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The Evolution of Branch Connectivity

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the chance to come up from my rabbit hole of deployment projects and catch up on the tech news. In particular, the announcement at Interop New York where Cisco announced the new ISR 4400 family of routers along with a few other articles got me to thinking about how far branch office connectivity has come in the past decade or so and to a question: is one method of branch connectivity better than another?

In the Beginning…

In the past decade or so we have seen substantial change in how we connect to the internet and how fast we do so. Early on (circa early 2000s) the internet was fairly flat. Real time voice and video were still a thing of science fiction. In the enterprise we connected remote offices back to the central office via leased lines over a frame relay network. T1s were considered good and if you had a DS-3 link you must have been in a big IT shop. Compute services were limited to corporate email (Outlook/Exchange were the new kids on the block) and client/server based systems. Read More »

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E-VPN and PBB-EVPN Take Data Center Interconnect to the Next Level

Tina-lamBy Tina Lam, Product Manager

MPLS based Layer 2 VPN has been around for over 10 years since the inception of IETF Pseuduowire Edge to Edge (PWE3) Working Group. Many drafts and standards have been added, since then, to address different applications and to improve scale and convergence in different topologies. L2VPN as a whole is widely deployed in both service providers and enterprises, from Ethernet services, to fixed and mobile convergence, to enterprise campus layer-2 transport.

Recently, one emerging driver that has been picking up a lot of momentum is to use L2VPN for Data Center Interconnect (DCI). Data centers are often situated in different locations, to be geo-redundant for the purpose of workload mobility and business continuity. At the same time the physical location of the data center has to be transparent to users and to applications. Hence the need for layer-2 connectivity between sites. While Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS) and Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) have been used for this purpose, DCI presents new requirements and challenges not fully addressed today.  To keep the data center always on, and to utilize all the resources and links as efficiently as possible, data centers need all-active redundancy and load balancing. The technology should be as simple as possible to provision and manage Read More »

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Data Center Interconnect using nV Edge Clustering

Data Center Connections using “nV edge”

The ASR 9000 product family has recently come out with a new feature called nV Edge (nV = Network Virtualization).   This feature unifies the data center edge control, data and management planes. So, I’ll note a couple things here on this feature and then tell you why I think it has potential to be truly awesome.

My good friend Rabiul Hasan just wrote  a proof of concept document just posted to Design Zone that provides  the configuration and setup details.  I encourage you to go check it out here.

Read More »

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The DCI Blog is Here!

Hi,

Part of Cisco’s Data Center strategy includes Data Center Interconnect (DCI).  DCI is a solutions-based approach to virtualize an organization’s 2 or more Data Centers.  That is, multiple Data Centers can be architected so that they can seamlessly share resources while also delivering new services addressing today’s business challenges and opportunities.

I’m a Product Manager in our Systems Architecture and Strategy Unit (SASU) where we develop DCI enabled architectures *and* put them through our solutions test bed.  Our output includes White Papers, Industry Presentations as well as Design and Implementation Guides with the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) designation.

My ultimate goal here is to share what’s happening and help point you in the right direction as you make your DCI decision or just want to learn about the solution in general. To get you started, please check out our DesignZone as well as more specific DCI content here.

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