The occasion was the launch of the Next Generation Hotspot trials. These trials will set the stage for the future of Wi-Fi, establishing it as a robust, secure technology that will augment and complement 3G and 4G networks for years to come.
Next Generation Hotspot is based on the concept that Wi-Fi networks should be as safe and easy to access as cellular networks. Some of the base specifications for network discovery (IEEE 802.11u), authentication (IEEE 802.1x), and security (IEEE 802.11i) were well underway. The cellular example of using SIM cards for user identification and using roaming hubs for inter-carrier negotiation and billing were then applied and the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) specification for Hotspot 2.0 was a result.
The trials also represent a historic cooperation between the WBA, WFA, and GSMA. The WFA will hold a series of test events that will allow vendors to test and certify against the specification, and the WBA will carry out the trials in operator networks. Twenty-seven operators, vendors and roaming hubs have signed up for the trials. The trial results will be provided to the GSMA for harmonization with 3GPP standards.
Summers tend to be a bit cool in San Francisco, but acceptance of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution by Service Providers searching for the best path to cloud is heating up. We’re excited at the progress so far -- including recent records set by the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) which just placed 3rd globally in the x86 blades category in a recent IDC report. A little over two years ago people questioned Cisco’s entry into the compute segment of the data center. The large number of Cisco customers have proven that innovation that brings new levels of efficiency to the data center wins out every time. We’re proud of our customers and the services they’re bringing to market more quickly using the Cisco USD solution and its key foundation technologies like Cisco UCS.
Industry analysts are also seeing a need for an end-to-end solution like Cisco USD and noting the importance of resource optimization, management consolidation, service improvements, and cost reduction as fundamental tenets of efficient cloud service delivery.
Below is a short video commentary by IDC analyst, Courtney Munroe, VP, Worldwide Telecommunications. Courtney talks about the market challenges SPs face and how they can benefit from a transition to Cloud-delivered services. Pay special attention to the core things he believes SPs must address for Cloud: virtualized fabric for the computing platform in the data center, how the data center and the network work together and security across the entire delivery chain.
Cloud Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Service Providers
By Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cisco’s Cable Access business
As industry vendors, we go into every tradeshow mired in details. From the packed meeting schedules to the booth demos (things go much better when they work…!) to the evening events with customers and industry colleagues, it’s far less glamorous than our non-convention-going friends might think. Right? Then there’s struggle to get the suitcase zipped, with the new tonnage of stuff needing transit back to the office.
It’s only afterwards, with a weekend in between to parse the major themes, that the answers come. I’ve checked in with several Cisco colleagues who were on-site in Chicago for The Cable Show last week. We’re in agreement that if the question is “I saw the whole thing! What happened??” in terms of this year’s blur of a Cable Show, our short list goes like this:
Optimism reigns in cable. In years past, and especially last year, it seemed that a miasma of anxiousness blanketed the cable industry, led by fears of over-the-top video providers – and especially Netflix, as a contender for the industry’s own video-on-demand business. This year, we went into the show fresh with knowledge that Netflix traffic continues to gobble up broadband capacity — yet the sense of optimism amongst service providers was unmistakable. To me, it almost felt like the buoyant good will of the go-go-franchise years, in the late ‘70s. With continued evidence that DOCSIS can see the industry through even the heaviest of bandwidth-heavy times, coupled with significant advancements in both “cloud” and “client” – it’s gratifying, as a vendor company focused nearly entirely on network, client, and cloud! Read More »
IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.
Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.
Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group
A common theme we hear from service providers is the challenge of delivering high-quality services at the lowest possible price. IP Next-Generation Network architectures are increasingly complex to operate with the volume of services growing at an exponential rate. To sustain the cost of deployment and maintain average revenue per user, communication service providers need an efficient management system that provides visibility into network and service performance.
Cisco just introduced a new performance management solution that helps enable service providers to proactively manage their next-generation networks, including service assurance and capacity planning. Cisco Prime™ Performance Manager complements an existing set of network management tools or works completely as a standalone solution. Cisco Active Network Abstraction (ANA) customers like the easy integration and the ability to access service and element performance information from the topology views.
Cisco Prime Performance Manager provides more than 200 pre-generated reports on a wide range of technologies. These reports help operators and network planners answer those questions that keep you up at night; questions such as which devices are over-utilized, what backhaul links are congested, and which services have poor quality or response time. With dashboard views showing network-level availability and utilization reports, operators can quickly identify the most pressing issues impacting the network. Pre-generated reports provide deep visibility into such areas as application traffic, availability of services and devices, IP quality of service, IP protocols, IP service level agreements, resource utilization, and transport statistics.