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) GEN15

Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) GEN15 is coming up soon. The conference looks to be bigger and better than ever. Here’s a quick summary of the basics:

  • Who: Service Providers, Media Providers, Equipment Vendors and Analyst/Research Firms
  • What: Gathering of Worldwide Industry Professionals focused on Metro Ethernet Services
  • When: November 16 – 18, 2015
  • Where: Dallas, Texas at the Omni Hotel Dallas
  • Why: Great opportunities for information gathering, training and peer interaction


Cisco is participating in GEN15 on many fronts. Activities begin with the Cisco Workshop on Monday, November 16th from 1pm to 5pm. This workshop will be packed with new and interesting information from several top speakers. We will cover topics like Virtualization and the impact of Cloud on the Enterprise WAN, Agile Carrier Ethernet, Packet Optical Carrier Ethernet, new services, and new technologies. There are only 70 seats for this workshop, so please contact your Cisco Account Manager for registration.

Throughout the conference Cisco will have booth space and meeting space to foster discussion and interaction. Cisco is taking part in the first ever Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Hackathon as well as the traditional the Proof of Concept (POC) demos. Cisco’s Chief Architect, Dave Ward, will be delivering a keynote presentation at the show. Cisco Distinguished Engineer Simon Spraggs will be part of a panel discussion of SDN/NFV and speaking at the Cisco Workshop.

I’m a Dallas native, so please allow me give you some tips on things to see and places to eat while you’re at GEN15.

Food within a short cab fare: Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

The Next Frontier: Service Creation in the Era of Instant Delivery

Every service provider I talk to these days wants pretty much the same thing: a faster, less expensive way to develop services. Faced with increased competition on all sides, along with increasing demands for more mobile and richer media offerings, speed to market and efficient operations are everything.

For many, networks have become cumbersome, resulting in long services lifecycles. Slow processes—from creation to modification and end of life—hamper business agility and make networks too costly to manage. And as new, more agile competitors without legacy burdens enter the market, the intense pressures on profitability continue to mount.

So how do you do things faster and at lower cost? What is the right investment strategy?

Innovate your way to success.

You have several options for developing new services in an inflexible infrastructure environment: Get out your crystal ball. Go with your gut. Or wait and see where the market goes, then catch up.

That’s right, these aren’t options at all. None are sustainable in today’s market conditions.

You have to innovate. Get the right partner and tap into the wide innovation engine that is the world. Make your network your innovation platform. It is the platform on which to build a more successful business.

1Why flexibility is essential

To compete, you need to evolve to a network with built-in flexibility. A flexible network helps you adjust to market demands quickly, enables you to automate network functions, and supports innovation—for you and others. Doing this via open software becomes essential.

This is much more than an IT strategy. It’s a business strategy that’s absolutely essential to compete and profit. It’s also the foundation for a broader culture of innovation, where people inside and outside your organization can act on ideas and develop solutions quickly.

The path to the modern network

As I work with service providers, I make two key recommendations to bring flexibility into their network: Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Global Innovation Awards Won by Cisco Improve Customers Mobility Services

The mobility product and solution teams here at Cisco are honored to be recognized this month by industry experts at two global events. Mobility IQ not only won the top prize for the “Most Innovative Big Data Platform/Service” at the 10th annual LTE Asia Awards on October 6th in Singapore, but it also won the WBA Wi-Fi Industry Award for “Best Wi-Fi Service Innovation” last week in San Jose, where Cisco Hyperlocation also won the award for “Best Wi-Fi Service Solution for Consumers or Enterprises.”

Global Innovation Awards SP360-Awards Image 1
Mobility IQ wins award for the “Most Innovative Big Data Platform/Service”
Cisco Hyperlocation wins award for “Best Wi-Fi Service Solution for Consumers or Enterprises.”


The most gratifying part of winning these awards is the common word found in each one: Service. The innovations represented by Cisco Mobility IQ and Hyperlocation are directly targeted at improving our customers’ ability to improve the mobility services they deliver to their subscribers.
Mobility IQ gathers Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Service Providers Reduce Time to Market with Cisco Meraki

Imran Idrees headshotWritten By Imran Idrees, Senior Marketing Manager, Global SP & Enterprise, Cisco Meraki

Time to market. This is likely to be one of the top answers a service provider will cite when posed the question, “what is the most critical aspect of launching a new service?” And it’s not difficult to see why.

Time to market directly impacts a service provider’s bottom line: spend too long building an app for iOS 8 and half of your market will have migrated to iOS 9 by the time you launch. It’s not a perfect metaphor but you get the idea–delays in a launch result in missed revenue opportunity in the increasingly fast-paced tech world.

When you probe a little further, you find that time to market must be coupled with low cost of delivery and high customer experience for a successful launch.

So, enter Meraki – Cisco’s cloud networking solution and one of the company’s fastest growing groups with triple-digit YoY growth.


Meraki enables zero-touch provisioning meaning service providers can get end customer sites live almost immediately after receiving an order

The Meraki cloud-managed networking architecture is ideally positioned to support successful launches for service providers. Meraki dramatically reduces the Read More »

Tags: , , ,