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What the Heck is a Service Container?

Virtualizing services within the network

Picture1When we launched the new ISR 4451-X at Cisco Live a few months back, one of the Big New Things we talked about was the Service Container architecture.  Unless you were paying close attention to the 4451-X, you might have missed that whole thing.  So what the heck is a Service Container?

To put it simply, a Service Container is a virtual machine running within the network itself.  Instead of your typical server virtual machine, these VMs can be used to enhance the capabilities of the underlying network itself.  Service Containers can add additional services, such as WAN Optimization, to the network.  They can also enhance the capabilities of network devices by adding things like new programmable interfaces to the network.  In some cases they can even be used to add impressive capabilities to the network from trusted third party developers.

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