We had an excellent time in Las Vegas at Cisco Live 2011, despite outside temperatures breaking 100 degrees (38C) at times! While things were hot at the show, things were just as active on the customer momentum front for the Cisco ASR 9000 Series. We were able to announce two new customers that join the more than 500 customers of the platform worldwide: PCCW in Hong Kong and Polish Telecom (Telekomunikacja Polska, or TP Group). Despite their geographic distance, both operators share common challenges. Growth in video and mobile traffic is driving the need to each to add additional capacity -- as highlighted by our Visual Networking Index report -- yet competition from alternative providers makes it difficult to simply raise prices to pay for new networks.
In the case of Polish Telecom -- which also announced the deployment of the Cisco CRS-3 in the core -- the company sought to invest in a cost effective, robust and powerful broadband infrastructure that, as they proudly say, will help shape Poland’s economic and social future. The new network will support enhanced video, mobile, and cloud computing services. Mobility has been a huge growth area for TP. They’re the mobile market share leader in Poland under the Orange brand and have seen significant increases in smartphone penetration over the past 12 months by offering affordably priced Android-based handsets. This is driving up mobile Internet usage and the company is upgrading their mobile network to support faster data transmission with HSPA2+. On the wireline side, TP is rolling out VDSL “fiber to the curb” which will bring broadband speeds up to 40 Mb/s and higher, along with more video channels for their half-million plus TV subscribers . Ultimately this will result in better customer experiences, and hopefully for TP, lower churn and reduced operating costs.
Much of the activity on this side over the past month has been around the introduction of the ASR 9000 System. As I highlighted in my earlier post, the System is Super & Simple, creating a new standard of performance -96 Tbps for the Edge (and a new standard for efficiency) - delivering up to 70% cost savings than competitive platforms, which translates to bottom line benefits for the providers.
In fact, the list of the customers which are taking advantage of the benefits delivered by the ASR 9000 is not only in excess of 500, but is continuing to expand. NTT Plala, Tata, Comcast, Cox, and Fastweb were announced last month, with more anticipated soon.
But in the midst all of the press activity around the news and momentum the platform is having with customers, we are also able to sit down with a range of industry and financial analysts to dive deeper about what the ASR 9000 System can do for a service provider’s network and business.
Brendan Gibbs, our Senior Director of Product Marketing for our SP Edge Routing Portfolio and an all-around great guy, had the chance to sit down in a “hot-seat” session with ACG Research’s co-founder Ray Mota (who, while also a nice guy, is pretty intimidating, too, since, as a former elite baseball player, his hands are so big he could palm my face…and because of the fact that he has a chair that in and of itself is called a “hot seat”) for a discussion into the details of the ASR 9000 System announcement.
Among the topics they cover in the video are: Read More »
IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.
Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.
The industry’s flagship Edge router, the Cisco ASR 9000 Series, just got bigger and better. Today, we’re announcing an expansion of the series with the Cisco ASR 9922 and the Cisco ASR 9000v. But this is far more than just adding some cool new boxes to the family (though they are quite cool…) Rather, this is about how they all work together as one, creating a Cisco ASR 9000 System…which has massive capacity of up to 96 Terabits per second -- that’s more for the edge of the network than the original CRS-1 delivered to the core when it was introduced. To put this capacity in perspective, with 96 Tbps, a single Cisco ASR 9000 System:
Could stream recordings of all Super Bowls, World Cup, and Cricket World Cup matches ever played in less than one second - in high definition;
Every man, woman and child in Beijing, London and Moscow (~43 million people) could watch a HD video movie -- simultaneously;
180,000 DVD’s could be downloaded every minute, and
the entire library of congress could be downloaded in 4 seconds
It’s able to achieve such an incredible level of capacity - more than 36x that of the competitive offerings -- because of the new nV technology which helps the various ASR 9000 units act as a system. This Cisco innovation connects all of these different units - two primary the Cisco ASR 9922/9010/9006 units + over 1900 Cisco ASR9000v units - together, and operates them as a single “super” unit, breaking the boundaries of the Edge, Aggregation and Access parts of the network. Like, say a bank with ATMs, all the intelligence resides centrally in the primary units but is able to service the needs of many different, disparate remote locations with the same high quality of experience. This unique systems approach makes it easier for the operator to manage because it acts not as 1900 different unit but rather as a single, integrated one. New software update? No problem - nV technology distributes it easily from the central location, preventing operators from having to individually update 1900 different ones.
Service providers and network operators certainly have their share of challenges: (1) Keep up with dramatic increases in data traffic, number and types of devices, speed and bandwidth; (2) Satisfy user demand for enriched experiences, particularly mobile and video; and (3) Simplify operations while deploying and scaling new services. And, oh, don’t forget, do all this while cutting costs.