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IPv6 Peering, Part 1: Questions For Your Service Provider

July 16, 2012 at 9:35 am PST

Today, many organizations are focusing on how to integrate IPv6 services into their Internet edge. The World IPv6 Launch has come and gone with over 3000 sites now IPv6-enabled.  In addition, the US government has directed that all agencies must enable their Internet facing services for IPv6 by October 1st, 2012. These drivers are pushing organizations to take a harder look at how to approach IPv6 integration.  My next couple of posts will examine how to interface with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The Internet edge is the point in your network where your organization will interface with the IPv6 Internet, and it is how customers will access your services. It is important that your ISP have the same Service Level Agreement (SLA) as your IPv4 point of attachment. After all, you are going to be running your business over both IPv4 and IPv6 for quite some time. To ensure that your ISP’s IPv6 services meet your business and technical requirements, I’ve compiled a list of questions to ask. The questions are grouped along the lines of how IPv6 is physically delivered, how the control plane is handled, and the services that are offered. The following are several example questions:

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Greece Ready for 100G Internet

One of the most interesting aspects of the Cisco Visual Networking Index is how the explosion of Internet traffic is taking place everywhere. We’ve talked before about how countries such as Iceland and Bermuda are leveraging high speed connections to the world to grow their economies. This time let’s look at Greece and competitive carrier hellas online (hol) on how they are preparing for the zettabyte era. (A zettabyte is 1021 bytes, in case you had forgotten).

Hol is one of the largest fixed-line telecommunications services providers in Greece offering a range of retail, business and wholesale services, and they also own the most extensive core backbone network in Greece. Their fiber optical network stretches over 4166 km nationwide and recently they’ve started offering an on-demand interactive video service called “hol video club” that has really taken off. Despite the challenges of the European economic situation, hol is continuing to see not just increases in bandwidth demand but also gains in the number of subscribers. Most recently they’ve seen increasing growth in cloud-based services as well.

Cisco 100G coherent demo in lab.

Hol is also one of the most recent carriers to put Cisco’s 100G coherent optical solution through its paces. For hol, 100G offers a solution to meet their need for as-needed, cost-effective bandwidth growth without the need to replace any fiber infrastructure. This is a common situation – carriers are finding the 10G links are no longer sufficient; yet running multiple 10Gs in parallel is not optimal. The challenge has been finding a solution which simply enables “plug in play” upgrades to 100G. This was one of the key objectives of the Cisco engineering team who developed the 100G DWDM solution. To make 100G widely deployable and commercially successful, it needed to have similar performance and engineering specifications as previously deployed 10G links.

Hol’s successful trial of the dense wavelength division multiplexing solution was run between two Read More »

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There’s Money in Wi-Fi

The insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data. As my previous blogs discussed, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Service providers (SPs) now realize Wi-Fi must be an important part of their strategy to manage growing data loads on their networks and meet increased customer expectations. While operators are learning to accept the role of Wi-Fi, they still struggle with ways to turn a “cost of doing business” into profitable business models. The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) has consulted with leading SPs from around the world about new, innovative Wi-Fi business models that can provide a reasonable return on investment (ROI), as outlined in our paper, “Profiting From the Rise of Wi-Fi.”

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and to test their response to the new Wi-Fi business models, Cisco IBSG recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to monetization of Wi-Fi: Read More »

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Mobility by the Numbers

These days it seems like practically every networking conversation I have involves mobility.  It makes sense because with this “always on” lifestyle, people have a wide variety of motivations and desires to connect to one another near and far in both fixed, nomadic, and truly mobile situations, whenever they want, wherever they want. And in many developing areas of the world which may not necessarily have the need for “constant connectivity,” they are turning to mobility for “connectivity” in general since it is possible to get much more broadband coverage, so quickly.  In fact, our Cisco VNI team forecasts that there will soon be more people connected to the Internet, largely through mobile means, than there will be connected to electricity.  Pretty amazing.

But with all of this talk of mobility whether it be discussions of  NGH or advances in EPC innovations and architectures or competing market claims of this vs. that, it can at times be confusing (editor note:  this author most certainly not exempt from that….)

So to break through that noise of all the mobility talk, we looked for truth in numbers – numbers on the market, where it’s been and where it’s going, and what’s Cisco’s role in enabling it all.  Here is what we found: Read More »

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Passpoint Delivers a New Level of Wi-Fi Usability

The rise of new Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and the growing ubiquity of Wi-Fi access points in most countries has been astounding.  Recent mobile consumer research by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) clearly demonstrates that most mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled, and that approximately 70 to 80 percent of the time that consumers use these devices, they are potentially within range of a Wi-Fi access point. In fact, the research shows that one-third of the time, smartphone users are choosing Wi-Fi—rather than their mobile cellular network—to connect to the Internet. We expect that within the next two years, the number of Wi-Fi connections will reach parity with mobile cellular network connections. Wi-Fi has truly become a part of the mobile equation as consumers increasingly look to it to connect to rich mobile media experiences and to power their new, essential nomadic devices, such as tablets and eReaders.

While Wi-Fi is truly becoming a viable and essential complement to mobile, the user experience is certainly not without its challenges. Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of having to log on to a splash page and enter a complex passcode to gain Wi-Fi access at a public hotspot. And you have to repeat this complicated process every time you return for your morning cappuccino. The Cisco IBSG research clearly demonstrates that people also want seamless integration among Wi-Fi hotspots, and increasingly between mobile cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

The recent launch of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint program by the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) offers to make this integration a reality. This industrywide, interoperable platform, supported across a range of networks and devices, will revolutionize the Wi-Fi user experience and become a key enabler of seamless data offload from mobile networks to public hotspots.

Here are the key Passpoint features planned for mid-2012: Read More »

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