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Cisco Evolved Programmable Network: Virtualized Services in an EPN World

June 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm PST

nehibBy Greg Nehib, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco

Part 2 – Virtualized Services in an EPN World?

In part one of this series Gina covered the basic definition of an Evolved Programmable Network or EPN and its linkage to the Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP).   Figure 1 offers a quick visual recap.

Figure 1:  Cisco’s Open Network Strategy

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And here’s a link to part one of this blog series if you need to play catch up.

In this segment we Read More »

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Cisco Joins China Mobile at Mobile Asia Expo (MAE)

Mobile is a fast-changing industry! Every year there are new devices, new technologies, and trends.

China is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world with:

  • 1.2 billion mobile connections and growing.
  • The number of 3G mobile telephone users reached 386 million in November 2013, a growth of 154 million over the same period of last year.
  • Smart phones in China reached 348 million units from January to October 2013
  • December 2013, China had 500 million mobile Internet users, a growth of 80.09 million compared with that at the end of 2012

The number one mobile operator in China is China Mobile with an estimated 781M subscribers as of Q1 2014. To handle such a large customer base China Mobile has become an industry leader with their vision of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in the quest to control operational costs and create the network elasticity new services creation.

Just as Cisco did in the China Mobile Booth at MWC 2014, Cisco is joining China Mobile at Mobile Asia Expo (MAE) in their “Network Function Virtualization Demonstration” located in the China Mobile

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Pictured above: MWC China Mobile & Cisco Virtualization Demo Team

MAE Booth Read More »

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How Virtualization Is Changing Software Licensing for the Data Center

Erich Latchford

In the days before data centers were virtualized, the licensing model for operating systems and application software was simple: 1 server = 1 license. But this model doesn’t work in an environment where a single physical server can host multiple virtual servers.

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Cisco Evolved Programmable Network: The Beginning of a New Era in SP Networking

June 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm PST

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

This is the first blog out of a series of three covering  “What is the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Era and Why Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Now?”

Those of us who have been around in the industry for a few decades will remember the first arrival of the “big bad wolf” that tried to blow down the service provider’s house. This wolf presented itself in the form of the commoditization of IP services and high traffic growth rates that limited service provider profitability options forcing them to move away from dedicated TDM-based networks that supported a single video, voice, data, or mobile service. Service Providers partnered with Cisco (and others) to build more scalable and lower costs converged IP Next Generation Networks (IP NGNs) and entered the IP NGN era. In doing so, a new wave of innovation and service revenues followed.

Until of course, “the big bad wolf” arrived on the scene again, also known as “exponential traffic growth, especially in mobile video, and this time he brought his friend along for the ride -- the Internet of Everything (IoE).  Cisco VNI predicts IP Traffic alone will grow 300 percent to 1.4 zettabytes annually by 2017. Most of you are already experiencing the pains of exponential traffic growth and some of you believe, as we do, the next wave of dramatic Internet growth will come through the confluence of people, process, data, and things — or the IoE! And IoE predictions are off the charts as well.  Cisco estimates that 99.4 percent of physical objects in the world are still unconnected. With only about 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion things currently connected globally, there is vast potential to connect the unconnected via the IoE.

When you combine exponential traffic growth with IoE impact on the horizon what do service providers get?  You guessed it -- cost and network complexity are rising at a faster rate than revenue. In order to deal with these challenges, (I would rather call them opportunities), network transformation is not optional, but essential for the next wave of growth and propriety.

This might also be a good time to mention the major innovations in cloud and virtualization technologies such as SDN and NFV are allowing for new agile competitors to enter into the market and are challenging traditional providers for their revenue streams by changing the service delivery game and giving the customer control over their service instantiation with consumption based business models.  If you would like to review a quick snapshot of the challenges providers are facing today see the Cisco EPN At-A-Glance.

Are you convinced we need to move from the IP NGN Era to the EPN Era Yet?  If not keep reading -- you will be.

Why Evolved Programmable Network? Read More »

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The 2014 Automation Conference – IoE and Beer

The 2014 Automation Conference (TAC) was held March 20-21, 2014 in sunny Chicago (Yes, sunny Chicago!! I made sure to pack some California sunshine for the Windy City) attracted a diverse group of automation and manufacturing thought leaders and subject matter experts from leading machine builders, system integrators, manufacturing end users, standards bodies and educational institutions. The focus and objective of the conference was to have peer to peer discussions and dialogue around the technologies and next generation automation strategies that are enabling and driving the Internet of Everything (IoE).

“This conference is designed not only to make you think about the application of automation, but also to help you take action” -- David Greenfield, Automation World, editor in chief and TAC event director

The conference achieved this goal and more.  The framework of the sessions encouraged audience collaboration and dialogue around the challenges and practical steps and strategies being designed and deployed to achieve an integrated and scalable IoE architecture that drives value across the entire manufacturing value chain, as depicted in the video below:

I can “wax poetic” around all the great individual sessions held at the conference around Big Data, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), mobility, virtualization, cloud computing, cyber-physical security, network switching, CPwE (Converged Plantwide Ethernet), safety systems, workforce retention and optimization, but I think its more fun and interesting to summarize the highlights of the conference through the  context of a use case that was shared at the conference.

What better way to meet that objective than to leverage a manufacturing use case around beer!!!!

Automating Brewing Operations from Two Different Perspectives

I attended this session where Highland Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Vicinity Manufacturing gave an interesting perspective around the challenges and strategies in deploying their next generation manufacturing operation.

Highland Brewing is a regional brewer of craft beers based in the Southeast and Sierra Nevada is a larger brewer with more of national brand.  The interesting contrast between the two is that Highland Brewing is designing more automation into their operational facility and Sierra Nevada is scaling their automation and IoE strategies across all their facilities.   Both perspectives and approaches have the same objective.  How do I effectively integrate all the various technologies into an intelligent, flexible and scalable system/architecture to meet the following business outcomes:

  1. Increase Customer Loyalty
  2. Supply Chain Optimization
  3. Operational Excellence
  4. Energy Sustainability
  5. Disruptive Innovation

To paraphase Kevin Wheeler, Director of Operations, Highland Brewing Co,“Our core competency is crafting great beer. We have an opportunity to drive efficiency into our operation by an integrating IoT/IoE platform … the challenge is figuring out the best approach.”

Like Highland Brewing, manufacturers must begin to transform existing business processes and fundamentally rethink how they create, operate, and service smart, connected products in the IoE. For those that get it right, the future represents a huge opportunity to create product and service advantages.

Are you having challenges putting together the “IoE technology puzzle?”  Is security the main barrier to IoE adoption?

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