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Cisco Live! Showing Off 100GE on CRS-3 and ASR 9000 Series

Cisco ASR 9000 and Cisco CRS-3Following the announcement of the ASR 9000 System last month, it was not too surprising that one of the most popular demos at Cisco Live in Las Vegas was the Service Provider IP NGN pod. For this event we had a setup which included 100GE interfaces connected between an ASR 9000 (edge) and a CRS-3 (core). Ultimately over the course of the show we totaled over one thousand 100GE customer engagements, and nearly 200 ASR 9000 Test Drive (better known as “Robot Arm”) demonstrations.

Capability to support 100GE is something that we see consistently in customer RFPs, even if they intend to deploy 10GE initially. It’s all about investment protection while (in some cases) they wait for the cost of 100G to be more competitive with using multiple 10GE links. Given the cost of 100 Gbps pluggable optics, it’s amazing to hold in your hands something so small and plain that sells for the cost of a luxury car.

Also a hit was the award winning Cisco ASR 9000 Test Drive, about which I’ve blogged before. This of course was physically located in San Jose, and streamed to Cisco Live while being controlled on the show floor by the users. (A true, but little known fact – the inspiration for the Test Drive came from toy heat engine known as the “drinking bird”. We liked the idea that the IOS XR-enabled ASR 9000 keeps running much like a perpetual motion machine).

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Addressing the Service Provider Transition to IPv6: An Industry Framework (Part 2 of 4)

One of the hot topics at Cisco Live 2011 last week was around the topic of IPv6 deployment and how to handling the exhaustion of IPv4 address space, both for Enterprise and Service Providers. Over fourteen sessions on the topic were covered, including such titles as How to Convince your Boss to Deploy IPv6, Cisco on Cisco: Making the Leap to IPv6, and IPv6 Planning, Deployment, and Operation Considerations. When it comes to IPv6 implementation, there is no “one size fits all” design, which is why the Cisco CGv6 solution is intended to preserve existing network infrastructure investments, prepare for the transition to IPv6, and enable companies to prosper in the new IPv6 environment.

In the second video of our series on the Service Provider Transition to IPv6 with Kelly Ahuja from Cisco and Roy Mota of ACG Communications, we hear perspectives from cable providers Comcast (USA) and Rogers (Canada) on how they are making the transformation to an IPv6 network. Or as John Brzozowski, Distinguished Engineer & Chief Architect for IPv6 at Comcast, notes “V6 matters to everybody…” that it’s an “…industry, internet community challenge that everyone has to face.”

One critical point that John makes is the need to make the transition seamless despite the huge number of moving parts in the network. This was a key reason for Cisco’s Carrier Grade Network Address Translation implementation, which provides the scale and performance required to offer a simple way to immediately deal with IPv4 address exhaustion issues. Equally important is that many customers aren’t expected to flash-cut over to IPv4. Instead, the transition time will likely take years to ensure that Internet end users are not adversely affected by the migration.

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Cisco Leads the way in standardizing IP Video delivery through MPEG DASH Specification

The share of time-shifted content as compared to conventional broadcast TV programming has been on a continual upward trend.  One third of U.S. consumers currently use a digital video recorder (DVR) or similar device for time-shifting.  However, as on-demand programming becomes more popular as a substitute for typical time-shifting, more consumers are visiting the Web to access their favorite shows and movies on a computer or mobile device.  Consequently, the Web is quickly becoming a popular choice for on-demand digital TV that incorporates content downloads and streaming using Web protocols.

The Streaming of MPEG Media over HTTP Ad Hoc Group (now known as the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) Ad Hoc Group) began working on the development of a specification and published a call-for-proposals in May 2010 to address this growing market.  After an initial evaluation period in July 2010, DASH Ad Hoc Group adopted 3GPP’s Release 9 as a baseline specification and began running several evaluation experiments. The DASH Ad Hoc Group is working on the standardization of the manifest file, delivery format, conversion to and from existing file formats, and the use of MPEG2 Transport Streams as a media format. The DASH Ad Hoc Group has also been coordinating closely with the 3GPP SA4 Working Group to better align their respective specifications in this area. Read More »

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Cisco at Verizon LTE Innovation Center Grand Opening

This past week, I attended the grand opening celebration of Verizon Wireless’ Innovation Center in Waltham, MA.  The center, which brings together companies and entrepreneurs alike, is designed to provide a collaborative, hands-on workspace to rapidly develop innovative products and services that leverage 4G LTE technology.

The grand opening was an exciting event and the center was filled with innovative demos and technology tours featuring all types of LTE connected innovations – from the connected home, connected car, gaming, digital juke box, video and even future innovations such as a connected bike and an LTE-connected robot.

Cisco is a Premier Participant and we have been involved since day one.  We are pleased to have provided many man-hours of expert resources to deploy Cisco Mobile Internet solutions to help Verizon Wireless establish this unique center of excellence for all things LTE.

At the center, we have many demonstrations and technologies on display including Cisco Mobile Videoscape, the Cisco Cius enterprise tablet supporting 3G and 4G LTE, Cisco TelePresense, LTE-Connected Enterprise Branch, LTE-enabled Digital Media Signage and Cisco RAN Backhaul and LTE Evolved Packet Core solutions. We’re pleased to also provide the Evolved Packet Core for the 4G LTE Innovation Center lab network – identical to the commercial network – for use by the ecosystem of technology developers accessing the center’s technical and business development resources.

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A Week In the Life of the ASR 9000 Series

A Week In the Life of the ASR 9000 SeriesWe had an excellent time in Las Vegas at Cisco Live 2011, despite outside temperatures breaking 100 degrees (38C) at times!   While things were hot at the show, things were just as active on the customer momentum front for the Cisco ASR 9000 Series.  We were able to announce two new customers that join the more than 500 customers of the platform worldwide:  PCCW in Hong Kong and Polish Telecom (Telekomunikacja Polska, or TP Group). Despite their geographic distance, both operators share common challenges. Growth in video and mobile traffic is driving the need to each to add additional capacity – as highlighted by our Visual Networking Index report – yet competition from alternative providers makes it difficult to simply raise prices to pay for new networks.

In the case of Polish Telecom – which also announced the deployment of the Cisco CRS-3 in the core – the company sought to invest in a cost effective, robust and powerful broadband infrastructure that, as they proudly say, will help shape Poland’s economic and social future. The new network will support enhanced video, mobile, and cloud computing services. Mobility has been a huge growth area for TP. They’re the mobile market share leader in Poland under the Orange brand and have seen significant increases in smartphone penetration over the past 12 months by offering affordably priced Android-based handsets. This is driving up mobile Internet usage and the company is upgrading their mobile network to support faster data transmission with HSPA2+. On the wireline side, TP is rolling out VDSL “fiber to the curb” which will bring broadband speeds up to 40 Mb/s and higher, along with more video channels for their half-million plus TV subscribers . Ultimately this will result in better customer experiences, and hopefully for TP, lower churn and reduced operating costs.

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