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Simple Device Management, Network Provisioning and Network Assurance for Small Carriers & RLECs

Guest Blog by Alison O’Brien, Product & Solutions Marketing Manager

Small Carriers and the NMS/EMS

Small carriers and rural local exchange carriers (RLECs) often forgo Network Management Systems/Element Management Systems (NMS/EMS) platforms because they don’t have dedicated IT departments. They often have limited staff, time and in some cases lack the breadth of technical IT skills needed to manage complex NMS/EMS platforms. In addition, finding a NMS/EMS solution that is priced to match their network size and that is easy to use and deploy can be a time consuming (if not impossible) task.

The Value of Network Management

Even though they may not use a NMS/EMS platform, these service providers do recognize the value of using a management tool. They know how an NMS/EMS can efficiently perform device management, network provisioning and network assurance tasks. They also know that an NMS/EMS can provide insight into network operation and performance, enabling their staff to more accurately respond to potential problems as well as automate manual tasks. And finally, they know the added value that an NMS/EMS can provide as they grow their business – particularly how it can support the expansion of new services.

EPN Manager ScreenShots_AO_03NOV2015

 

EPN Manager: Cisco’s Solution – Even for Small Carriers

Introduced in June of this year, Cisco’s Evolved Programmable Network Manager (EPN Manager) is Read More »

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3 Key Success Factors for Multi-sourcing

The rise of multi-sourced IT delivery models is well documented, and multi-sourcing is now accepted as the new normal. Today’s outsourcing market demands solutions that anticipate and respond to business activity inside and outside the organization while simultaneously dealing with a rapidly shifting landscape of providers. This drives the need for a global digital infrastructure in which information is used to help organizations create real time links between IT organizations seeking to manage support complexity and a growing and ever shifting array of external service partners that includes traditional outsourcers, managed service providers, telecom operators, and cloud service providers. Enabling this shift are three key success factors:

  1. The dynamic nature of this ever shifting landscape becomes a defining point in new strategies and new tools are needed to address that new reality.
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  2. Decisions being made 24/7 are profoundly impacted by an organization’s capacity to have every available piece of information, from all sources, accessible immediately.
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  3. The ability to deliver services of all kinds faster, more reliably and more affordability is of prime importance in today’s market.

Sourcing is becoming a critical success factor for IT management;  in fact many now consider the CIO the “Chief Integration Officer”. The multi-sourcing challenges that IT and business managers are facing today have never been so complex. In addition to cost considerations there’s a simultaneous laser focus on security, agility, alignment between sourcing and business strategy are more and more in focus.

Conquering Complexity in a Multi-Sourced Ecosystem

Multi-sourcing is not as straightforward as it might appear. There are challenges even for organizations that have spent time developing their future operating model and included a Service Integration and Management (SIAM) function. The  factors in the figure below underpin successful multi-sourcing with SIAM:

Key Success Factors for Multi-sourcing

Figure includes success factors for effectively operating in a multi-sourced environment.

 Critical Components

  • Effective client organization:
    In any sourcing arrangement, the client IT department is accountable for the IT services delivered to their business. When multi-sourcing, the client has multiple direct contracts with many suppliers, so a strong commercial management function is also required.

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Server Load balancing with NAT, using Nexus switches: ITD

Server load balancer (SLB) has become very common in network deployments, as the data & video traffic are expanding at rapid rate. There are various modes of SLB deployments today. Application load balancing with network address translation (NAT) has become a necessity for various benefits.

Cisco Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) is a hardware based multi-terabit layer 4 load-balancing and traffic steering solution on the Nexus 5k/6k/7k/9k series of switches.

With our latest NX-OS Software 7.2(1)D1(1) (also known as Gibraltar MR), ITD supports SLB NAT on Nexus 7k series of switches.

In SLB-NAT deployment, client can send traffic to a virtual IP address, and need not know about the IP of the underlying servers. NAT provides additional security in hiding the real server IP from the outside world. In the case of Virtualized server environments, this NAT capability provides increased flexibility in moving the real servers across the different server pools with out being noticed by the their clients. With respect health monitoring and traffic reassignment, SLB NAT helps applications to work seamlessly without client being aware of any IP change.

ITD won the Best of Interop 2015 in Data Center Category.

BOI15_Data_Center_728x90

ITD provides :

  1. Zero latency load-balancing.
  2. CAPEX savings : No service module or external L3/L4 load-balancer needed. Every Nexus port can be used as load-balancer.
  3. IP-stickiness
  4. Resilient (like resilient ECMP), Consistent hash
  5. Bi-directional flow-coherency. Traffic from A–>B and B–>A goes to same node.
  6. Monitoring the health of servers/appliances.
  7. Handles unlimited number of flows.

Documentation, slides, videos:

Email Query or feedback:ask-itd@external.cisco.com

Connect on twitter: @samar4

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Expanding Your Market Opportunities: the Capabilities You Can’t Afford to Ignore

1It’s a new world out there for all the service providers I get to talk with globally. Advances in technology are not only changing their customers’ behaviors, but they’re also disrupting established industries and business models. The result is a wealth of new opportunities—in existing markets and in new ones, within their footprint and beyond.

To compete in these markets, speed is everything. Whether you want to roll out new content, expand geographically, introduce new applications, or develop a business model for a new customer segment, you need to act fast. Success will be measured by how fast you can enter a market, establish a leadership position, and capture improved profitability early on.

You can’t afford to stand still.

You need to continue to innovate, dream up new things, and get them to your customers quickly. It’s OK if every effort isn’t successful. Quickly move on and repurpose any technology investments you may have made.

What if you get a little behind? You could find that much of what you hoped to gain is no longer available, attractive, or what you thought it would be. But don’t stop your innovation engine. Speed it up. If you’re not sure how, get a trusted partner.

What stands in your way?

The major challenge for any service provider today is Read More »

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Cisco and Microsoft Accelerate Cloud Providers’ Journey to the Hybrid Cloud

It can be a tough world out there for a cloud provider. You’re facing stiff competition from the big cloud players like Amazon and Google to deliver more flexible cloud services. But you have an edge that they don’t. Customers can trust you to deliver guaranteed reliability, security, and data sovereignty for business-critical applications in a way that pure public cloud providers can’t match.

To capitalize on that trust, you need to:

  • Offer a suite of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions “as a service,” and bring them to market fast
  • Deliver business-class performance (scalability, flexibility, reliability and security, and more) against customer SLAs
  • Support key hybrid cloud capabilities like workload portability; and security, policy, and infrastructure management across clouds
  • Deliver globally while retaining data sovereignty

There are technologies available to do all of that, but typically you’d need to spend a lot of time and money knitting together hardware and software from multiple vendors. Then you’d have to test them to make sure they work together, and you could encounter a lot of complexity deploying and provisioning new services.

But there’s good news: Cisco and Microsoft have teamed up to create the next-generation architecture for cloud providers. It’s called the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform. And it’s going to make capturing the cloud opportunity a whole lot easier for you and your customers.

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Introducing Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform combines Cisco’s world-class hardware with Microsoft’s enterprise-ready software to help you build comprehensive hybrid cloud solutions—faster, more easily, and more profitably. It’s part of a multi-year agreement between two of the world’s hybrid cloud heavyweights, Cisco and Microsoft, to deliver joint engineering, product development, and go-to-market support.

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform is the result of a shared vision about how the cloud needs to work for businesses. We know that if you’re going to deliver viable cloud solutions to your customers private, public, and hybrid clouds need to work together seamlessly. And they need to be a lot easier to deploy and operate.

Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform maps application policy to infrastructure policy for Microsoft and third-party ISV applications. And it implements our Unified Data Center and Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) with Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (WAP) as part of a complete, pre-tested and validated, ready-to-deploy cloud platform. So you can deploy new applications and services at DevOps speed, with lifecycle support from the partners you trust.

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