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Cisco Evolved Programmable Network: The Beginning of a New Era in SP Networking

June 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm PST

ginaWritten By Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

This is the first blog out of a series of three covering  “What is the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Era and Why Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Now?”

Those of us who have been around in the industry for a few decades will remember the first arrival of the “big bad wolf” that tried to blow down the service provider’s house. This wolf presented itself in the form of the commoditization of IP services and high traffic growth rates that limited service provider profitability options forcing them to move away from dedicated TDM-based networks that supported a single video, voice, data, or mobile service. Service Providers partnered with Cisco (and others) to build more scalable and lower costs converged IP Next Generation Networks (IP NGNs) and entered the IP NGN era. In doing so, a new wave of innovation and service revenues followed.

Until of course, “the big bad wolf” arrived on the scene again, also known as “exponential traffic growth, especially in mobile video, and this time he brought his friend along for the ride -- the Internet of Everything (IoE).  Cisco VNI predicts IP Traffic alone will grow 300 percent to 1.4 zettabytes annually by 2017. Most of you are already experiencing the pains of exponential traffic growth and some of you believe, as we do, the next wave of dramatic Internet growth will come through the confluence of people, process, data, and things — or the IoE! And IoE predictions are off the charts as well.  Cisco estimates that 99.4 percent of physical objects in the world are still unconnected. With only about 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion things currently connected globally, there is vast potential to connect the unconnected via the IoE.

When you combine exponential traffic growth with IoE impact on the horizon what do service providers get?  You guessed it -- cost and network complexity are rising at a faster rate than revenue. In order to deal with these challenges, (I would rather call them opportunities), network transformation is not optional, but essential for the next wave of growth and propriety.

This might also be a good time to mention the major innovations in cloud and virtualization technologies such as SDN and NFV are allowing for new agile competitors to enter into the market and are challenging traditional providers for their revenue streams by changing the service delivery game and giving the customer control over their service instantiation with consumption based business models.  If you would like to review a quick snapshot of the challenges providers are facing today see the Cisco EPN At-A-Glance.

Are you convinced we need to move from the IP NGN Era to the EPN Era Yet?  If not keep reading -- you will be.

Why Evolved Programmable Network? Read More »

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Thoughts on #OpenStack and Software-Defined Storage

May 14, 2014 at 6:18 am PST

This week has been the semi-annual OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, GA. In a rare occurrence I’ve been able to be here as an attendee, which has given me wide insight into a world of Open Source development I rarely get to see outside of some interpersonal conversations with DevOps people. (If you’re not sure what OpenStack is, or what the difference is between it and OpenFlow, OpenDaylight, etc., you may want to read an earlier blog I wrote that explains it in plain English).

On the first day of the conference there was an “Ask the Experts” session based upon storage. Since i’ve been trying to work my way into this world of Programmability via my experience with storage and storage networking, I figured it would be an excellent place to start. Also, it was the first session of the conference.

During the course of the Q&A, John Griffith, the Program Technical Lead (PTL) of the Cinder project (Cinder is the name of the core project within OpenStack that deals with block storage) happened to mention that he believed that Cinder represented software-defined storage as a practical application of the concept.

I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree. At least, I would hesitate to give it that kind of association yet. Read More »

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The Need for a New IT Model: Fast IT and the Convergence of Mobility and Cloud for IoE

Guess what? Convergence is happening again, and it’s happening at a faster pace with more profound implications than I have never seen before.

Those of us who’ve been in the industry a long time have seen convergence happen over the years across various technologies and areas of IT. This time, we’re talking about convergence across the infrastructure—in wired and wireless, in physical and virtual, in collaboration and social, and in on-prem and off-prem resources. Convergence brings together the applications and infrastructure in new and more flexible ways, opening up new opportunities.

Getting this convergence right is a big deal. And it’s a key to becoming an innovative enterprise. It’s clear that if you’re not innovating, you’re going to miss out on opportunities to be strategically valuable to your organization.

Convergence _ Are You Ready for the Future of IT? from Cisco Business Insights

 

This convergence is called different things by different people and firms. IDC calls it “third platform” while Gartner talks about ‘Nexus of Forces.’ In any case, they’re all talking about technologies, such as cloud, mobility, data and network programmability, which are blurring and blending. And in addition, the combination of these technologies is collectively making the Internet of Everything possible.

Read More »

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Summary : The “Next Gen ” Network Engineer

April 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm PST

The industry has been buzzing over the past years around Next Generation of Software Defined and Application Centric networks. If you missed that, it means that you were probably on planet …Zircon  (?).

Colin LynchIn his recent blog, Colin Lynch  @UCSguru and Cisco Champion  talks about the skills that network engineers will need in order to design, support and deploy these new networks.
Colin designs and deploys large data centers for a Gold Partner in the UK, and is CCIE#7064 as well as holding certifications in VMware, EMC and NetApp. His Blog is http://ucsguru.com which covers all Datacenter topics but focuses on Cisco UCS.  Recently Colin participated to a lively Cisco Champion  podcast with Insieme/Cisco Joe Onisick  @jonisick  on ACI and Nexus 9000.

When recognizing that the traditional networks will not go away overnight , giving ample room for people with the current skill sets, Colin explains what he sees happening, and the course of actions he already took . “I’m certainly no programmer, but I see having basic programming competency as the next skill required to remain in that band of “High Demand” networking professionals.”  A reality that many other network engineers start to embrace

CommonwealthClubA reality that Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior  @padmasree emphasized at a recent NPR broadcast for the Commonwealth Club of California, as she highlighted the importance for the new generation of  professionals to learn a programming language . Listen to Padmasree’s  speech  on “The Business of Innovation : Today and Tomorrow”

Without necessary being amongst those who tend to think “that not being able to code could well be the next definition of literacy” as Colin questions  in his blog , more and more network engineers seems to take this steps , including Bill Carter @billyc5022 , who shared also  his new skill sets in a recent blog  Cisco is bringing together networking and programming  .

To better understand Colin’s point of view and discover what are his first steps to be ready for this new breed of networks,  read his blog  The “Next Gen” Network Engineer”  . Tell us what are your first steps , if any.

You may want also to check this video with Colin debating with Hal Rotenberg @harl9000 on the very same topic  “ACI and Traditional Networking”

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Upgrade Campus & Branch Switching & Wireless Infrastructure?

Many of the existing switch and wireless infrastructures that were deployed 5 or more years ago were not designed for BYOD, pervasive mobility, advanced security, SDN and more. Let us look at these trends and the benefits of upgrading the network infrastructure to the latest switching and wireless products.

BYOD and Mobility

There are multiple dimensions in which BYOD and mobility are pressuring the existing network.  An average user now has 3x more devices. A company of 1,000 users seems like a company of 3,000 users. And, Internet of Things devices like sensors, CCTVs, and building automation are being connected to the network. Yesterday’s network cannot sustainably handle the exponential growth of these devices and applications.  Upgrade to the latest switches and wireless infrastructure will give you more performance in terms of higher switching capacity, converged wired-wireless access & more processing power to handle the growth of devices/apps. The benefits are network can scale easily to support the influx of mobile & connected devices and their applications and your users get the same excellent experience whether wired or mobile. Read More »

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