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Network Service Providers Can Compete and Win in the Cloud

If you’ve been following the research from Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, you may have already seen the survey on Service Providers and their viability in the Cloud at the end of last year. Yesterday I was preparing for a customer briefing when this report came to mind and I thought it may be useful to summarize the high points if you haven’t read it yet.

The custom research found that Network Service Providers have an advantage when offering Cloud services if they use their unique assets to differentiate their services. Over-the-Top (OTT) players may have seen success in offering plain vanilla Infrastructure as a Service at large scale and low prices but the opportunity for supplying the high-end and high-value spectrum of Cloud services is still underway. You will probably agree with me that security is critical for any service these days. It is a challenge that requires proper design and planning and proper vigilance and quick responses are what differentiate the winners from the losers. Cloud is a large market in the midst of a transition and it will be fun to watch how everything plays out, I’m placing bets on the Service Providers to scoop up a valuable share of the ~$43 billion XaaS market by 2013. Read More »

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Momentum in the Edge

The Edge of the network is a major focus for our customers, the market as a whole, and certainly for us at Cisco.  The ASR 9000 System is the leading Service Provider Edge router in all three cases, and admittedly, the system is on quite a roll.

In our June ASR 9000 blog, we announced to the market the newest innovations in the platform – nV technology and the ability to scale the system to a whopping 96 Tbps (more than 36 times the capabilities of the nearest competitive platform and enough bandwidth for man, woman, and child in Beijing, London and Moscow to watch a streamed High Definition movie simultaneously).  Along with that news, we had the honor of announcing five new customers joining the 500+ strong ASR 9000 family — China Telecom, NTT Playa in Japan, Tata Communications in India, Fastweb in Italy, Cox and Comcast in the US. Read More »

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Machine-to-Machine Communications as a Subset of Internet of Things

As I have blogged on the Internet of Things and Web of things in the past, I would like to focus my forthcoming blogs on Machine-to-Machine communications and its implications to the network, to protocols and security.

Let’s set the foundation:

Imagine a world where billions of objects have sensors to detect, measure, and assess their status, all connected over public or private IP (Internet Protocol) networks.  This world of interconnected objects would have its data regularly collected, analyzed, and used to initiate an action. It would provide a wealth of intelligence for planning, management, policy and decision-making.

Important information is pushed out to machines, to individuals, and to organizations of every type anywhere in the world. The term that characterizes this world of interconnected objects, is the Internet of Things or IoT. Read More »

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Metro Ethernet Forum Celebrates 10 Years of Innovation

The times, they are a-changing!  And this is just the beginning!

Like the classic ‘60s tune composed by the legendary musician Bob Dylan, the world continues to change in more ways than we had imagined even a decade ago. We have seen the advent of Internet for all, free phone calls with Voice-over-IP, as well as free application software available not just for computers but delivered over mobile wireless networks to our smartphones and tablets.  Desktop applications have given way to web-based applications, and the rapid ascent of social media to communicate with a globally connected set of followers in fractions of a second.

Set against this backdrop of these phenomenal technology advances, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has enjoyed a decade of outstanding technology and market success. Initially founded by a handful of enterprising individuals, the MEF recently hosted their tenth anniversary in California’s Napa Valley with an “A List” industry professionals from their 185 member companies.    The definition of Carrier Ethernet is synonymous with the work of the MEF -- a set of standardized and cost-effective Ethernet business services, scalable, reliable, with service level guarantees that can traverse the metro, the nation, or the globe across any media.

Generations of innovations and new service application drivers (mobile broadband, video, and cloud) for Carrier Ethernet have been rapidly driven forward by the dedicated efforts and influence of the MEF volunteers.   As with new generations of music, adoption of Carrier Ethernet services in the marketplace was not without similar challenges to overcome.  The MEF and their close-knit community of equipment vendors and service providers have built a massive following around the globe.  The effects of Carrier Ethernet market growth on world business, predicted by industry analysts to reach $40B in services and equipment in 2014, are profound.

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IP Address Management: Smoothing the Way to Cloud-Based Services

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

Many service providers today are implementing or investigating cloud computing to take advantage of its inherent operational advantages and as a platform from which to offer differentiated cloud-based services. By abstracting IT resources and services from the underlying infrastructure, service providers are achieving highly elastic, multitenant environments and savings. For example, cloud-based environments facilitate provisioning in minutes; time-to-market reductions of more than 50 percent; high server and storage utilization; 50 percent reductions in capital costs; and 25 to 30 percent reductions in operational costs. 1

At the same time, cloud-based services are highly attractive to providers’ enterprise customers. Service provider-based cloud services offer greater scalability and performance without requiring premises-based infrastructure and management. Self-service, scale-on-demand, and pay-per-use features increase user convenience and IT flexibility, while automated recovery and cloud-based backup significantly enhance risk management.

The good news is that service providers today are uniquely positioned to take advantage of cloud computing. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- a cloud utility architecture -- provides an easy entry point for many service providers who are already expert at provisioning, managing, and scaling infrastructure-based services for multiple customers. IaaS helps enable service providers to increase return on investment through existing infrastructure and to deliver high-margin multitenancy services and support new competitive offerings. According to the Cisco Internet Business Systems Group, a 2009 study has forecast IaaS service revenues to be approximately $15.6 billion by 2013.

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