Written by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions MarketingIgor Photo

If you had a chance to join us at Cisco Live Milan last month, thank you very much for making this another exciting event for all of us. If you missed out being there in person, let me give you a brief summary of the highlights. Milan is the main industrial, commercial, and financial center of Italy and a leading global city where the EXPO 2015  will take place. What could be better than such a city to host the Cisco Live 2015 event!   It proved to be fertile grounds for driving innovations with our service provider customers and partners.   Our exhibition was structured to tell the story of the fddOpen Network Strategy by presenting over 15 technology and business demos.    We also brought the newest routers and switches with us to showcase the latest innovations that service providers can start deploying today.   Last but not least we have teamed up with the DevNet area where attendees could get their hands on developing applications and learning on virtualization, orchestration, and automation.  Our service provider booth of the Cisco Campus in the World of Solutions was very busy: “standing room only” and so many insightful conversations were conversations around the NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and the SDN (Software Defined Networks), as pillars for delivering cloud services and an automated networking handling respectively, have matured significantly and are ready for prime time.

Let me cite Cloud VPN–a secure cloud services solution that delivers virtual services seamlessly, cost-effectively and on-demand to remote sites, users and businesses.  Our visitors have been able to learn how Cloud VPN automates the delivery of their cloud services with an easy-to-use GUI and cloud service delivery portal for their administrators and as a customizable, self-service portal for the Enterprise customers and internal users.   This very powerful solution, as an instance of Cisco’s Virtualized Managed Business Services, enables Service Providers to bring enterprise-grade services to the SMB’s.   Because of the broad set of virtualized network functions and a high level of automation, service providers can now scale with great agility and expand their offerings that drive new revenue streams opportunities.

Another solution that was very popular with the attendees at Cisco Live was Network Service Orchestration (NSO) powered by Tail-f.  In this NSO demo, visitors could experience how multivendor orchestration enables service providers to effectively configure, provision, and automate network infrastructure resources. This solution implements NETCONF protocol and the YANG data to simplify network programmability and automation.  NSO greatly leverages the power of YANG to model device and service parameters. This allows customers to build more robust and resilient products in less time.   These are the fundamental capabilities to grow business for service providers.

Cisco Live Milan 2As part of the Evolved Services Platform solution, we have shown how Cisco builds an extensive catalog of virtualized network functions.  Visitors could see how the Orchestration Engine responds to requests for services that are activated from a catalog of Virtualized Network Functions. In general Service Providers did learn how the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) enables Business Transformation.  They learned the platform’s business value by observing how business intents are automatically translated into operational execution at web speed.

It was truly a “seeing is believing” experience: the attendees could see for themselves how NfV orchestration and SDN-driven automation engine work together to create and provision services in real time to deliver desired business outcomes

On another note, we have demonstrated a tool that helps substantiate the ESP platform technologies and its offerings. This tool is of high essence when it comes to a need to better understand the untapped revenue opportunities.  It is called Cisco Monetization and Optimization Index (MOI).  MOI is quickly emerging as an essential industry resource and standard for understanding how service providers can position themselves for continued success.  We showed how MOI Index helps quantify how Cisco service provider architecture, products, and solutions can aid service providers in increasing business revenue, reducing operating expenses, and enhancing agility.

Cisco Live Milan 3

At the EPN layer, we showcased Autonomic networking, Segment Routing, and nV Technology. Operational Simplicity in the Access Networks has been further maturing since we’ve first introduced it at Cisco Live Milan last year in 2014. Now we have added “SDN” as a new supporting pillar for this solution. We invited attendees to learn how SDN and End-to-End Provisioning reduce truck rolls, result in fewer test sets in the field and increased reliability. They could see how a programmable approach reduces OpEx and CapEx and provides faster and higher return on their investment.

Another important innovation that service providers will now be able to deploy is Segment Routing. This routing innovation is designed to deliver significantly greater network programmability and efficiency. The demonstration showed how Segment Routing alleviates application networking complexity and provides high scalability by enabling edge routers to steer packets onto the most optimal network paths, intelligently responding to application requirements and network conditions.

Third EPN innovation focused on a powerful network management plane optimization and multilayer convergence. This demonstration allowed attendees to learn how to leverage the innovative nV technology to simplify operations and lower operational expenses. nV technology provides zero touch provisioning and is a very powerful plug-in-play solution not only in the IP layer but also providing a capability to add optical satellites to the IP system.

Milan show image4Our goal is to help service providers leverage NfV, SDN, and other pillars to optimize and modernize their infrastructure in order to transform their business. We are embracing, extending and accelerating SDN, NFV, Orchestration and automation capabilities. These solutions are now available and ready for deployment. Cisco is proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. We don’t just dream it. We do it! The connection of people, process, data and things is driving dramatic changes in organizations, communications and business models. Networked connections are becoming more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco is your best partner to transform your business.

I have been personally very excited while working with my team on preparing the service provider booth experience for you. For those of you who joined us in Milan, I am glad you were able to learn firsthand about the service provider transformation opportunities.   At the same time, I would like to welcome all of you and especially, those whose schedule did not allow them to be in Milan, to join us at Cisco Live San Diego in June 2015. There are more and new announcements waiting for you just as additional examples of our service provider Open Network Strategy. In the meantime, we have put together a list of key collateral that will help you understand the SP strategy.

We are looking forward to seeing you in San Diego.

Tweet us at @CiscoSP360 for questions or comments.


Greg Smith

Sr. Manager, Marketing

Cisco Solutions Marketing