Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cisco Expands its Service Provider Virtualization Platform

Cisco introduced an Evolved Services Platform (ESP) for Service Providers that leverages its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) offerings.


The Cisco ESP is a unified virtualization and orchestration software platform that creates, automates and provisions services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions, to deliver desired business outcomes for applications running across multiple domains.

Cisco said the primary characteristics of this virtualization and orchestration software platform are:

  • Open: Cisco ESP is multi-vendor and based on open standards and incorporating Openstack and Open Daylight (SDN) protocol suite, it is fully compliant with ETSI NFV MANO, 3GPP and more. With interoperation of third-party software, Cisco ESP works with Cisco’s virtual functions and with other vendors’ functions and applications such as Metaswitch Networks and Openwave Mobility.
  • Extensible: Cisco ESP offers the most comprehensive broad set of capabilities with more on the way and spanning across the entire service provider architecture – cloud, video, mobile and fixed – to provide service providers greater means to optimize their networks or create, automate the creation of new services as the business needs dictate.
  • Elastic: Cisco ESP allows service providers to seamlessly and dynamically scale their existing services while also dramatically accelerating deployment of new services and network functions. Resources are harnessed in an automated way when and where they are needed to enable providers deliver “On Demand” offerings at web speed.

As part of this ESP framework, Cisco is announcing the the first two modules:

  • Video: Cisco Videoscape Cloud DVR Solution – cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back digital video recorder-captured content from anywhere, on any screen. For the service provider, it enables new multi-screen offers. It is currently deployed in a major North American video operator.
  • Mobility: Cisco Virtualized Mobile Internet – New virtualized mobile services, such as sponsored data, where the content provider pays to deliver data to the user, provide new revenue opportunities for service providers. Such capabilities are now possible in an even broader use case with the introduction of the Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (vPC), the Cisco Virtual Gi-LAN capabilities and the Cisco Quantum Services Bus. It is currently in trials at China Mobile as well as other service providers.


Significantly, Cisco will sell these SDN + NFV solutions in four ways:

Virtual Functions: Individual virtual functions may be purchased independently as a separate module and run in a network over general computing (e.g., hardware independent and hypervisor independent).

Orchestrated: Virtualized functions and orchestration, which enables the benefits of the all the different capabilities to work in a “networked” or “service chaining” approach  to deliver expanded functionality and address even wider market opportunities.

Pod: Virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and a hardware package -- implementation in a Pod approach -- Cisco leads the deployment of the Cisco ESP and offers service level agreements and guaranteed performance, working atop of Cisco infrastructure and including Cisco integration consulting services.

“As a Service”: A model where complete service offers that include virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and delivered through a hosted or third-party cloud for faster time-to-market, using a pay-as-you-go model.

“Service providers success is dependent on providing a consistent experience, agility to roll out new services and the ease at which these services can be ordered, automated, managed and delivered,” said Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer, Cisco. “Service providers globally view virtualization not just to reduce costs but to have it work with their infrastructure to provide even greater value by means of increased agility and elasticity. As the industry leader in networking, we are not only committed to but executing on our strategy to enable our customers through this transition.”

http://www.cisco.com

In January, as part of its recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) initiative, Cisco introduced an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module for extending high-performing applications from the data center to wide-area networks (WAN) and local access networks (LAN). The goal is to provide enterprises with complete visibility into their networks, automating network and policy configuration while managing applications across the WAN and access networks.

The Cisco APIC serves as the single point of automation and fabric element management in
both physical and virtual environments.

The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module is constructed of three elements: a consolidated network information database, policy infrastructure and automation.

To address security concerns, Cisco APIC automates network-wide rapid threat detection and mitigation by integrating and automating Cisco Sourcefire  security solutions.  For compliance management across branches and headquarters, Cisco APIC also provides network-wide Quality of Service (QoS), and accelerates Intelligent WAN (IWAN) deployments. It can also be used with third-party solutions to provide an end-to-end WAN orchestration and management.

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