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France is Famous for Fine Wine, Cheese, and Now – IPv6

eiffel towerRenowned for their forte in traditional and cultural delicacies that date back more than 6,000 years, the French have developed quite a classy reputation. Fine dining, wine and cheese are, of course, the most obvious of their specialties, and now they have a new specialty to add to that list – IPv6.

France is among the leaders in the worldwide deployment of the Next-Generation IPv6 Internet Their research and efforts date back 15 years and have played an important role in our understanding of IPv6. A recent study by Google has revealed that France is responsible for more than half of current IPv6 traffic worldwide. Three service providers are leading the IPv6 deployments – France Telecom Group’s Orange, Free and now with this joint announcement, SFR.

SFR announced today that it has selected Cisco’s Carrier-Grade Internet Protocol Version 6 (CGv6) Solution as a first step in transitioning its network infrastructure to IPv6. SFR, the second-largest telecommunications operator in France, has deployed the Cisco ASR 1000 Series router, enabling IPv6 access to the Internet for its business subscribers and 4.6 million residential customers.

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Packet Transport Nicely Wrapped (Happy Birthday CRS-3!)

It was no accident that Cisco won “Best Core” and “Best Network Infrastructure Provider” of the year at the Telecom Asia People’s Choice Awards. We talked elsewhere about the rapid adoption rate of the Cisco CRS-3, but what are some of the specific reasons behind its success?

The key factor is that today’s core networks must handle dramatic increases in bandwidth both cost-effectively and intelligently. It is simply not enough to transport traffic faster and cheaper. The massive volumes of video, mobile, and cloud services require intelligent IP delivery. The CRS has ability to scale with true, standards-compliant 100GE, 322Tbps multi-chassis capacity, along with superior network intelligence using Network Positioning System to help ensure that content is transported most efficiently. For its one-year birthday, the CRS-3 has added a new capability with a Flexible Packet Transport processor card optimized for Label Switching. It scales the core economically with fast switching, providing carriers the ability to deploy high-speed, agile transport backbones.

Global service providers can reduce costs by utilizing a single core platform to deliver a mix of routing, peering, and transport services. To illustrate the versatility benefits, imagine that a business customer is initially provisioned for a point-to-point connectivity service using packet transport. This is traditionally a lower margin service with tremendous cost-pressures. As that customer grows, they require a multipoint connectivity service with Unified Communications and Telepresence. This service upgrade with higher profit margins can be made quickly and easily without need of a separate platform. This alone lowers the total cost of ownership for capital expenses by 44% and operating expenses by 36% (see the white paper: Flexible Packet Transport: An Approach to Core Network Optimization.)

Eve Griliches from ACG Research spent some time with me last week in this video discussing the new capabilities on the CRS platform, the new market opportunities it enables for Cisco, and how it compares to the competition. You can also listen to the Investor Tech-Talk on ‘The Evolution of Core Networks’ and why a separate standalone MPLS switch is sub-optimal from an architectural perspective.

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For Service Providers, the Opportunity to MOVE to Greater Profitability

Mobile data traffic will surge through 2015, growing 26-fold to 75 exabytes per year.  A remarkable 66% of that traffic will be video!  (Source:  Cisco VNI Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2010-2015).  My family uses an iPad or iPhone to watch Netflix movies and YouTube video clips and I see a lot of smartphone and tablet users doing the same.

This explosion in mobile data and video traffic creates challenges for service providers and mobile operators.  First, to reliably provide a user experience that is “more” – more personal, more visual, more social, more collaborative, and more productive.  Second, to efficiently manage the sudden increase in data traffic while concurrently expanding the number and kinds of services offered.  AND, as if that weren’t enough, to do all this while decreasing costs and increasing revenues.

Definitely not business as usual… in fact, “challenging” may be an understatement.

Fortunately, the networks creating these challenges can also turn these challenges into opportunities with a new set of solutions we’ve named “Cisco MOVE” (Monetization, Optimization, and Videoscape Experience).   We asked ACG, a respected analyst firm, to verify Cisco’s MOVE value propositions.  Here are some of their key findings:

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