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Software Defined Networking for Service Providers: Data Center Fabric Analogies breakdown in the WAN

Lately I’ve been seeing some industry people trying to apply the principles of data center network fabric models to their Wide Area Networks (WANs), and implying that such can be extended through service provider WANs.  Data center fabrics and WANs are horses of very different colors with way too many differences for these perspectives to hold up.

Fundamentally they are different beasts with one more easily tamed than the other.   Data center networks generally have well known end points and well-ordered designs.

Multi-tenant Data Center Designs

Bandwidth within data centers is virtually unlimited relative to WAN bandwidth.  It is much more stable and constrained in its characteristics when it comes to things like latency, loss, jitter, capacity, restoration capabilities – all of which have significant influence on WAN services delivery.  The same data center network assumptions exist between each of the end points, which makes fabric modeling for data centers generally a good approximation and thus possible to use.

Some private WANs that interconnect data centers may align closely enough with a fabric model, making it a good enough approximation.  But this is a unique case and is essentially Read More »

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Upgrade to 100G/400G/1T Without Upgrading the Fiber Infrastructure

We talked before about how over 150 customers from 50 different network operators and enterprises met last month at Cisco’s campus in Richardson, Texas, to attend the Spring 2012 Packet Optical Networking Conference (PONC). Besides collaborating on best practices and future requirements in IP and optical solutions, attendees also had an opportunity to view Cisco’s extensive “brownfield” 100G DWDM demo setup. It consists of over 1000 km of fiber, with 10G services and shows how we can plug-n-play 100G services onto existing live systems. This is a critical requirement for customers who must maintain business continuity while still upgrading the capacity of the network. It’s also using the same technology we showed with EANTC that could go to Read More »

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What is a Mobile Device Anymore?

It used to be easy—mobile devices were brick-like devices that we carried with us to make phone calls.  Not anymore. Now we have smartphones, tablets, eReaders, and other devices that we bring everywhere and can’t seem to live without. No longer are we using them just for phone calls. In fact, they are now mobile computers, books, entertainment stations, game consoles, and social tools, in addition to our communications hubs. And, because Wi-Fi has become a prevalent way for many of these devices to connect to the Internet, they’re no longer strictly “mobile,” from a network perspective.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to mobile devices: Read More »

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Cloud a Hot Topic at CiscoLive!

It’s that time of year again when we all gather for Cisco Live US to share the latest and greatest in the world of IT and networking. This year the event is being held in San Diego, and there are 17,000 in-person attendees—a new record! One of my favorite things about Cisco Live is that I have a chance to interact one-on-one with customers, partners, and analysts. When I do, the topic of the cloud invariably is on their minds.

Of course many already know about the Cisco CloudVerse strategy and solution set, which is based on the Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services, all of which are supported by Cisco and partner professional services. What they might not know about, however, are all of the advancements Cisco has made to make cloud networks truly intelligent since last December when we originally announced CloudVerse.

Yesterday here at Cisco Live, we announced Cisco Cloud Connected Solution as the latest innovation in the Cloud Intelligent Network. This solution adds a host of capabilities to your already existing network infrastructure, allowing you to take full advantage of cloud computing.  A number of new capabilities were introduced, but my personal favorites are the Cloud Connectors and the new Read More »

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Welcome to the New Normal

The 2012 Olympics are just weeks away and NBCOlympics.com has pledged to live stream every event and sport for the first time ever — more than 3500 total programming hours, all viewable from your tablet or smartphone.

While watching the Olympics, you’ll be able to view instant replays, send highlight videos to your friends, tweet on the latest play action, check stats…in short, enjoy a rich multimedia Olympics experience over the mobile network.

Welcome to the new normal.

Want to control the camera angles as you watch your favorite basketball team? This season, Read More »

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