Making a Case for Programmatic Interfaces in Existing Service Provider Networks – Going Beyond Software Defined Networks
The communications industry has come a long way from fixed, inflexible telephone service optimized for voice to dynamic IP-based connections offering converged voice, data, and video capabilities. Now, both residential and business users are increasingly more mobile and distributed, as are the cloud-based services, applications, and content they want to utilize. Service providers must therefore support a more diverse customer base with more distributed content and applications across multiple geographies, yet still maintain a secure, reliable, and consistent quality of experience regardless of device and physical location.
In the face of greater traffic demands and the risk of becoming lower-margin “commoditized pipes,” network operators must react to three key challenges:
- Providing value-added capabilities that leverage the network’s unique value to improve the customer experience by enabling dynamic interaction between underlying layers of the network infrastructure, and the application development environments that allow rapid creation of new services.
- Maintaining profitability by managing traffic growth – especially from video applications – while still ensuring that sufficient network capacity is available
- Creating new services (and hence new revenue) by teaming with content and application providers.
We recently introduced the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) framework to enable operators to capitalize on their existing network infrastructure while being able to add new technologies, services, and monetization opportunities. The Cisco ONE framework fully integrates an operator’s underlying network infrastructure and services with application environments, allowing applications to talk to the infrastructure and the infrastructure to better respond to application requests. This facilitates new business models and allows apps developers to communicate directly to the network without having to understand all the underlying complexities and subsystems that compose it. The result is an evolutionary framework providing a variety of operational and business benefits.
Cisco’s own David Ward recently posted a detailed explanation around Service Abstraction, Importance of Programmatic Interfaces, and Standards efforts to allow the Service Providers to augment their existing multivendor environment and participate in this new digital economy.