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Combining Cloud, NFV, and SDN to create agile new services

Volker TegtmeyerWritten By Volker Tegtmeyer, Senior Manager Product & Solution Marketing

The industry is going through a huge business transformation. Enterprises want to focus their resources and investments on their core business rather than investing in non-core IT operations. They are looking at consuming network and IT services from the cloud, rather than investing in in-house operations. Consumers are raising their expectations, demanding to have a consistent application experience on any device at any place and at any time. And consumers expect the same experience at work, which drives overall consumerization of IT.

The market opportunity is huge and can be described as the ‘Internet of Everything’, as people, machines, and processes are communicating with each other at an exponentially increasing scale. This creates new opportunities for everyone.

As part of this, Service Providers can apply innovative technologies, like Software-Defined Network (SDN), (Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and orchestration platforms, in their networks to overcome the current rigidity and complexity of today’s network infrastructure and operations. This opens new business opportunities.

Disaster Recovery as a Service is one example of Read More »

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Server Provider Has Never Been Better at Cisco Live!

June 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm PST

Igor-dayenWritten By Igor Dayen, Manager, Service Provider Marketing, Cisco

Cisco Live! 2014 in San Francisco was bigger, better, and bolder than ever this year. There was a record breaking 25,000 registered customers, partners, press and analysts at the event. The Service Provider Program has allowed the attendees to witness firsthand latest innovations and solutions as the service provider booth made its debut on the show floor.  Cisco Live! was packed with educational sessions and our booth staffers ran live demonstrations to solutions to provide visual proof points to the material presented during the breakouts.  This was also a debut for the Service Provider to have its own booth in the Main Cisco campus.  As the 2014 US edition of Cisco Live! in San Francisco came to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts and links with our readers so that they can tune into some of the great content and photos of the event.

Watch our postcard video that takes a look at activity in the service provider booth at this year’s show! 1

L2ike any good story starts, the week for the Service Provider program kicked off with an energizing keynote by David Ward, Kit Beall, and Kelly Ahuja. During the SP Keynote, Kit Beall posed a question once asked by the novelist Victor Hugo: “Will the future ever arrive?” This resonated very well with the theme of the overall program for service providers at Cisco Live. Before the event we had posted an SP community blog where we began exploring the value of SP open network architecture. With the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) and the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) architectures being the key pillars of SP open network architecture you have more options on how you will architect and build your network so that the applications can be successfully deployed. But is that really enough for the service providers to evolve in the future? Cisco’s answer is agility, lower costs, and new revenue opportunities made achievable with virtualization, programmability, and open standards that come with SP open network architecture. When architected this way, services can be deployed more efficiently, faster and with better SLAs. At Cisco we provide the solution which exactly does that. Overall, during the SP keynote the key message to service .providers was innovation, automation, and virtualization.

Following the three key announcements Read More »

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Fast IT Workshop #2 – Roadmap to Fast IT

As business leaders navigate an increasingly complex world of connections, they need IT to provide a programmable infrastructure that can dynamically respond to their needs. This four-part blog series explores how responsive infrastructure helps IT leaders succeed. This post will discuss what IT leaders can do now to adopt a roadmap to Fast IT.

To read the first post in this series by Colin Kincaid which introduces Fast IT, a new model for IT, click here. To read the third post in this series by Doug Webster which highlights how service providers specifically stand to benefit from Fast IT, click here. To read the fourth and final post in this series by Jeff Reed which explores how a Fast IT model can mitigate infrastructure challenges, click here.

The old way of doing things won’t work anymore for us IT professionals. The “application economy” and explosion of connected devices have increased the complexity of IT to such levels that throwing bodies at the problems won’t solve them anymore. The new Fast IT model we discussed in previous blogs enables IT departments to shift focus from spending too much time keeping the lights on to capturing the value of today’s connections and preparing for the future.

Here is an example of the CapEx and OpEx savings our own Cisco IT has achieved by following a Fast IT model.

ACI Delivers Business Outcomes | CiscoLive

Like any strategic initiative, the transition to a Fast IT model requires careful planning and change management.  In particular, organizations need to develop a plan that encompasses people, organizational processes and technologies. Once this foundational plan is in place, CIOs are then ready to begin the steps of preparing their business for Fast IT and building an organization focused on service delivery.

To assist with this process, we’ve created a four-step roadmap. Here’s a closer look at each step:

Read More »

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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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Telecom Italia Creates SDN Network Testbed with Five Universities

Telecom Italia is constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that provide a competitive advantage. The goal is to be the first to offer new services to customers.

The latest hot innovations around Software Defined Networking (SDN) caught Telecom Italia’s attention. SDN promises to simplify network operations. And simpler network operations are a big piece of increasing service levels. Delivering new types of services. And doing it all faster.

Like most companies these days, Telecom Italia doesn’t know yet exactly how it will use SDN. But one thing is clear. Introducing new services faster is key to competitive position. That requires a simpler and smarter infrastructure. And today’s mostly manual methods just won’t keep up. Something has to change, and that’s why SDN is garnering so much discussion in the industry.

That’s where Telecom Italia’s story veers from the usual path. Instead of doing the old “wait-and-see,” Telecom Italia partnered with five Italian universities to build a testbed for SDN research. Engineers are already using the lab to familiarize themselves with network programming technology. They’re trying out various scenarios for introducing new services and automating management. So when the time comes to add network programmability to the production network, Telecom Italia can hit the ground running.

The Target: New Services and Lower Costs

The Joint Open Lab (JOL) consortium includes Read More »

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