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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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Network Service Providers Can Compete and Win in the Cloud

If you’ve been following the research from Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, you may have already seen the survey on Service Providers and their viability in the Cloud at the end of last year. Yesterday I was preparing for a customer briefing when this report came to mind and I thought it may be useful to summarize the high points if you haven’t read it yet.

The custom research found that Network Service Providers have an advantage when offering Cloud services if they use their unique assets to differentiate their services. Over-the-Top (OTT) players may have seen success in offering plain vanilla Infrastructure as a Service at large scale and low prices but the opportunity for supplying the high-end and high-value spectrum of Cloud services is still underway. You will probably agree with me that security is critical for any service these days. It is a challenge that requires proper design and planning and proper vigilance and quick responses are what differentiate the winners from the losers. Cloud is a large market in the midst of a transition and it will be fun to watch how everything plays out, I’m placing bets on the Service Providers to scoop up a valuable share of the ~$43 billion XaaS market by 2013. Read More »

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Cisco Assurance Services for IP NGN: Improve Network Performance and Agility

It’s clear that service providers today face unprecedented business challenges. The network must deliver more for less -- support higher performance and enhanced services, reduce maintenance overhead and outages -- while meeting ever-increasing customer demands. Cisco Assurance Services for IP NGN helps you face these challenges. View this demo to learn how to you can achieve operational excellence, improve network availability and performance, and reduce costs.

Click to View Cisco Assurance Services

Cisco Assurance Services for IP NGN delivers:

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Addressing the Need for Cloud Service Assurance

The Enterprise Goal
Enterprises are continually striving to reduce their IT costs and optimize utilization of their compute resources. The demand for compute, storage and networking resources to support business applications can be difficult to predict, leading to risks of overbuilding or underestimation of demand. As a result Enterprises are looking to adopt cloud services that are available on-demand, and are flexible and scalable to meet their IT service needs in a predictable and cost effective manner.

The Service Provider Advantage
Communications service providers are in a unique position to meet the needs of the Enterprise for service assurance as they develop cloud services. With considerable experience in managing data centers, and with an IP NGN MPLS network spanning from their data centers to enterprise locations around the globe, as well as having back office systems, including billing and support, communications service providers have what it takes for success in the cloud services market. Given the critical role of both the data center and the network in application delivery the development of cloud-based services represents an opportunity for the communications service provider to work with the enterprise to help them overcome their challenges for delivery of business critical applications throughout the organization, while meeting their business goals to contain costs, protect data assets, and ensure employee productivity.

Leverage The Network
Too meet these challenges and deliver reliable cloud-services communications service providers can leverage their IP NGN MPLS network and data center assets and apply their considerable expertise and experience to deliver service level agreements that align with the business processes of the enterprise, so that the enterprise can adopt cloud services with confidence, knowing that their applications will have the performance and security that they need as they are delivered over the WAN.

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