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IPv6: Enabling the Internet of Things and Smart Grids

The Internet of Things is a fast growing market where IPv6 will play a central role. Cisco has recently delivered a new series of products with very innovate technologies for the energy market with a number of new technologies, all IPv6 based!

Indeed, the new routing protocol for the Internet of Things, RPL, which has been adopted as an international standard by the IETF (RFC 6550) and CoAP, the lightweight resources management protocol specified by the IETF are both IPv6 protocols. With the increasing number of devices connected to IP networks, IPv6 is undoubtedly the protocol of choice for the Internet of things.

A key example of where this comes to play is in Smart Grids.

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Zigbee IP: Extending the Smart Grid to Consumers

Enabling commercial, industrial and residential customers to better monitor and manage their energy consumption is a key benefit of a Smart Grid.  As part of their grid modernization initiatives, utilities are providing information and incentives to end consumers. These include visibility to real-time energy consumption, as well as variable price and demand response signals that communicate with energy management devices and smart appliances.

This will drive more low power, often battery powered, wireless and wired energy sensors and actuators in the consumer premises.  To date, this space is populated with several PHY/MAC specific, non-standardized protocol stacks which do not interoperate.  To avoid multiple separate consumer networks a PHY/MAC agnostic solution is needed and this solution is best based upon open IP standards.

The ZigBee Alliance’s ZigBee IP (ZIP) standard is a first definition of an open standards based IPv6 stack for smart objects. The effort has made significant progress to bring IPv6 network protocols over 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks to reality.

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Smart Grid Momentum

Chairman and CEO John Chambers offers an update on Cisco’s Smart Grid solutions.

He writes, in part:

Throughout Cisco’s history, we have identified market transitions and listened closely to our customers as they navigate these changes. Nearly 20 years ago, the Telecom industry went through a major transformation and Cisco helped service providers evolve their businesses to deliver a digital, multimedia and immersive experience for their customers. The key to our success was a keen focus on our customers and building industry-wide partnerships to deliver the necessary business and technical solutions.

Today, the energy industry is in the midst of an equally significant market transition as they modernize the electric grid to address aging infrastructure, increase the integration of renewable energy sources, meet evolving regulatory requirements, and ensure the security of their critical assets. And doing all of these while continuing to deliver power reliably and safely to their customers.

Read his full update here:

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Smart Grid: the Evolving Energy Landscape

The basic concept of an electrical power grid has matured from the early stand-alone distribution systems that serviced a limited geographic area to a more expansive and far-reaching regional network that incorporates multiple areas. In practice, the uninterrupted access to sources of electric power became a key ingredient of the economic development advances that were made possible during the Industrial Age.

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World Wide Technology ‘Climbs the Charts’ as a Utility Game Changer—You Can, Too!


Justin Bieber.

Taylor Swift.

Overnight sensations, right? If only it were that easy. The truth is these international pop stars spent their early years perfecting their craft before hitting it big. The same can be said about World Wide Technology (WWT), Cisco’s largest reseller to the United States Federal Government.

Founded in 1990, WWT has grown from a mere startup to a $4 billion+ organization with more than 1,700 employees. Their success secret? A relentless focus on their people, processes, and partnerships—including their close partnership with Cisco. Also of note is their ability to look ahead, anticipating profitable market shifts.

One of those is occurring now in the energy sector. Utilities around the world are eager to modernize energy grids with intelligent infrastructure. While Cisco is ready to help partners meet those needs with its recently introduced Connected Grid portfolio, WWT is also fully on board to generate new sources of revenue.

John Rohde, WWT’s energy and utility practice manager, recently shared his thoughts on what’s required for partners to thrive in the energy sector. Read More »

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