Igor-dayenWritten By Igor Dayen, Manager, Service Provider Marketing, Cisco

Cisco Live! 2014 in San Francisco was bigger, better, and bolder than ever this year. There was a record breaking 25,000 registered customers, partners, press and analysts at the event. The Service Provider Program has allowed the attendees to witness firsthand latest innovations and solutions as the service provider booth made its debut on the show floor.  Cisco Live! was packed with educational sessions and our booth staffers ran live demonstrations to solutions to provide visual proof points to the material presented during the breakouts.  This was also a debut for the Service Provider to have its own booth in the Main Cisco campus.  As the 2014 US edition of Cisco Live! in San Francisco came to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts and links with our readers so that they can tune into some of the great content and photos of the event.

Watch our postcard video that takes a look at activity in the service provider booth at this year’s show! 1

L2ike any good story starts, the week for the Service Provider program kicked off with an energizing keynote by David Ward, Kit Beall, and Kelly Ahuja. During the SP Keynote, Kit Beall posed a question once asked by the novelist Victor Hugo: “Will the future ever arrive?” This resonated very well with the theme of the overall program for service providers at Cisco Live. Before the event we had posted an SP community blog where we began exploring the value of SP open network architecture. With the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) and the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) architectures being the key pillars of SP open network architecture you have more options on how you will architect and build your network so that the applications can be successfully deployed. But is that really enough for the service providers to evolve in the future? Cisco’s answer is agility, lower costs, and new revenue opportunities made achievable with virtualization, programmability, and open standards that come with SP open network architecture. When architected this way, services can be deployed more efficiently, faster and with better SLAs. At Cisco we provide the solution which exactly does that. Overall, during the SP keynote the key message to service .providers was innovation, automation, and virtualization.

Following the three key announcements during May 2014, it was not too surprising that the service provider booth in the World of Solutions was one of the hotspots on the entire show floor.

Just in time for Cisco Live we have unveiled the Elastic Access portfolio including new mobile backhaul capabilities and GPON solution aimed at enabling service providers to affordably expedite the delivery of such offers as sophisticated bandwidth-on-demand, business cloud-based managed services, and subscriber mobile broadband. These Carrier Ethernet innovations will extend Cisco’s Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) capabilities to the access with specific focus on automating the provisioning process and reducing operational costs.   We demonstrated to customers how we’ve extended zero-touch network Virtualization (nV) provisioning to the farthest endpoints and have simplified operation of access nodes.  Another live demo leveraging virtual controllers that are able to dynamically adjust resources allowed us to explain how Cisco brings elasticity to access networks with the virtualization technology.

Beefing up its arsenal of software-defined networking (SDN) components, the company last week announced the availability of the Cisco WAN Automation Engine, or WAE, which is part of its Evolved Services Platform (ESP) layer of the SP open network architecture. Cisco has brought automated services functionality to its SDN and NFV platform, allowing operators to view and control functions across multi-vendor networks. Another key milestone in the company’s NfV and SDN strategy is here.  We ran WAE demos with the following use cases of “bandwidth on demand”, “bandwidth calendaring”, and “policy-based planning” to explain how these new capabilities  provide service providers with tools they need to analyze, visualize, and control functions across multi-vendor wide area networks.

The ESP architecture consists of a service broker and a catalog of virtual functions (components of the offerings) and an orchestration engine, which is essentially the factory that produces the applications themselves.  This has been captured in our new demo called “ESP Interactive Test Drive”.   This demo provides very clear explanation on the ESP architecture by allowing users get into the shoes of both the Enterprise Business User and the service provider.   Watch a short video on the ESP to get a sneak peek of the story that this demo will explain.


As part of the third announcement, we brought the application Monetization and Optimization Index (MOI) that is a service provider business and technology framework that shows service providers new revenue and cost savings opportunities using Cisco’s Evolved Services Platform and Evolved Programmable Networks.  This includes technologies such as orchestration, SDN/NFV over their multivendor physical and virtual networks. At Cisco booth, we explained how MOI gives you a view of service innovations in each of Cloud, Mobile and Video that can make more money for service providers.


Our ambition to build and turn on an end-to-end network at the event  became a success.  The entire family of the routing and switching portfolio was showcased at the SP booth.   For this event we had set up  an NCS 6000 (core),  ASR 9000 (edge), access (ASR 901, ASR 903, ME3800X  ME1200), and the Innovation Pod – all connected  to form an end-to-end EPN network.

5Our demo of the ASR 901S, the rugged small cell backhaul router, was an instant hit.  We called it “Frozen” as we had placed into a sub-freezing environment.   In this demo we have shown how ASR 901S router is automatically discovered, and provisioned via autonomic network technology.  Ultimately, we have shown how ASR 901S can perform small cell backhaul under extreme conditions. ASR 901S is part of the access family of products is positioned to break the small cell backhaul bottleneck.

6The Internet of Everything (IoE) has already started to transform the world—and it is the next big wave of growth in the telecom industry. We had an opportunity to participate in the IoE conversation and show how service providers are uniquely positioned to enable the journey to the IoE. We brought CRS, ASR 9000, nV satellites, and the ASR 901 cell site router to the IoE booth on the show floor, to illustrate how service providers can efficiently deploy and manage mobile devices. We were able to explain how automating the creation of new services is critical for keeping up with the pace of the IoE.

As part of the service provider program several Cisco Executives shared their point of view on how Cisco’s strategy helps service providers be able to monetize and optimize their offerings to business users and consumers.

7Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Doug Webster  Learn how Cisco and service providers can partner and how Cisco can help service providers evolve their business.

8Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Kelly Ahuja  Listen to the overview of the SP architectures and what key challenges that service providers customers are having.

9Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Dave Ward  Learn what role NfV plays in building out the network and top benefits of working with Cisco when it comes to SDN.

10Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Surya Panditi  Understand the importance of the EPN and how service provider can benefit from deploying NCS series of products.

11Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Liz Centoni  Learn how innovations in the access are helping service provider customers transform their business.

12Cisco Live 2014: Executive Interview – Kit Beall  Learn how Cisco is listening and addressing business requirements of the service provider customers

Cisco Live 2014 was a success.  We got an opportunity to tell Cisco SP story to customers in many different ways and we did it.  It could not have been done without the efforts of the entire engineering team who showcased our solutions and innovations and it could not be done without Cisco customers and partners whose presence made this experience very fulfilling.  To keep our conversation going, please check out the Cisco Live Online webpage with the latest videos and white papers and of course visit main SP page on Cisco website:  cisco.com/go/sp .


Greg Smith

Sr. Manager, Marketing

Cisco Solutions Marketing