There was a time when the network was thought of as a bottleneck to innovation. It is the weakest link in the chain. Its rigid, inflexible and labor-laden infrastructure inhibits growth for the business, productivity for its workforce, and diminishes the experiences for customers. Those days are long gone. The network has been reimagined.

The Era of a Digital Network

Last week, with Cisco Digital Network Architecture (#CiscoDNA) announcement, we shared how an open, extensible, software-driven and services-centric network design not only enable, but also propel digital transformation. In two blog posts by Raakhee Mistry, she highlighted the design principles behind Cisco DNA and the market applications. Key take-away message: innovation requires IT agility. IT agility is powered by a software-driven network. 

Cisco Enterprise NFV – the key enabler

IT agility is the ability to respond to business demands in a fast and efficient manner. NFV enables that agility in three areas: the designing, the provisioning, and the management stages of the network infrastructure. However, only Service Providers and very large Enterprises have taken advantages of such NFV benefits thus far. That is no longer the case with Cisco Enterprise NFV. Our goal is to bring the same capabilities and more to all enterprises. That more part can be summarized as follows:

  1. Purpose-built software overlay (Cisco Enterprise NFVIS) optimized not just for applications, but also network functions. (More details in this post under Support System) NFVIS virtualizes and abstracts network functions from the underlying hardware, allowing Cisco and 3rd party virtual network functions (VNFs) to be managed independently and provisioned dynamically. But, we don’t stop there. Cisco NFVIS also adds life cycle management and service chaining capabilities. This helps ensure the health and performance of VNFs, ensuring the best user experience.
  2. Set of trusted Cisco network services as VNFs (ISRv, vWAAS, ASAv, and vWLC) to start the virtualization journey. This makes the path to virtualization easy and less cumbersome for a) Cisco customers as well as b) enterprises with a multi-vendor environment that includes Cisco.
  3. An orchestration app, Enterprise Service Automation (ESA), that works in tandem with NFVIS to unleash limitless possibilities in this “composable world” powered by SDN. Think “agility and flexibility” for NFV and “orchestration and management” for SDN. ESA is the fruit of that marriage. SDN and NFV allows enterprises to dynamically build what they need on a platform of their choosing and spin up and down services on-demand.

Imagine the following very likely ideals: having all of the above capabilities in (i) a converged infrastructure with a purpose-built server blade, such as the ISR with UCS-E, that can host apps in addition to virtual network functions and (ii) a hyper-converged infrastructure on commodity hardware. The possibilities are endless!

Register for Mar 22nd ENFV WebinarLearn more on March 22nd

Join us on March 22nd for an online webinar with Markus Voegele, Sr. Network Architect from IBM Aviation as well as Liad Ofek and Allison Park from Cisco. Hear how IBM Aviation is evaluating Enterprise NFV and get a preview of Cisco Enterprise NFV components.

Key learning includes market drivers for and application of Enterprise NFV, and how Cisco Enterprise NFV will enable

  • Seamless migration to NFV at your own pace, while preserving existing network investments
  • Virtualization of physical network services using the same trusted Cisco technologies
  • Speedy deployments and dramatically simplified network management
  • Rapid respond to new opportunities and empowerment for business innovation

In the meantime, read the overview about Cisco Enterprise NFV here.

Register for April 14-15 Ask the Experts Earmark April 14-15th

Post webinar, there is another opportunity to get your technical questions answered by a panel of Enterprise NFV experts in Cisco Enterprise Network communities. No time commitment needed. Just join the event, register, submit your questions during the open period, and then go about your day. Come back at a later time to check on your questions as well as read others.


Anna Duong

Products & Solutions Marketing

Enterprise Network and Cloud