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Cisco software moves service providers toward SDN

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 1:35pm
Brian Santo

Cisco introduced a software control system for service provider networks designed to create, automate and provision services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions.

In keeping with the trend toward software defined networking (SDN), Cisco’s new software suite, called the Evolved Services Platform (ESP), aims to abstract network control, so that even if a service provider has a mix of network types (fixed, mobile, Wi-Fi), the provider can manage everything as if it were a single, integrated network.

The Cisco ESP works with the Cisco Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) and is designed to enable service providers to accelerate the delivery of innovative new services, increase revenues by offering consistent and differentiated experiences, and decrease operational expenses by optimizing existing network infrastructures, the company said.

ESP resides between the application and Cisco EPN layers of the architecture. Cisco is calling ESP an open system – multi-vendor and based on open standards and incorporating Openstack and Open Daylight (SDN) protocol suite. Cisco said ESP is fully compliant with ETSI NfV MANO, 3GPP and other standards.

With interoperation of third-party software, Cisco ESP works with Cisco’s virtual functions and with other vendors’ functions and applications such as Broadsoft, Metaswitch Networks and Openwave Mobility.

Cisco said ESP spans cloud, video, mobile and fixed, and added that the system is dynamically scalable.

Two Service Modules

At the same time, Cisco is also announcing the availability of the first two modules for deployment. They are: 

1)      The Videoscape Cloud DVR Solution. This solution provides for 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.

2)      The Virtualized Mobile Internet: Enables 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 and other service providers around the globe.

Cisco said that more than 25 service providers around the globe are already using aspects of the ESP system, including China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH, SunGard Availability Services and Telecom Italia.

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