In a series of blogs, I am going to share how Cisco’s Modular Network Automation framework named “Crosswork” will help Service Providers drive strong business outcomes from automating network functions and daily Operations. We will also look at how this framework has the ability to leverage any device, any controller, and any vendor. Finally, we will look at how Cisco’s Network Automation framework helps deliver new revenue opportunities for Service Providers through Self Service and Personalized Services for their customers.

Blog  1.

Business Outcomes are driving the journey from Finger Defined Networking (FDN) to Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The industry is going through an exponential surge in bandwidth consumption along with high volumes of new devices/subscribers coming on line every day. It is fair to say that the Operation teams of Service Providers will struggle to keep up with adding many more devices every year in their current operating environments. The proliferation of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to new business opportunities, but it will depend on Software Defined Networking (SDN) to deliver network performance with broader connectivity. Cisco’s Industry leading Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), Wide Area Networks (WAN) Automation Engine (WAE) and Segment Routing XR Traffic Controller (XTC) are the basic building blocks of our SDN solution within the Cisco Crosswork Automation framework.

Operational benefits of converting from FDN to SDN:

Automation of network functions and speed are needed to  meet the diverse needs of customers with a high level of quality of service.

Network automation: Cisco’s Automation framework helps automate workflows, services and applications – increasing efficiency in network resources and maximised path optimisation. Management and orchestration of network and services are centralised into an extensible orchestration platform by  automating the provisioning and configuration of the entire infrastructure and network services.

Speed and agility: In a rapidly changing network environment, IT policies or resource allocation are evolving all the time. In addition, deployment of new applications and business services has to be fast. With Cisco’s Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), networks are managed centrally and rolled out across the enterprise in real time, responding speedily to new business challenges with less bandwidth. To complement, Cisco’s NSO makes it easy to orchestrate application-based service chaining, accelerating delivery.

Orchestrated Assurance: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator solution’s augmented intelligence automatically tests deployed services and proactively monitors service quality from end user point of view providing quality assurance. Service providers can validate SLAs and resolve issues faster, bridging the gap between service fulfillment and assurance.

Business Outcomes from SDN

Our Modular Network Automation framework enables network optimisation and helps deliver use cases that reduces both Capex and Opex.  According to Cisco’s  analysis on automation, some typical results include up to 70 percent improvement in operational efficiency and up to 30 percent revenue uplift. Other business outcomes from SDN include:

Scalability: Deploying large number of network elements, integrating the network, activating services, on-boarding millions of subscribers or IoT devices, managing network operations and service up-time can be achieved with mass-scale automation. Cisco’s Automation Framework delivers complete lifecycle management for all the building blocks of network. It is  automated to minimise human resources and errors, and enables optimal traffic flows through network path optimisation.

Reduced manual errors: Human driven network changes are prone to errors, time consuming, and lack comprehensive validation. This is greatly reduced by automating the provision and configuration of the entire infrastructure and services. This typically reduces opex overhead and technician’s precious time spent on manual work. Embarrassing network/service outage and unpleasant customer experience can also be avoided.

Agility: Augmented intelligence residing in SDN with close loop automation enhances network responsiveness. Application deployment can be as fast as minutes on any platform without compromising user experience. This gives service providers the flexibility to meet network-on-demand offering self-service portals. Delivery of network services are faster and network’s ability to quickly and proactively resolve issues when they arise to ensure customer quality of service. This is also the result of auto-remediation and self-healing with big data analytics and augmented intelligence.

Here are some of the use cases delivered by Cisco’s Transport SDN and Automation framework:

  1. Orchestrated Network Optimisation
  2. Seamless Network Optimisation (Bandwidth Optimisation)
  3. Bandwidth on Demand
  4. Operating System Upgrades
  5. Device Port turn up
  6. Zero Touch provisioning
  7. Device and Service migration
  8. Metro Ethernet services.

The result of network automation is enhanced customer experience, faster service delivery, with increased business realisation and productivity.

See how our customers are using Cisco Crosswork Network Automation to automate their network engineering and operations. It is the solution framework for Service Providers to automate their operations and manage mass-scale network more efficiently, with agility and predictability.

Learn more about Cisco’s partnership with Reliance Jio and other customers of Cisco’s Network Automation framework.



Andrew Eaton

General Manager,Management and Orchestration Software Sales

Global Service Provider - Asia Pacific & Japan