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A Deep Dive in the Role of Each of the Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA) Layers

This is part 3 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.

Physical Infrastructure Layer

The physical infrastructure layer is where the physical resources reside. This includes equipment typically used in a data center such as network devices (switches, routers, firewalls, and load balancers), computing resources, storage and facilities.  Physical infrastructure products and the connectivity to the cloud, customer networks, partners and cloud brokers are secured in this layer.

Virtual Infrastructure Layer

The main purpose of this layer is to abstract the underlying physical resources into pools of logical resources with attributes and service assurance parameters. In addition, it greatly simplifies management processes, accelerates service delivery to market, and reduces operating expenses.  Simplicity of provisioning and management along with security can be obtained by creating many logical networks from one physical network.  The physical infrastructure layer is virtualized using various methods (hypervisor technology, Application Centric Networks, etc.) into a virtualized infrastructure layer. This is analogous to creating VLANs within a physical LAN.  The Resource Abstraction and Control functionality in this layer views the physical layer in a more holistic fashion by allowing the orchestration, network and security controllers to enforce appropriate policies to the traffic and the underlying network infrastructure.

Service Layer

The Services Layer is Read More »

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Learn How to Transform your Network with Cisco Innovations at MEF GEN14!!

By Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, SP Product and Solutions Marketing  gina

Cisco is a sponsor of a new show this year, the Metro Ethernet Forum Global Ethernet Network 2014 show or “MEF GEN 14” to be held on November 17-20th, at the Gaylord National in Washington, DC. The event promises to bring together leading industry experts to define the future of global networking. Distinguished Cisco specialists will be available to discuss business transformation through industry leading innovations such as Software Defined Network (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Service Orchestration and Carrier Ethernet 2.0.


On Monday, 17 November, at 1:00 PM, Cisco will host a “MUST ATTEND” pre-conference workshop for our customers where we will share new innovations that will change how service providers plan, deploy, and operate programmable Carrier Ethernet networks. Read More »

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Transform Service Provider Architectures to Support Virtualized Managed Business Services

ginaBy Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Cisco estimates over 50 billion new devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.  To support the Internet of Everything, service providers must undergo an infrastructure transformation.  The network needs to become more open, programmable, automated, adaptive, and agile.  To guide this transformation, the Cisco open network strategy for service providers is depicted as three interwoven layers:  the Evolved Programmable Network (physical and virtual network Infrastructure), the Evolved Services Platform (for orchestration of resources) and Applications and Services layer to enable virtualized services such as Cloud VPN and Security.  With these three layers working together, providers can begin to realize the benefits of an open network that is readily open to new devices, open for quickly enabling new services, and open to endless possibilities.

Last week, Cisco announced two Read More »

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What is the Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA) Layered Approach?

This is part 2 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.

CSA Description

The following figure shows a simplified view of the Cisco CSA. It has five horizontal layers: Physical Infrastructure layer, Virtualized Infrastructure layer, Services layer, Service Management and Automation layer, and App/portal layer.  Supporting each layer from top-to-bottom, there are three vertical layers: ITSM/ITIL services layer services enablement, Security layer for providing security across each of the horizontal layers, and Cisco Intellectual and domain management layer for providing Cisco best practices at each of the horizontal layers.


This CSA is a logically layered architecture (LLA), with each layer providing a distinct function.   The model is designed in a hierarchical fashion with devices and facilities at the bottom, customer interactions at the top, and various required functionalities in the middle layers.  The key to this model is the abstraction of each layer into software-defined components with standardized interfaces. Similar to other LLA models such as ITU-T TMN (Telecommunications Management Network), each horizontal layer supports the layer above in performing its business functions.

CSA Layered Approach

The interaction between various layers is through abstraction, orchestration, and API’s.  The customers’ requests are processed from the top layer where orchestration fulfills the various components and provisions into the infrastructure using the API’s between the layers.  Similarly, the Read More »

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Join Us at BBWF 2014

Written by Greg Nehib, Cisco Senior Product Marketing Manager nehib-1

Network functions virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) will get a lot of interest this year at BBWF 2014 Broadband World Forum 2014 as carriers seek to make networks more agile and efficient. In talking to both service providers and large enterprises, it’s clear that we are already in another major transition in the networking industry.

I’ve spoken with many talented individuals about what NFV and SDN means to their networks.  Some of these visions are very broad and long ranging and some are more narrowly focused on delivering or optimizing a single service very quickly.  It’s clear that NFV has already been deployed in many different service applications while SDN has been noticeably slower to develop a focused following.  Even in the case of Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs), there is an interesting combination of features focused on services delivery and features focused on infrastructure innovation.  In this case “services” are typically the services that carriers sell to their end customers such as a  Virtual Private Network (VPN)  and “infrastructure” is the virtualization of the typical network functions such as a virtualized route reflector on an x86 based server instead of running the route reflector application in an existing (physical) router. Read More »

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