Ken Morse1207_-138Contributed By Dr. Ken Morse, Chief Technology Officer of Connected Devices at Cisco

To compete in today’s market, your network needs to support new business models and increase revenue while lowering your operating expenses.  You need a network that is:

  • Agile
  • Comprehensive
  • Open
  • Integrated
  • Extensible

In order to reach these goals the network is increasingly becoming virtualized.  Virtualization is being pursued across the architecture at all different levels — applications and networking functions now become compute workloads – but to fully reach value, virtualization cannot just be discrete implementations but rather needs to be automated and orchestrated together.

The benefits of virtualization are many:

  • Simplifies physical and virtual networks, reducing costs while increasing manageability.
  • Scales better and more rapidly
  • Delivers greater performance for virtualized environments through a better balance of resources.
    • Increases a Service Provider’s responsiveness to changing demands and conditions through increased flexibility
    • Improves software velocity by using cloud based tools to quickly provide new services.

Virtualized elements need to work as an integrated extension of the physical infrastructure.

  • The right type of implementation needs to be considered to achieve the desired business outcome
  • Relying on just a virtualized approach or just a physical infrastructure is too limiting.  Understanding which functions to virtualize is key.
  • Successful architectures will be an open, virtual-physical hybrid in order to reach scale, speed, and programmability goals while also maximizing ROI from existing network.

Virtualization shouldn’t be limited to only part of the network but rather placed throughout the whole architecture based on business needs. Virtualization of select services formally performed in Home Gateway CPE is one area where virtualization can provide operational efficiencies:

  • Security and firewall features: Respond quickly to new security threats without changing CPE software.
  • Parental control services:  Use cloud based portals for users to easily update their parental control preferences. Use deep packet inspection, web site white-lists and black-lists to filter traffic based on parental preferences.  Quickly respond to the creation of new web sites and filter traffic according to cloud based rules.  When blocking content, enable users to enable access under password control.

Virtualization is happening across the video and data service delivery domain and software elements of in-home CPE should be considered in this transition.


David Yates

as Director of Service Provider Video Marketing at Cisco