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A Deep Dive in the Role of Each of the Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA) Layers

This is part 3 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.

Physical Infrastructure Layer

The physical infrastructure layer is where the physical resources reside. This includes equipment typically used in a data center such as network devices (switches, routers, firewalls, and load balancers), computing resources, storage and facilities.  Physical infrastructure products and the connectivity to the cloud, customer networks, partners and cloud brokers are secured in this layer.

Virtual Infrastructure Layer

The main purpose of this layer is to abstract the underlying physical resources into pools of logical resources with attributes and service assurance parameters. In addition, it greatly simplifies management processes, accelerates service delivery to market, and reduces operating expenses.  Simplicity of provisioning and management along with security can be obtained by creating many logical networks from one physical network.  The physical infrastructure layer is virtualized using various methods (hypervisor technology, Application Centric Networks, etc.) into a virtualized infrastructure layer. This is analogous to creating VLANs within a physical LAN.  The Resource Abstraction and Control functionality in this layer views the physical layer in a more holistic fashion by allowing the orchestration, network and security controllers to enforce appropriate policies to the traffic and the underlying network infrastructure.

Service Layer

The Services Layer is Read More »

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Cisco at the Fall ’14 PONC, Oct 28-30, Baveno Italy – Informative Workshops

By Leonard Luna, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Service Provider Solutionsheadshot-resized-sp360

The Fall ’14 Cisco Packet Optical Networking Conference (PONC) is quickly approaching – October 28-30 in Baveno & Vimercate, Italy.  Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in this highly compelling and informative event (To learn more visit the Cisco PONC Series webpage).

If you are a PONC veteran, then you appreciate the value of this event – an opportunity to network with industry peers, hear directly from carriers leading the convergence evolution, see the latest technology innovations, and to have your voice heard.

If this will be your first PONC, then let me prepare you for this compelling event.

Cisco conducts this three day event twice a year –in the spring in San Jose California, and in the fall near its facilities in Vimercate, Italy.  Read More »

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Transform Service Provider Architectures to Support Virtualized Managed Business Services

October 9, 2014 at 11:35 am PST

ginaBy Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Cisco estimates over 50 billion new devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.  To support the Internet of Everything, service providers must undergo an infrastructure transformation.  The network needs to become more open, programmable, automated, adaptive, and agile.  To guide this transformation, the Cisco open network strategy for service providers is depicted as three interwoven layers:  the Evolved Programmable Network (physical and virtual network Infrastructure), the Evolved Services Platform (for orchestration of resources) and Applications and Services layer to enable virtualized services such as Cloud VPN and Security.  With these three layers working together, providers can begin to realize the benefits of an open network that is readily open to new devices, open for quickly enabling new services, and open to endless possibilities.

Last week, Cisco announced two Read More »

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What is the Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA) Layered Approach?

This is part 2 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.

CSA Description

The following figure shows a simplified view of the Cisco CSA. It has five horizontal layers: Physical Infrastructure layer, Virtualized Infrastructure layer, Services layer, Service Management and Automation layer, and App/portal layer.  Supporting each layer from top-to-bottom, there are three vertical layers: ITSM/ITIL services layer services enablement, Security layer for providing security across each of the horizontal layers, and Cisco Intellectual and domain management layer for providing Cisco best practices at each of the horizontal layers.

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This CSA is a logically layered architecture (LLA), with each layer providing a distinct function.   The model is designed in a hierarchical fashion with devices and facilities at the bottom, customer interactions at the top, and various required functionalities in the middle layers.  The key to this model is the abstraction of each layer into software-defined components with standardized interfaces. Similar to other LLA models such as ITU-T TMN (Telecommunications Management Network), each horizontal layer supports the layer above in performing its business functions.

CSA Layered Approach

The interaction between various layers is through abstraction, orchestration, and API’s.  The customers’ requests are processed from the top layer where orchestration fulfills the various components and provisions into the infrastructure using the API’s between the layers.  Similarly, the Read More »

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Does Virtualization Really Matter?

That was the question that an attendee at a recent conference sponsored by the Communications Technology Management, part of University of California’s Marshall School of Business, asked me last week.  With all of the industry discussion on the topic over the last year or two on the topic, I think it is always worthwhile to pause, assess, and reflect, as sometimes some of the simplest questions can be some of the hardest.

“Yes,” I told him, “but maybe not how you think.”

No question I’m proud of the advances Cisco has made in this area, from our announcement of the Evolved Services Platform in February to now having over 40 virtualized functions in our portfolio.  As far as we can tell, it is the largest, most expansive virtualized portfolio in the industry with so much of it not on a drawing board but already in use in customer network.

But while we’re proud of the aggressive execution of our strategy, far more relevant than the number of functions, however, is what they can enable.  I think this was the reason for the question and certainly the reason for my answer.
Take our announcement last week: enabling Read More »

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