The times, they are a-changing! And this is just the beginning!
Like the classic ‘60s tune composed by the legendary musician Bob Dylan, the world continues to change in more ways than we had imagined even a decade ago. We have seen the advent of Internet for all, free phone calls with Voice-over-IP, as well as free application software available not just for computers but delivered over mobile wireless networks to our smartphones and tablets. Desktop applications have given way to web-based applications, and the rapid ascent of social media to communicate with a globally connected set of followers in fractions of a second.
Set against this backdrop of these phenomenal technology advances, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has enjoyed a decade of outstanding technology and market success. Initially founded by a handful of enterprising individuals, the MEF recently hosted their tenth anniversary in California’s Napa Valley with an “A List” industry professionals from their 185 member companies. The definition of Carrier Ethernet is synonymous with the work of the MEF -- a set of standardized and cost-effective Ethernet business services, scalable, reliable, with service level guarantees that can traverse the metro, the nation, or the globe across any media.
Generations of innovations and new service application drivers (mobile broadband, video, and cloud) for Carrier Ethernet have been rapidly driven forward by the dedicated efforts and influence of the MEF volunteers. As with new generations of music, adoption of Carrier Ethernet services in the marketplace was not without similar challenges to overcome. The MEF and their close-knit community of equipment vendors and service providers have built a massive following around the globe. The effects of Carrier Ethernet market growth on world business, predicted by industry analysts to reach $40B in services and equipment in 2014, are profound.
Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group
Many service providers today are implementing or investigating cloud computing to take advantage of its inherent operational advantages and as a platform from which to offer differentiated cloud-based services. By abstracting IT resources and services from the underlying infrastructure, service providers are achieving highly elastic, multitenant environments and savings. For example, cloud-based environments facilitate provisioning in minutes; time-to-market reductions of more than 50 percent; high server and storage utilization; 50 percent reductions in capital costs; and 25 to 30 percent reductions in operational costs.1
At the same time, cloud-based services are highly attractive to providers’ enterprise customers. Service provider-based cloud services offer greater scalability and performance without requiring premises-based infrastructure and management. Self-service, scale-on-demand, and pay-per-use features increase user convenience and IT flexibility, while automated recovery and cloud-based backup significantly enhance risk management.
The good news is that service providers today are uniquely positioned to take advantage of cloud computing. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- a cloud utility architecture -- provides an easy entry point for many service providers who are already expert at provisioning, managing, and scaling infrastructure-based services for multiple customers. IaaS helps enable service providers to increase return on investment through existing infrastructure and to deliver high-margin multitenancy services and support new competitive offerings. According to the Cisco Internet Business Systems Group, a 2009 study has forecast IaaS service revenues to be approximately $15.6 billion by 2013.
By Bob McIntyre, CTO, Cisco Service Provider Group
I was digging around my PowerPoints on the laptop recently, getting ready for our “Cisco Live!” event, and came across a set of predictions I’d made, five years ago.
A CTO, making predictions five years out? What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, I wouldn’t be bringing it up unless it was so off base as to be funny, — or close enough to “correct” to boast a little.
Turns out it was mostly the latter, so allow me to boast a little. -- Just a little. I promise.
Back then, in 2006, I said what will make service providers successful would be the delivery to consumers of their own personal HD video stream, on any device, wherever they were. A two-way stream. (This was the year before the iPhone and smart phones hit the market, and four years before “pads” did.)
I also surmised that triple and quad play (voice, video, data and wireless) bundles would continue to be the big thing; that operators needed to move drastically faster on what we now call “apps;” and that what we now call Wi-Fi mobile hot spots and 4th generation wireless (back then, we called it “fixed mobile convergence”) would be critical. Read More »
The transition to IPv6 presents a complex technical challenge, and the business risks for not doing it right are potentially significant, in terms of impact on customer retention and growth, new business models, and competitive edge.
In this third installation of the series, Kelly Ahuja of Cisco and Ray Mota of ACG focus on Service Provider strategies for the transition to IPv6. As Kelly mentions, the Cisco Carrier-Grade IPv6 Solution (CGv6) is designed to help address both technical and business challenges associated with the transition. The Cisco CGv6 portfolio of IPv6 solutions enables service providers to:
Preserve investments in IPv4 infrastructure, assets, and delivery models
Prepare for the smooth, incremental transition to IPv6 services that are interoperable with IPv4
Prosper through accelerated subscriber, device, and service growth that are enabled by the efficiencies that IPv6 can deliver
It’s important to emphasize the word solution. CGv6 solution is not just a line card, or a network appliance, or a software feature. Unlike other companies Cisco has the experience and expertise to help network operators realize the promise of IPv6 by offering full Life Cycle Services Support. This is especially important as not all operators have experience in IPv6 or access to this expertise. Cisco can provide the people, processes and tools to ensure a seamless transition. Some of the capabilities our advanced services team provides include:
Although well known for oil and cattle, Texas is home to many high technology companies (including the Cisco campus of yours truly), and is the largest clean energy (wind) producer in the USA. It’s also got a booming economy that needs advanced telecommunications services to all parts of the state.
To that point, we recently talked with the team at Texas Lone Star Network (TLSN). Located just 50 miles northwest of the capital of Austin, TLSN operates a Cisco DWDM fiber network spanning over 3000 route miles offering wavelength, Ethernet, and SONET services to its 39 consortium company members, national carriers, wireless carriers, regional cable TV operators, colleges and the federal government. Earlier in the year they made the decision to upgrade their network with a deployment of Cisco’s ASR 9000 Series routers.
TLSN has connected the new ASR 9000 routers with 10G optical wavelengths enabled in the Cisco DWDM backbone network. The enhanced network provides them the foundation for new, revenue generating services, including cloud computing, cell backhaul, and IP/MPLS virtual private networks. In particular, cell backhaul is expected to be a growth area because of the number of 4G deployments going on in Texas right now.
“With the rapid growth in customer demand for higher capacity , driven especially by video, mobile, and high speed data services, we had to scale our network, but we had to also watch our operational expenses. Leveraging our new Carrier Ethernet platform we’re able to offer new services cost effectively to our member companies and customers to ensure that technologies such as telemedicine and distance learning are available to any community in the state. Plus, with our Texas-wide footprint we can offer both a wide range of highly available services coupled with a unique footprint that other providers can’t match.” Brad Seymour, General Manager, TLSN