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Greece Ready for 100G Internet

One of the most interesting aspects of the Cisco Visual Networking Index is how the explosion of Internet traffic is taking place everywhere. We’ve talked before about how countries such as Iceland and Bermuda are leveraging high speed connections to the world to grow their economies. This time let’s look at Greece and competitive carrier hellas online (hol) on how they are preparing for the zettabyte era. (A zettabyte is 1021 bytes, in case you had forgotten).

Hol is one of the largest fixed-line telecommunications services providers in Greece offering a range of retail, business and wholesale services, and they also own the most extensive core backbone network in Greece. Their fiber optical network stretches over 4166 km nationwide and recently they’ve started offering an on-demand interactive video service called “hol video club” that has really taken off. Despite the challenges of the European economic situation, hol is continuing to see not just increases in bandwidth demand but also gains in the number of subscribers. Most recently they’ve seen increasing growth in cloud-based services as well.

Cisco 100G coherent demo in lab.

Hol is also one of the most recent carriers to put Cisco’s 100G coherent optical solution through its paces. For hol, 100G offers a solution to meet their need for as-needed, cost-effective bandwidth growth without the need to replace any fiber infrastructure. This is a common situation – carriers are finding the 10G links are no longer sufficient; yet running multiple 10Gs in parallel is not optimal. The challenge has been finding a solution which simply enables “plug in play” upgrades to 100G. This was one of the key objectives of the Cisco engineering team who developed the 100G DWDM solution. To make 100G widely deployable and commercially successful, it needed to have similar performance and engineering specifications as previously deployed 10G links.

Hol’s successful trial of the dense wavelength division multiplexing solution was run between two Read More »

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The Chappe Network: Enabling the Kilobyte Era in France

By Greg Smith, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Cisco

Chappe communications tower showing semaphore arms (near Saverne, France)

Today we take instant communications for granted and our latest Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that we’ll soon reach the “Zettabyte Era” for global IP traffic (a zettabyte being 10^21 bytes). Recently I had an opportunity to see a bit of telecommunications history from what I’ll call the “Kilobyte Era”. While visiting a family I knew in Saverne, a small town outside of Strasbourg, France we toured a local castle (Castle Haut-Barr) with a view of the countryside. Besides the 12th century castle there was a (restored) tower from the original Paris-Strasbourg optical semaphore system, one of the first communications networks in the world. I’d read about this system but never actually seen it and my hosts were gracious enough to let me “geek out” on this bit of networking history.

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The Intelligent Network Delivers the Cloud

We are proud of our customers and their success in the marketplace. They are changing the way business is done by providing scalable, enterprise-grade, secure, and affordable cloud solutions. By tying together the Unified Data Center with the Cloud Intelligent Network and applying Applications and Services on top as end-to-end solutions, these cloud providers are delivering differentiated services with high-level SLAs necessary for end-users’ strategic applications. That’s what US Signal is doing for their customers.

But for some more background, last week at Structure, the conversations swirled around how to handle Big Data, the future of software-defined networking, data center compute technology, database and programming types, and open versus proprietary. Two of our CloudVerse customers, Terremark and SunGard both had strong booth presence and Terremark also had a packed presentation delivered by Jim Anthony, VP, Tier II Solution Architecture Team. Compared to last year, there was a stronger agreement that cloud providers are fully capable of providing public or virtual private cloud services with trust, scalability, and affordability, instead of companies taking on cloud internally by themselves. There are many needs for cloud services out there and that means there are opportunities to provide a differentiated service.

As such, with data usage increasing exponentially, it’s clear how important the network is for connecting the many clouds out there. Let me explain how US Signal is leveraging their expertise with an end-to-end delivery network to success in cloud. Read More »

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Cisco Helps Iceland’s Farice Play a Key Role in Green Cloud Computing

One of the topics we covered this week at the Cisco Packet Optical Networking Conference was cloud computing. A benefit of cloud computing is that the physical infrastructure – the storage and compute resources – can be located almost anywhere as long as there is reliable network access. Several countries are leveraging their low cost green power to grow their economies with new data center facilities. A publicly announced example of this is Facebook which has built an enormous facility in northern Sweden. Iceland with its cooler temperatures and green geothermal power, plus ideal location between North America and Europe has seen a significant growth in its data center industry. However, being an island nation it faces a challenge to ensure that sufficient cost-effective network capacity is available to connect off-island users with its storage and compute resources.

Farice, the primary provider of networking services to and from Iceland and operator of two submarine cable links to Europe has sought to Read More »

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100G and Beyond Begins With Cisco Coherent Optical Technology

The Visual Networking Index predicts we’re going to hit nearly a zettabyte of traffic by 2015. Applications such as video and cloud services are consuming bandwidth on the network to the point that 10 Gbps infrastructure is insufficient. Without question, 100 Gbps technology in the data center, network core and edge, and transport is a key enabler to remove bandwidth constraints. Cisco is leading the industry in 100Gbps technology across network architecture, and two major acquisitions recently in the 100 Gbps optical component space drive innovation, reduce costs, and improve performance for our customers.

The first acquisition was CoreOptics, a Digital Signal Processing solution designer which was completed in 2010. CoreOptics provides silicon technology to deliver 100 Gbps coherent optical signals on existing (10 Gbps) fiber infrastructure. This means customers can upgrade to 100 Gbps and beyond without incurring tremendous costs. They can do this regardless if their existing fiber network is Cisco, Alcatel, or Nortel/Ciena. It’s the best 100Gbps DWDM solution in the industry with ultra long haul distances (up to 3000 km, as validated by EANTC) and highest density (3x the competition). Even better, we’ve already shown that it’s capable of taking transmission to 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps super-channels in the future.

The second acquisition, Lightwire, is a silicon photonics company with technology to enable cost-effective, very high-speed optical interconnects using CMOS-based silicon photonic optical transceivers. In non-technical terms, “CMOS” (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) is the industry standard for manufacturing chips without need for exotic materials or processes. This means lower power consumption, higher densities, and lower costs, all of which are critical to reducing the operational cost and carbon footprint of data centers as they scale to 100 Gbps and beyond. With this technology in-house, the advanced silicon optical technology can be utilized across our entire product portfolio.

Our customers are very positive. We’ve announced a number of successful trials in our long-haul DWDM solution, including US Signal, Lumos, and SURFnet. Look for more to be coming soon!

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