Clearly, there is a massive transformation going on in the Service Provider sector.  In fact, Cisco predicts that by 2021, the number of connected devices will be three times the global population, IP traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes on an annualized basis, and broadband speeds will double to 53 megabytes per second.

While this is explosive growth, the average revenue per user is not expected to rise.  This poses unique challenges, as well as opportunities, for services providers (SPs).  To overcome these challenges, SPs need to build new networking infrastructure that meets four key requirements:

1. The infrastructure – physical and virtual – needs to be efficient, both in terms of capital and operating expenses.

2. It needs to allow for new, innovative services that enable SPs to grow revenue.

3. To retain customers (and meet their ever-changing needs), the infrastructure needs to enable SPs to increase the speed and flexibility of offering new services.

4. And perhaps most importantly, it needs to be secure and unbreakable.

Cisco uniquely offers the most flexible and comprehensive portfolio of network solutions that help meet the needs of this new infrastructure.

While Cisco is heavily invested in silicon, optics, and systems innovation to drive efficient capital spending, I’m going to focus this blog, as well as a short video that I just recorded, on our network software offers—the network operating system and the network automation software, and how these two offerings help SPs build new networks with these four key requirements.

Network Operating System

The Cisco IOS XR operating system, with its support of silicon diversity, enables efficient capital spending.  Model-driven APIs and massive visibility enable automated networks driving operational efficiency and speed in delivering new services.

At Cisco, we have taken security to heart—we have put together a 360˚ architecture that secures the network device, secures the network, and secures all users and applications that are coming onto the network.  The IOS XR and automation software fully follows this architecture, making the whole architecture secure.  With its feature-rich capabilities, the IOS XR enables SPs to deploy new, revenue-generating services.

Network Automation Software

When it comes to automation software, we get really excited.  With the Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), a key building block, SPs can deploy new services quickly.  To this building block, we are adding telemetry and analytics, as well as algorithms for traffic optimization, to help SPs optimize the network for efficiency and enable them to use it as a mechanism for new revenue and new services. More than 80 customers around the world  are using Cisco’s NSO.

The bottom line is, our IOS XR software leads the industry, offering more to Service Providers than our competitors:

1. Silicon diversity – runs on Cisco and merchant silicon

2. Cloud-scale operations – model-driven programmability, telemetry, application hosting

3. Networking innovation – Segment Routing, EVPN, MACsec, timing and much more

4. Deploy everywhere – routing (Access, Core, Edge), optical transport on a wide range of physical form factors

5. Proven – built for service provider reliability and scale

6. Secure – 360˚ security architecture

I am very excited about Cisco’s software products.  When it comes to building the new network, the choice is simple.  Cisco is the only innovation partner that can deliver the scope and depth of technology and services that enable transformation and help build this infrastructure.  Ninety percent of all internet traffic travels over Cisco platforms.  Our global scale and reach is trusted by businesses and governments, as well as by our 70,000 partners.  In fact, ACG Research has named Cisco as the top-rated telecom vendor by a huge margin.

I invite you to discover all of the benefits that only Cisco can provide—visit our website for more information or check out the “Cisco Software Innovations for Cloud-Scale Networking” E-Book.


Sumeet Arora

SVP Engineering

Core Software Group - US