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Validating Cisco's Service Provider Virtualization & Cloud Portfolio

Light Reading
Prime Reading
Light Reading

The big question facing every communications service provider (CSP) right now is: How can I build and run a programmable, intelligent, responsive, efficient, flexible, secure yet open network that has a high degree of automation, enables me to configure and activate new services quickly, makes best use of emerging cloud capabilities, meets customers' needs and helps me make money?

In British soccer circles, that's called "a big ask."

Yes, it's a major challenge but it's not insurmountable. There are many smart innovators in the global communications and networking technology sector working on the answers and coming up with solutions every day. What CSPs need to know is whether these new, next-generation, New IP technologies can meet their needs right now and in the future. As an independent and trusted media organization at the heart of the global communications technology community, Light Reading is best placed to provide some critical answers to these all-important questions.

As part of that role, Light Reading asked another independent and trusted organization, the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), to visit Cisco Systems in San Jose, Calif., put itself in the shoes of a CSP and conduct a series of validation and verification exercises on a number of Cisco cloud, software-defined networking (SDN) and virtualization platforms, which Cisco has been developing during the past few years.

The EANTC team spent two weeks at Cisco's premises, conducting multiple tests, asking lots of important questions and keeping track of what they did, why they did it and what the outcomes were.

This report is the result of those two weeks. On the following pages you will find the EANTC team's blow-by-blow account of how they analyzed, verified and used Cisco's technology in the same way as a network operator team, and the results of their findings.

What's important to note is that the EANTC team adapted its modus operandi in a way that was relevant to the cloud environment it encountered. EANTC is known for testing the attributes, limits and multivendor deployment suitability of networking technology. While many of the same techniques were used in this engagement with Cisco, EANTC found itself faced not so much with a set of boxes that needed to be evaluated for performance but instead with a more holistic service-enabling architecture and environment that could be functionally explored and put through its paces.

What they found is that a number of complex provisioning and fault management aspects of service provider networks can be automated and programmed on demand, and that services can be rolled out much more quickly and easily than with traditional configuration and activation tools.

Here's what's covered in the report:

Page 2: EANTC Heads to San Jose
Page 3: Step 1: The CSP Evaluation and Proof of Concept Stage
Page 4: Step 2: The Deployment Stage – Cisco Service Provider SDN Deployment Tools
Page 5: WAN Automation Engine: Maintenance Planning
Page 6: Cisco WAN Automation Engine – Disjoint Tunnel Creation
Page 7: Cisco WAN Automation Engine – Bandwidth On Demand
Page 8: Cisco WAN Automation Engine – Bandwidth Calendaring
Page 9: Cisco WAN Automation Engine – Tunnel Split/Merge Manager
Page 10: WAN Automation Engine Summary
Page 11: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator enabled by Tail-f
Page 12: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Service Provisioning
Page 13: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Service Modification
Page 14: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Service Restoration
Page 15: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Service Restoration Due to Node Failure
Page 16: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Device Management
Page 17: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator – Service Model Modification
Page 18: Cisco Network Service Orchestrator (NSO) – Tests Summary
Page 19: Step 3: The Cloud Services Creation and Delivery Stage, Cisco Cloud Managed VPN Solution for Virtual Managed Services
Page 20: Cisco Cloud VPN: Behind the scenes
Page 21: Cisco Cloud VPN Solution Life Cycle Conclusion
Page 22: Production Environment Application Demonstrations – Project Squared and Mobility IQ
Page 23: Conclusion: Meaningful Developments

The following pages, then, deliver a detailed account of the EANTC team's processes and findings. We hope you find the report informative and useful.

— The Light Reading team and Jambi I. Ganbar, Senior Technical Marketing Manager and Carsten Rossenhövel, Managing Director, European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) (http://www.eantc.de/), an independent test lab in Berlin. EANTC offers vendor-neutral network test facilities for manufacturers, service providers, and enterprises.

Next page: EANTC Heads to San Jose

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User Rank: Light Beer
3/12/2015 | 1:07:36 AM
Better WAN /LAN SDN in India Multi vendor live
Pretty basic but we have a multi vendor SDN LAN/WAN solutions live deployed at 3 out of 5 top telcos in India so I feel EANTC's work could have been more Industry friendly rather than OEM friendly.


Mahesh bhat_mahesh@hotmail.com
User Rank: Lightning
3/5/2015 | 12:18:35 PM
Re: Good to see
This is incredibly comprehensive and answers a lot of the "How do I get there?" questions that people are asking. It's the How Tos that people are hungry for. Speculation and talk is one thing but actually doing it is another.
User Rank: Lightning
3/3/2015 | 1:52:55 PM
Good to see
It's great to see Cisco take two fine technologies from Cariden and Tail-f and start to bring them together in a way the two small companies couldn't. If they can deliver on the promise of the combined offering and really deleiver a true multi-vendor offering it will be great for the market and a major step in the transition of Cisco.
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