In the future, service providers are likely to use more complex network models, with orchestration used to draw together diverse physical and virtual elements

More and more telecom operators and IT service providers are deciding to go digital, as the benefits of being able to offer customers bespoke, flexible services become increasingly clear.

The companies that succeed in the future will be those whose products can be driven by the needs of customers, rather than defined by the limitations of their technology.

And running a virtual network makes it much easier for you to offer your customers what they want. For example, giving them the chance to design their own network services and pay for them as they use them.

The need for change is intensified by the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Cisco research has forecast that by 2020 there will be 26.3 billion networked devices and connections globally – that’s 10 billion more than in 2015.

As our cars, homes and cities all become connected, and as the demand for online video continues to surge, being able to bring agile new products quickly to market will be the key to growth.

On the other hand, service providers who don’t go virtual will miss the new opportunities.

Things are moving fast, and it’s important not to be left behind.

Managing the virtual transition

It’s one thing to decide to move to a virtual network. But when you look at what the process involves, you’re faced with a whole range of further questions.

It’s usually not possible for a service provider to transform itself in one stroke. Making the move to a virtual network is more likely to involve a gradual journey.

Many networks will remain hybrid for some time, with virtualisation used to enhance the physical network, rather than completely replace it. And it’s becoming increasingly common to use elements from different vendors.

Managing this change is a delicate operation. One that could bring real rewards, but that you definitely don’t want to get wrong.

We have extensive experience in providing technology and support to complex networks. So we’re able to advise service providers on how to make your virtualisation journey a success.

And we’re proven creators of innovative, high quality technology. The Cisco NFVI infrastructure is well suited to support a gradual evolution to virtual networks.

It has a modular design, meaning it can be easily adapted as your network evolves, drawing together the best of physical and virtual network technology.

Flexibility through open sources and orchestration

We are also committed to creating standards from our innovation (for example, we actively contribute to IETF), giving you greater freedom to tailor your network to your precise needs, and to adapt it as your situation changes.

We also contribute to high-profile open source initiatives, including OpenStack, The Fast Data Project fd.io, OPNFV, Open Daylight and more.

In our increasingly connected world, it no longer makes sense to work in silos. We also want to help create a strong foundation for virtualisation across the industry.

With service providers creating more complex networks, it’s essential for your network to have a central ‘brain’ that can provision capacity in real time and automate processes. This is the role performed by the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO)

Our expertise in network hardware puts us in an excellent position to manage an effective virtualisation change, helping you build on the strengths of your existing systems.

Our holistic approach can take the pressure off, making sure you retain carrier class reliability, but with added adaptability and agility.

That’s why many leading service providers are now using our technology to support their creation of hybrid and multivendor networks using open architecture.

Every service provider goes about things differently. And we are well-placed to help you make the change in a way that works for you.

Find out more about how Cisco technology can help you make your network faster and more agile. Read more about the Cisco NFV Infrastructure


Key takeaways

Making the transition to a virtual network is likely to involve a gradual journey.

– Many networks will remain hybrid for some time, with virtualisation used to enrich and enhance the physical network, rather than completely replace it.

– An open source driven approach to technology is creating open and multivendor network architectures.

– We are well-placed to support service providers as they create these new complex and evolving networks, through our expertise, orchestration technology, and commitment to open standards.





Volker Tegtmeyer

Senior Manager, Product and Solution Marketing

SP Cloud Virtualization