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News from Cisco Live! - Prime Optical is Available

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

Cisco Live!

Cisco Live has a great turn-out this year with thousands of customers meeting in Las Vegas to share information on networking and learn about the latest and greatest from Cisco and Cisco partners. Within the service provider management applications group we have several exciting announcements around Cisco Prime™. The first is the availability of Cisco Prime Optical, the third release in the Cisco Prime for Service Providers portfolio (Cisco Prime Fulfillment and  Cisco Prime Performance Manager are already available).

Cisco Prime Optical

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Cisco Prime Optical is a carrier-class, multitechnology management system that integrates the end-to-end management of traditional transport networks and new carrier packet transport networks. It can help maintain the integrity of existing services, plus deliver interactive, content-based services and high-bandwidth applications.

Cisco Prime Optical is Cisco’s go-forward solution for service providers and other organizations that require carrier-grade capabilities for managing optical transport networks. Cisco Prime Optical is the evolution of Cisco Transport Manager and includes all of the powerful capabilities of that offering combined with significant enhancements.

Cisco Prime Optical manages the entire Cisco optical portfolio, including:
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See Cisco Prime in Action at TM Forum TeleManagement World

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

I’m excited to be attending TeleManagement Forum Management World Conference this week in Dublin, Ireland. Come meet me and Executives from the Cisco Network Management Technology Group, Cloud & Managed Services, and Advanced Services teams. We will be available to meet with customers to discuss the Cisco service provider offerings, service provider architectures, management solutions and Cloud offerings at Liffey Suites 3 & 4.

Cisco has recently made several announcements relevant to service providers and the management of their networks. Announcements include The Cisco Carrier Packet Transport System, the industry's first standards-based transport solution to help service providers better deliver video, mobility and cloud computing services, and Cisco Prime for Next Generation Packet and Transport Networks. The Cisco Prime™ portfolio of enterprise and service provider management offerings supports integrated lifecycle management of Cisco architectures and technologies based on a business-centric framework. Built on an intuitive workflow-oriented user experience, Cisco Prime products dramatically increase IT productivity, network scalability, and control of the network infrastructure and endpoints.

Visit our Demo Suite at Campshire 3 to experience our integrated management suite, Cisco Prime.

Also, Come see Cisco Cloud and management offerings in action at our Catalyst at Forumville, top deck Booth 2.

This year's Catalyst will focus on Enhanced Cloud Service Management. This builds on our previous Inter-Cloud Service Management catalyst and shows how Service Providers can differentiate themselves with “Cloud Services” that leverage some of their most important assets and the TM Forum Frameworx. BT is project champion for the Catalyst and partners Comptel, Progress Software, MetraTech, Amartus, and InfoVista are joining Cisco in the development and delivery of the demo.

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Multi-vendor MPLS-TP Interoperability Demonstrated for Packet Transport Networks

Widely deployed from the core to the edge, IP/MPLS has achieved huge success as a mature, standards-based technology now deployed by virtually every service provider worldwide.  As a result, the industry has chosen to extend IP/MPLS and develop a transport profile called MPLS-TP (MPLS Transport Profile). MPLS-TP is the packet transport technology of choice being developed by the IETF to allow service providers to cost effectively migrate existing transport networks to packet based solutions.

Recently EANTC conducted an MPLS-TP Interoperability Event which focused on testing and demonstrating interoperability of key IP/MPLS and Carrier Ethernet features between multiple vendor platforms. This represented a critical technology demonstration for service providers as they begin their migration to packet transport networks.

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The Real (Networking) Stars of Los Angeles

Cisco 100 Gigabit  Ethernet @ OFC/NFOEC 2011Early this month the stars in Los Angeles weren’t walking the Red Carpet, nor Tweeting about #winning, nor trashing their dressing room. Instead they were on the blue carpet of the Los Angeles Convention Center at the OFC/NFOEC 2011 show. A few themes clearly stood out regarding the challenges faced by network operators trying to address the bandwidth growth driven by video and collaboration technologies:

  1. Investment Protection: The relentless need to optimize infrastructure investments
  2. MPLS-TP:  Deployment of packet-based technologies for future transport networks
  3. Interoperability: Why scaling to 100 Gig in an interoperable manner will be critical
  4. Optical Component Innovation: How coherent optical technology, flexible spectrum and component modules will be leveraged in future optical networks

Investment Protection: As providers continue to expand their converged backbone transport networks, they are carefully scrutinizing expenses. Bandwidth growth is driving the expansion and various technology approaches are being discussed to tackle it: efficient wavelength optimization, optical switching, optical bypass, packet switching, packet bypass, label switching and others. Some implementations focus on creating new platforms for each technology function. An ideal approach conserves existing investments without compromising performance. For example, label switching is a function that is fundamental to the core and is an easy, incremental deployment within established platforms. Adding this capability to established platforms makes best use of existing infrastructure and avoids new qualification cycles.

MPLS-TP:  Today MPLS is evolving the transport architecture with MPLS-TP and recently implemented in Cisco’s new Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) platform. The CPT attracted the interest of many customers, and we heard a number of positive comments at the event:
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Foundation for Next-Generation Transport: The Cisco Carrier Packet Transport System

SONET and SDH, while well established and highly reliable technologies, were optimized for an era of TDM voice communications - before cloud computing, VoIP, cell phones, mobile tablets, Video CDNs and even the Internet increased network complexity and radically changed traffic patterns. This infrastructure has delivered reliable transport because it is easy to provision, troubleshoot, and provides a high level of resiliency. However, with the increase in IP traffic and changing traffic patterns, a new solution is required: one that provides the ‘trust’ of SONET/SDH with the ‘efficiency’ and ‘agility’ of packet.

Today Cisco is announcing our latest innovation, the Cisco Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) System. Our goal is to enable the transport network in a way that combines the reliability and simplicity of point-and-click provisioning of SONET/SDH along with the efficiency and flexibility of IP/MPLS. 

Service providers generate a lot of revenue from connection-oriented services like leased lines. However the growth of these services from a revenue perspective is slow. New services based on cloud, mobile, and video are IP based and have huge growth potential. Service providers need to address this growing traffic and need to do so profitably. They need to find ways to lower the cost of transport and simultaneously tap into new applications that increase the average revenue per user. The Cisco Carrier Packet Transport System helps them do exactly that!

Of course, new technology can be overwhelming. So, it’s important to deliver all the benefits of packet technology without sacrificing the trust of transport. With the Cisco CPT System, service providers can build a packet transport infrastructure with the same reliability and familiar operational models of SONET/SDH. Standards-based MPLS-TP allows for robust packet connection-oriented control. Cisco’s Premier Integrated Management Experience (PRIME) offers service providers an A-Z point-and-click network management system. Both wavelengths and MPLS-TP label switch paths are provisioned in an easy “point-and-click” fashion autonomously or from a single integrated domain. This integrated solution provides opex savings and eliminates the need for overhaul and extensive employee re-training.

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