Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

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 »

Tags: , , ,

#HigherEdThursdays: The Unique Nature of the American Research University

To understand the unique nature of the American Research University, public or private, it is important to have some historical context of the Academic Research Enterprise.hedt-reserch-use

As America pursued economic growth and other national goals, its research universities emerged as a major national asset — perhaps even its most potent one. This did not happen by accident; it is the result of forward-looking and deliberate federal and state policies. These began with the Morrill Act of 1862, which established a partnership between the federal government and the states to build universities that would address the challenges of creating a modern agricultural and industrial economy for the 20th century. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Fast IT Workshop #1: Beyond SDN _ Expanding the Conversation

As business leaders navigate an increasingly complex world of connections, they need IT to dynamically respond to their needs. This four-part blog series explores how responsive and programmable infrastructure helps IT leaders succeed. Today’s post highlights how Fast IT, a new model of IT, encompasses a broader focus of next-generation infrastructure and how it can drive business value.

To read the second post in this series by Jim Grubb which discusses a roadmap to adopt a Fast IT model, 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.

Lately, there has been a lot of chatter around what software-defined networking (SDN) really is. Initially, SDN was a term used to explain the concept of splitting the forwarding plane from the control plane with the added benefit of automation and orchestration. However, recently SDN has become a “buzzword” attached to products that vendors are trying to sell as explained by Network Computing’s Tom Hollingsworth.

Critics of SDN say that it means too many things to too many different people, making what was once network architecture into a philosophy. This was affirmed by Colin Bannon, Chief Architect and CTO, British Telecom, as heard in this recording of the “Business Implications of Software-Defined Networking” panel discussion at Cisco Live Milan in January. During the panel, he suggested SDN means one of three things:

  1. Centralized control which is especially popular with data center,
  2. Centralized control but with lots of distributed intelligence, or
  3. A software programmability into existing infrastructure, meaning more of an orchestration set.

Tim Zimmerman, Research Vice President, Gartner, echoed this sentiment at this same SDN panel: “SDN tends to have a meaning for everybody. It’s not always the same meaning for each person who asks the question.” He added, “We have to worry a little about using it to mean everything. I encourage people to ask the additional questions to ensure they’re getting the right answers when we explore what SDN means to them.”

Cisco_ FastITWorkshop_#1_ALT_5.5.14

At Cisco, we know that the old way of doing things won’t work anymore and SDN seems to solve many issues organizations face today with programmability. However, we want to expand the conversation beyond just SDN to include application-centricity, automation, virtualization, and orchestration. We’ve labeled these types of capabilities Fast IT. Fast IT is a new model for IT with a drive for less complexity, more agility, and comprehensive security. With the majority of IT budgets tied up in manual processes, IT struggles to free up resources needed to deliver innovative technology services to the business. IT must deliver value faster, and be more agile and less complex in responding to changing business needs. IT must enable the business to innovate and achieve business outcomes faster through a simple, smart and secure IT model.

So, what do IT leaders need to do?

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Evolution of the Mobile Service Provider – A Five-Stage Strategy

dan-kurschnerWritten By Dan Kurschner, Senior Manager SP Mobility Marketing

Over the past decades, Mobility has advanced from a mere curiosity (remember those “brick” phones?), to a convenience and today being an indispensable part of our everyday lives.  Businesses are leveraging the internet and the cloud to deliver new services and capabilities – via the mobile network.   While we can access the internet and cloud-based services from almost anywhere, most people do so with barely a thought of the complexities it takes to deliver this ubiquitously connected experience.

Mobile service providers have long been building and upgrading their networks to meet growing demand for capacity and capabilities to stay competitive.   Recently, a new type of competitor has emerged to threaten Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Control Without Compromise Through Superior Data Center Protection

The news of high-profile targeted data center attacks has dominated security news recently. But data center attacks are even more prevalent than those headlines suggest. In fact, a survey conducted last summer by Network World suggests that 67 percent of data center administrators experienced downtime due to malware and related attacks in the previous 12 months.

A key challenge is that many of today’s security solutions are simply not designed for the data center, with limitations in both provisioning and performance. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better as data center traffic grows exponentially and data centers migrate from physical, to virtual, to next-generation environments like Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Application Centric Infrastructures (ACI).

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,