Bright House Networks, the sixth-largest owner and operator of cable systems in the United States, has deployed the Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) to support cloud-based, managed services for businesses, such as hosted voice, call center, application and infrastructure-as-a-service. The Cisco NCS also supports Bright House Networks' managed security, network transport, Wi-Fi and traditional voice and data services to business customers.
Bright House Networks is the first cable operator to deploy the Cisco NCS 6000, which offers the industry's first 1 terabits per second (Tbps) line card with the capability of transporting up to 5 Tbps per slot and a total system capacity of 1.2 petabits per second (Pbps) in a multi-chassis configuration to support a converged Internet Protocol (IP) and optical environment.
Cisco said its NCS 6000 delivers programmability and virtualization capabilities that enables Bright House Networks to accommodate growing network traffic and seize the opportunity created by trillions of programmable device-driven events and generated by the Internet of Everything (IoE), the networked connection of people, data, processes and things. The Cisco NCS 6000 works together with the Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS) and Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers to act as a foundational network fabric.
"Our continued collaboration with Cisco allows us to be one of the first cable operators in the United States to offer comprehensive, world-class, cloud-based services to businesses and consumers. Working with Cisco we're able to quickly bring new business and residential services to market and perform in-service software upgrades without any downtime or service interruption or degradation," stated Craig Cowden, chief network officer and senior vice president of Enterprise Solutions, Bright House Networks.
"With our widely Evolved Programmable Network solutions for converged networks, we are now able to deliver software-defined networking and network functions virtualization innovations that accelerate new business possibilities for Bright House Networks. We are pleased to have met Bright House Networks' expectations in a short period of time, giving them the ability to optimize and monetize their network through carrier-class, cloud-based and managed services for businesses and consumers," said Bill Gartner, vice president and general manager, High-End Routing and Optical Group, Cisco.
The Cisco NCS family serves as network fabric and orchestration system uniting the Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS) and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) product lines. It can be deployed as part of the Cisco ONE Service Provider Architecture, which embraces and extends SDN/NFV. The NCS family leverages several innovations:
Programmable Silicon: The NCS features the recently announced Cisco nPower X1 integrated network processor, which is also used in the CRS-X. The nPower X1 packs 336 cores and 4 billion transistors on a single chip. It also features new memory technology , the nPower X1 implementation achieves
unprecedented levels of performance, functionality, programmability and scale for a network processor.
Intelligent Convergence for Optimization and Simplification: The Cisco NCS converges IP and optical networks and is designed to seamlessly integrate with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) and the Dynamic Fabric Automation capabilities supported by Cisco's data center innovations. This convergence capability enables the NCS to act as a flexible foundational network fabric for an evolved programmable network, able to shift and redirect data center, core, edge and optical resources spontaneously and in real time, allowing service providers to accelerate service velocity while reducing overall complexity and operating costs.
Advanced Virtualization Capabilities: The NCS's element, system and architectural virtualization capabilities converge to enable the system to orchestrate services and resources across disparate physical, virtual and geographical elements as if they are part of a single unified system using Cisco Prime and Cisco Quantum solutions. The system's advanced virtualization features enable service providers to elastically scale up and down both network and compute resources, utilizing scalable multichassis configurations that can be managed as a single entity. If system scale is exceeded in one part of the network, the NCS moves control plane functions onto UCS servers in the data center, creating virtually unlimited control plane scale by capitalizing on the blade servers' processing.
The Cisco NCS family consists of three key components that can be managed as a single integrated system for business agility and simplified operations:
NCS 6000 -- the flagship router boasts the ability to transport up to 5 Tbps per slot and 1.2 Pbps per system. By using its 100 Gbps,CMOS-based CPAK transceivers Cisco is delivering the first 1 Tbps line card. Each line card runs up to 1 Tbps throughput, using a mix of 10, 40, or 100 Gbps interfaces per card. Significantly, the NCS 6000 will run virtualized IOS-XR instances while supporting hardware-enabled true zero-packet, zero-topology loss (ZPL/ZTL) In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU). This will enable lossless software image updates. Thanks to the CMOS silicon photonics and new network processor, Cisco said the NCS 6000 will achieve the lowest carbon footprint in service provider routing . The NCS 6000 is currently shipping.
NCS 4000 -- bridges the gap between the IP and optical layers with time division multiplexing (TDM), packet switching, and integrated DWDM functionality. It will support 400 Gbps per slot and 6.4 Terabits per system and be available in single, back-to-back, and multi-chassis configurations. It will offer full optical channel data unit (ODU-0) level switching, with ports supporting SONET/SDH, Ethernet, and channelized OTN Full IP, MPLS, MPLS-Transport Profile (TP), and Carrier Ethernet switching, supporting 10 Gb, 40 Gb, and 100 Gb Ethernet interfaces with the option of OTN encapsulation. The NCS 4000 will be available in the first half of 2014.
NCS 2000 -- a DWDM transport platform that evolves the Cisco ROADM portfolio by introducing 96-channel nLight ROADM technology. It offers touchless re-configurability through colorless, omni-directional, and contention-less add/drop, networks. The NCS 2000 introduces hybrid Raman-EDFA amplifiers known as erbium doped Raman amplifiers (EDRA). The NCS 2000 is currently shipping.
The three platforms are designed to work as a single, integrated system.
"The Cisco NCS was engineered with the programmability, intelligence and scalability to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. The NCS delivers an evolved programmable network that will enable service providers to generate new revenue streams and business models, while delivering exciting new experiences to their customers," stated Surya Panditi, SVP and GM, Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group.
Cisco named three early adopters for NCS: BSkyB (Sky), KDDI and Telstra.