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SP360: Service Provider

The constant need for more speed, mobility, and insatiable demands for access to information, continues to strain the capacity of service provider networks around the globe. In essence, whatever capacity made available will be consumed.

An open question on the minds of the operators -- how can they leverage SDN to not only keep up with these demands but maintaining a highly profitable network business? Such was the topic of conversation amongst operators and our CTO, David Ward, during a panel discussion at the recent Broadband World Forum (BBWF) in Amsterdam.

What lies in the balance for operators — a plethora of access and mobile technologies, customer choice, constrained resources, dynamic changes to traffic patterns, the perceived value and simplicity of their service offerings all combine to challenge their ongoing profitability. The key challenge is building state of the art infrastructure while optimizing return on investment (ROI). As a result, operators are focused not just on reducing costs per bit through increased capacity investments, but on making their infrastructure and operational processes more agile and generating demand for innovative business opportunities. “We have identified virtualization of applications and network services as a means to optimize Service Providers infrastructure resources and enable that level of agility, that will spur innovation and demand for new applications that monetize network capabilities”: said David Ward. Moving network service functions into virtual appliances that are spread across a common set of compute, network, and storage resources that can be moved anywhere you need them improves resource utilization and availability while accelerating time to value.

Beyond the many benefits of virtualization, operators agree with our view of harvesting the inherent network intelligence and begun to investigate the pragmatic use of subscriber data, application context, and policy to inject the value of their network services into the digital economy. In effect, they see a huge opportunity to include the destination of the consumer within the service delivery value chain.

As an industry community, we can monetize unique network services across the entire value chain, and we can build an orchestrated environment that serves todays and future demands of consumers, developers, enterprises, and operators alike. Don’t forget to check out the video panel discussion with David Ward at the BBWF regarding how the cloud impacts broadband along with his views and comments on challenges facing Cisco and how the company’s innovative technologies are helping its customers maximize the potential of the network.

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