I just got back from Carrier Ethernet World Congress 2011 in Amsterdam and it provided a great opportunity to meet many of our service provider customers from around the world. It also proved to be an ideal forum to share experiences as well as visions for the communications industry between different vendors and network operators. For the Cisco team, one of the highlights of the event was winning the “IIR Carrier Ethernet Vendor Award EMEA” in the “Best Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Product” category with the Cisco ASR 9000 System. Now deployed with over 750 customers worldwide, this was another great endorsement of our Carrier Ethernet strategy and the cost benefits associated with Cisco Network Virtualization (nV) technology.
The times, they are a-changing! And this is just the beginning!
Like the classic ‘60s tune composed by the legendary musician Bob Dylan, the world continues to change in more ways than we had imagined even a decade ago. We have seen the advent of Internet for all, free phone calls with Voice-over-IP, as well as free application software available not just for computers but delivered over mobile wireless networks to our smartphones and tablets. Desktop applications have given way to web-based applications, and the rapid ascent of social media to communicate with a globally connected set of followers in fractions of a second.
Set against this backdrop of these phenomenal technology advances, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has enjoyed a decade of outstanding technology and market success. Initially founded by a handful of enterprising individuals, the MEF recently hosted their tenth anniversary in California’s Napa Valley with an “A List” industry professionals from their 185 member companies. The definition of Carrier Ethernet is synonymous with the work of the MEF -- a set of standardized and cost-effective Ethernet business services, scalable, reliable, with service level guarantees that can traverse the metro, the nation, or the globe across any media.
Generations of innovations and new service application drivers (mobile broadband, video, and cloud) for Carrier Ethernet have been rapidly driven forward by the dedicated efforts and influence of the MEF volunteers. As with new generations of music, adoption of Carrier Ethernet services in the marketplace was not without similar challenges to overcome. The MEF and their close-knit community of equipment vendors and service providers have built a massive following around the globe. The effects of Carrier Ethernet market growth on world business, predicted by industry analysts to reach $40B in services and equipment in 2014, are profound.
And the winner is…the Cisco ASR 9000 Test Drive! B-to-B Magazine awarded Cisco the “Best Use of Viral Video in a Marketing Campaign.” But wait, there’s more. The Cisco ASR 9000 Test Drive is also one of three finalists for B-to-B Magazine’s “People’s Choice” Award. So, please see for yourself and VOTE for Cisco (we’re second on the list and you can watch the video below).
What matters most, however, is that customers have loved this demo. You can be told that the Cisco ASR 9000 has been architected and optimized to deliver non-stop video content. But until you see the difference for yourself, you may remain a skeptic. So, we took the saying “seeing is believing” to heart and enabled anyone to take the Cisco ASR 9000 on a test drive and see just how this aggregation router delivers video packets flawlessly. With a push of a button, you can control a robot to remove the route switch processor card from the Cisco ASR 9000 and watch as video is delivered uninterrupted.
We’ve talked about Ethernet Exchanges in the past - Why Should you Join an Ethernet Exchange and also Three Key Factors When Selecting an Ethernet Exchange. This week Neutral Tandem’s Tinet subsidiary announced the launch of their global wholesale offering, “EtherCloud”. EtherCloud is a Layer 2 service capable of connecting diverse networks and delivering end-to-end Ethernet and VPLS connectivity on a global basis. The network footprint currently reaches 120 Points of Presence.
Even if you’re a recent member of the SP360 blog audience, you likely know that our flagship edge router -- the ASR 9000 -- is on my list of favorite things (it makes a great gift idea for the Holidays, btw…), and we’re pleased to report that it is on the lists of many of our largest service provider customers, too. The ASR 9000 has no question made a strong degree traction in the market place in the 18 months since it became generally available and in fact is clearly hitting its stride with a 40% QoQ increase in its customer base last quarter. This traction is not just because of its unmatched capacity in the edge, or its unique capabilities in supporting the services and applications of the Next Generation of the Internet, but also because of its high degree of resiliency and quality - prompting many customers I speak to, to continue to rave about it.
In addition to all this traction, contributing to some nice market share gains for Cisco - an increase in 2.7% in edge share in CYQ3 alone per ACG Research - we’re just as pleased with what the ASR9000 can do to support our service provider customers. To that end, we’re honored to announce the addition of Tata Communications to the list of prominent, reference customers.