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Operators Consider CDN Federations

As consumers continued demand more high-quality content over the Internet, service providers are finding it difficult to increase revenues while containing costs. This is due mainly to two trends: (1) over-the-top (OTT) content providers having outsourced delivery of content to pure-play content delivery network (CDN) companies and (2) traffic growth (with no resulting revenue benefit), increasing network build-out and maintenance costs.

In response, many SPs have begun to utilize CDNs within their networks.  While this approach has helped, results have been limited.   Now, SPs are exploring the potential of CDN federations, which Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) defines as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built from resources owned and operated by autonomous members.

IBSG has developed a paper that addresses this issue.  Titled “Content Delivery Network (CDN) Federations: How SPs Can Win the Battle for Content-Hungry Consumers”, it can be found on the Service Provider Thought Leadership section.  At this site, you will find a number of interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment.  

This paper provides an overview of the trends and challenges facing SPs today with regard to content delivery, describes a Cisco-led CDN federation pilot and results to date, and lays out the next steps for the pilot in an effort make CDN federations a reality.

Check it out, and the others, as well . . .

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No Slowing for the Holidays

The end-of-year holiday season is traditionally positioned as a chance to slow down and re-charge, but Cisco’s industry-leading products for service providers didn’t get the memo.   Their momentum continued unabated.

Just two days before Christmas, Cisco announced that Dutch service provider KPN has chosen the Cisco CRS-3 multi-chassis carrier routing system, which will be deployed at the heart of KPN’s Internet peering network. The CRS-3 solution will transport all of KPN’s IP traffic to the Internet as part of KPN’s Internet Cluster Environment (ICE).

Not long before, Verizon announced that its IP network, one of the most advanced communications networks in the world, will be upgraded in the first half of 2012 with the Cisco CRS-3 to enable new services and meet growing traffic demands in several key U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

As for the ASR 9000 edge routing system, Fibrenoire, a service provider offering Internet and private network services over an optical fiber network in Quebec and Ontario, has completed implementation of an end-to-end Cisco Carrier Ethernet System covering the Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto regions. Fibrenoire’s network is based on the ASR 9000.

Additionally, Next Communications, a Miami-based voice and video provider, has deployed Cisco technology for its IP Next-Generation Network. Integral to this will be deployment of the ASR 9000 and ASR 1000 routers for 100GE port capacity and greater resiliency.

And a couple of other interesting news items:

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Another Great Mobile World Congress Ends

Musings, factoids and random thoughts from the just-completed Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona:

  • This may be the only place on the planet in which there are lines outside the men’s rooms, but not at the ladies’ rooms.

But even more seriously, folks . . .

  • MWC continues to enhance its position as a major worldwide technology show and the most important event focusing on the service provider segment
  • The initial tally revealed that >60,000 – a record – attended
  • Verizon, AT&T and Google exhibited for the first time
  • Major topics of interest were monetization and video . . . conveniently, also major topics for Cisco. 
  • IP has never been more relevant at MWC than it was this year
  • Policy was another major subject – also fitting nicely into the Cisco story of intelligence in the network.  Quality of experience got a lot of attention, too
  • And applications enablement – “It’s not just the network that matters,” one analyst said.  “It’s the network PLUS the apps that run on top of it.  At the end of the day, it’s apps that make the real difference.”
  • Cisco enjoyed record interest, holding more than 600 meetings with customers, prospects, partners, analysts and media
  • Cisco’s MOVE (monetization, optimization, Videoscape experience) was well received by analysts
  • One operator told Cisco that voice is now comprises only 1% of its total traffic

Analyst Observations:

  • “The definition of the ‘busy hour’ for the network has expanded to 19 hours, thanks to video.”
  • “There is a lot more positive feeling this year . . . maybe that means the world economy is on the mend.”
  • Several analysts – unsolicited – remarked on Cisco’s ability to define a vision and drive conversations.  “You’ve done a great job of launching visions and architectural plays,”
  • Regarding Cisco’s MOVE announcement, one analyst remarked, “A lot of smaller optimization guys are losing sleep because you’re moving into this space.”
  • “The big factor [to operators] is not necessarily [a vendor’s] technology portfolio.  It’s about services and flexible business relationships.  Especially in emerging markets.”
  • “Monetization is what is keeping operators awake at night.”
  • Regarding the continuing decline of the fixed lines: “At a lot of the operators, the mobile guys are in charge now, not the fixed-line guys.”

In closing . . .

  • MWC will start two weeks later in 2012 – even closer to the CTIA Wireless event than before . . . a coincidence??
  • Next year is the last of MWC‘s current pact with Barcelona.  Munich, Paris and Milan are trying to lure the show from Barcelona, and some people were hearing that Munich had the inside track.  We’ll see.

Wherever the event ends up, let’s do something about those lines at the men’s rooms.  OK?

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