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Addressing the Service Provider Transition to IPv6: An Industry Framework (Part 2 of 4)

One of the hot topics at Cisco Live 2011 last week was around the topic of IPv6 deployment and how to handling the exhaustion of IPv4 address space, both for Enterprise and Service Providers. Over fourteen sessions on the topic were covered, including such titles as How to Convince your Boss to Deploy IPv6, Cisco on Cisco: Making the Leap to IPv6, and IPv6 Planning, Deployment, and Operation Considerations. When it comes to IPv6 implementation, there is no “one size fits all” design, which is why the Cisco CGv6 solution is intended to preserve existing network infrastructure investments, prepare for the transition to IPv6, and enable companies to prosper in the new IPv6 environment.

In the second video of our series on the Service Provider Transition to IPv6 with Kelly Ahuja from Cisco and Roy Mota of ACG Communications, we hear perspectives from cable providers Comcast (USA) and Rogers (Canada) on how they are making the transformation to an IPv6 network. Or as John Brzozowski, Distinguished Engineer & Chief Architect for IPv6 at Comcast, notes “V6 matters to everybody…” that it’s an “…industry, internet community challenge that everyone has to face.”

One critical point that John makes is the need to make the transition seamless despite the huge number of moving parts in the network. This was a key reason for Cisco’s Carrier Grade Network Address Translation implementation, which provides the scale and performance required to offer a simple way to immediately deal with IPv4 address exhaustion issues. Equally important is that many customers aren’t expected to flash-cut over to IPv4. Instead, the transition time will likely take years to ensure that Internet end users are not adversely affected by the migration.

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Strong Momentum for Cisco ASR 9000 and CRS Platforms

Momentum continues to increase for Cisco’s ASR 9000 edge routing system and Carrier Routing System (CRS) core routing platform.  

Recently, of course, Cisco announced major advancements to the ASR 9000.  These will dramatically increase capabilities at the network edge and make it simpler for service providers to architect the next generation of the Internet to be more visual, mobile and virtual.  

In addition, Cisco has announced quite a number of ASR 9000 customers throughout the world:

In regard to the CRS, Cisco released figures showing significant momentum for the market-leading CRS-3, as well as announcing additional capabilities for the platform.  In less than a year since the product was launched, Cisco shipped CRS-3 units to more than 80 global service providers in more than 30 countries. Since 2004, Cisco CRS units have been shipped to more than 450 service providers in more than 80 countries. 

There have also been several public announcements of customer deployments for the CRS platform:

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Addressing the Service Provider Transition to IPv6: The Changed Landscape (Part 1 of 4)

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.

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Market-Leading Cisco CRS Platform Leads Again

Derided as an expensive box that would experience little demand when it was introduced in 2004, the Cisco CRS core routing platform has time and again proven those predictions wrong.  

At its inception, some thought Cisco would never sell more than 50 CRS units.  It has now sold the CRS to more than 450 service providers in 80+ countries . . . and counting.  

The CRS-3 has ramped even faster than the CRS-1, shipping to more than 80 operators – including nearly 20 Tier 1s – in more than 30 countries in just the first year since it was introduced.

And Cisco isn’t stopping there.  The company today announced major packet transport enhancements to the CRS-3, which was designed to serve as the foundation of the next-generation Internet and support the tremendous growth of video transmission, mobile devices and new online services.  

  • Introducing Flexible Packet Transport for New Market Opportunities – The Cisco CRS-3 flexible packet-transport capability is a form of label switching enabled with the addition of a blade to the Cisco CRS. This scales the core network economically with fast switching, providing a high-speed, agile transport backbone.
  • Significant Savings With a Single Cisco CRS-3 Platform – Because the flexible packet-transport capability does not require a new standalone product to be deployed in a network, operators can easily add it to existing CRS-3 networks without expensive, time-consuming qualification testing.  The CRS-3 delivers functionality that competitive solutions require three platforms to deliver.  Thus, the CRS-3 lowers total cost of ownership by as much as 40 percent. 

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More Momentum for the Cisco CRS

Cisco’s market-leading core-routing platform – the Carrier Routing System (CRS) – continues on a roll.

In just the last week, two key operators – Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) and du, the UAE’s integrated telecom service provider – announced CRS implementations.

HKBN has committed to the Cisco CRS-3 as the foundation for its core IP next-generation network to cope with surging bandwidth demand and to extend its network coverage.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, annual global IP traffic will exceed three-quarters of a zettabyte by 2014. Internet utilization by various forms of video such as TV, video on demand, Internet video, etc., is increasing and is expected to exceed 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2014. HKBN realized the need for a core router with strong investment protection to support its high-quality voice, video and Internet services. HKBN believes the Cisco CRS-3’s industry-leading scale, operating efficiency and superior service features will help maintain its “Speed Guarantee” to customers, whereby 80-percent steady speed is ensured, despite the escalating Internet demands of businesses and consumers. 

Over in the United Arab Emirates, du announced that it has converged its fixed and mobile IP transport networks using the CRS. This enables fixed-mobile convergence on du’s network to meet the demand for high-end broadband services and makes the company unique in its ability to rapidly deploy new high-bandwidth mobile applications and data packages.

This is one of the first regional fixed-mobile convergence projects in which the fixed and mobile services all run on the same IP network – with mobile (signaling and bearer), mobile data, residential Internet, business Internet, residential voice, enterprise voice, international voice, Layer 2 VPNs, Layer 3 VPNs and video running on a single IP/MPLS core powered by Cisco. By consolidating cores, du can offer its customers in the UAE a more scalable platform to deliver future services at higher quality.

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