Telecom operators: The key pillars of virtualization

Cisco believes a virtual network should be more than the sum of its parts

As businesses go digital, they will need new kinds of networks to support them – networks that allow them to deliver the flexible, adaptable products their customers now expect.

The enabler of this change is virtualisation. This is technology that decouples the functioning of a network from its physical infrastructure, making it more efficient and agile. As a result, virtualisation also lets you orchestrate and deliver elastic, easily scalable services.

Major service providers like AT&T, Telefonica and Verizon are now investing in virtualisation to help them provide more flexible, modern services.

But what does making the move to a virtual network involve on a practical basis? Let’s take a closer look.

Solid foundations

Cisco approaches the move towards virtualisation from a holistic point of view. We believe that the performance of a virtual network should be more than the sum of its individual parts. It depends on a consistent, optimised network architecture.

The Cisco NFV infrastructure (NFVI), which includes the high-performing network component, the Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS), is the solid foundation that underpins its virtual networks.

The NFVI offers high availability, reliability, and predictable performance. It provides all the compute, storage, networking infrastructure and software needed to run NFV software services.

On top of this basic architecture, we also offer use cases: solutions specially designed to help service providers with their key challenges, ready to be deployed immediately.

They include the Cisco Ultra Services Platform and Cisco Virtual Managed Services which both help mobile operators launch and deploy new services faster and more efficiently, as well as the Cisco Infinite Video Platform which helps providers deliver services like OTT video.

The third pillar of virtualisation is the orchestration engine – the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator. This helps integrate and automate different components across the network, enabling providers to make the best use of their resources and deploy services as rapidly as possible.

The fourth, and all-pervasive, pillar of virtualisation is security . While it has the potential to create new security threats, in the right hands, a virtual network makes it easier to take a holistic approach to security, bringing greater visibility and control.

Expertise in these key virtual network technologies means that we have been able to help many service providers lay the foundations for success in the new digital landscape.

Creating a cloud VPN for Deutsche Telekom

One service provider that Cisco technology is helping to thrive is  Deutsche Telekom (DT).

DT used Cisco virtualisation technology, including its NFVI, to create a cloud virtual private network (VPN) that gives small and medium businesses a simple way to choose, subscribe to and activate secure and scalable Internet services, through a self-service online portal. (look here)

DT’s customers can use a dashboard to track the status and performance of their services and upgrade their package. They can increase the number of users or the bandwidth with a click of a mouse. Provisioning is automatic, and carried out in real time from DT’s data centre.

And there are many more ways in which virtual networks can be used to provide agile, on-demand services. But while the idea of virtualisation may be relatively easy to grasp, the practical details still need to be carefully planned and executed in order for it to be a success.

Cisco’s expertise and experience mean that many leading businesses trust it to provide the support they need.

And in addition to its experience, Cisco is committed to continuous innovation, meaning that it’s always able to offer informed, up to date advice to service providers who want to make a success of virtualisation. We understand complexity – which means we can help make virtualisation as simple as possible for you.

Find out how a virtualised network can help you provide agile, on-demand services. Read more about the Cisco NFVI Infrastructure.

Key takeaways

– As businesses go digital, they will need new, more flexible networks to help them provide the agile, on-demand services their customers expect.

Virtualisation, which decouples the functioning of a network from its physical infrastructure, is at the heart of this move.

– Cisco’s NFV infrastructure, specific use cases, orchestration engine and holistic approach to security are the key technologies it uses to implement virtualisation.

– Cisco’s expertise and experience in these key areas mean that many leading service providers trust it to provide the support they need as they introduce virtual networking.


Volker Tegtmeyer

Senior Manager, Product and Solution Marketing

SP Cloud Virtualization