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No Slowing for the Holidays

The end-of-year holiday season is traditionally positioned as a chance to slow down and re-charge, but Cisco’s industry-leading products for service providers didn’t get the memo.   Their momentum continued unabated.

Just two days before Christmas, Cisco announced that Dutch service provider KPN has chosen the Cisco CRS-3 multi-chassis carrier routing system, which will be deployed at the heart of KPN’s Internet peering network. The CRS-3 solution will transport all of KPN’s IP traffic to the Internet as part of KPN’s Internet Cluster Environment (ICE).

Not long before, Verizon announced that its IP network, one of the most advanced communications networks in the world, will be upgraded in the first half of 2012 with the Cisco CRS-3 to enable new services and meet growing traffic demands in several key U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

As for the ASR 9000 edge routing system, Fibrenoire, a service provider offering Internet and private network services over an optical fiber network in Quebec and Ontario, has completed implementation of an end-to-end Cisco Carrier Ethernet System covering the Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto regions. Fibrenoire’s network is based on the ASR 9000.

Additionally, Next Communications, a Miami-based voice and video provider, has deployed Cisco technology for its IP Next-Generation Network. Integral to this will be deployment of the ASR 9000 and ASR 1000 routers for 100GE port capacity and greater resiliency.

And a couple of other interesting news items:

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Cisco and TeliaSonera Team to Deliver World’s Fastest Internet Connection

Earlier this year we wrote about The Gathering, Norway’s largest computer party and how it set a gaming event speed record with a 100GE enabled CRS-3. Like many achievements in the fast moving communication industry, it wasn’t a milestone that stood for long. The new record is now held by their Swedish neighbors who have surpassed that with a 120 Gigabit connection to the Internet at the digital entertainment festival DreamHack. This feat was achieved by TeliaSonera connecting the event site in Jönköping, Sweden with their networking facilities in Stockholm (a distance of approximately 375 km) using the Cisco CRS-3, ASR 9000, and ONS 15454 MSTP. The successful event came from the efforts of some fifty people from Cisco, TeliaSonera, and DreamHack working together to design, build, and test the network.

The event provided not just a showcase for Cisco’s 100 Gigabit coherent optical and IP technologies (see prior post on US Signal), but also a chance to test our equipment under extreme, real world conditions. What non-gamers might not realize is that players actually place great demands on their real-time connectivity (and are quite vocal when something doesn’t work right). Read More »

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US Signal: 100G Optical Network Is Key to Transport and Cloud Services

The telecommunications industry has seen a huge amount of change over the past decade, and carrier US Signal is a perfect example.  Originally a wholesale and business carrier offering basic transport services from T1 to OC48, US Signal has recognized the need to move up the value chain if they are going to continue to provide maximum value to their customers. This transformation has been important as it seeks new markets and offers services, which are unique and provide greater profit potential than generic transport.

US Signal starts from a strong foundation. Today they operate one of the largest resilient fiber optic networks in the Midwest with over 1100 route miles in 23 metro markets and over 11,000 route miles of long-haul fiber. Recently they completed a successful evaluation of the first 100 Gigabit (100G) coherent dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) trial based on the the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) system.

Cisco ONS15454 MSTP M6

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Texas Lone Star Network Deploys the ASR 9000 for State-wide Services

Although well known for oil and cattle, Texas is home to many high technology companies (including the Cisco campus of yours truly), and is the largest clean energy (wind) producer in the USA. It’s also got a booming economy that needs advanced telecommunications services to all parts of the state. 

TLSN connects Cisco ASR 9000 Series routers with 10G optical wavelengths enabled in the Cisco DWDM backbone network

To that point, we recently talked with the team at Texas Lone Star Network (TLSN). Located just 50 miles northwest of  the capital of Austin, TLSN operates a Cisco DWDM fiber network spanning over 3000 route miles offering wavelength, Ethernet, and SONET services to its 39 consortium company members, national carriers, wireless carriers, regional cable TV operators, colleges and the federal government. Earlier in the year they made the decision to upgrade their network with a deployment of Cisco’s ASR 9000 Series routers.

TLSN has connected the new ASR 9000 routers with 10G optical wavelengths enabled in the Cisco DWDM backbone network. The enhanced network provides them the foundation for new, revenue generating services, including cloud computing, cell backhaul, and IP/MPLS virtual private networks. In particular, cell backhaul is expected to be a growth area because of the number of 4G deployments going on in Texas right now.

“With the rapid growth in customer demand for higher capacity , driven especially by video, mobile, and high speed data services, we had to scale our network, but we had to also watch our operational expenses. Leveraging our new Carrier Ethernet platform we’re able to offer new services cost effectively to our member companies and customers  to ensure that technologies such as telemedicine and distance learning are available to any community in the state. Plus, with our Texas-wide footprint we can offer both a wide range of highly available services coupled with a unique footprint that other providers can’t match.”
Brad Seymour, General Manager, TLSN

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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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