Building on many of the network virtualization concepts it touted at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Cisco has now introduced the Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP), featuring a cloud DVR sevice.
ESP acts like a virtualized control plane, allowing service providers to manipulate service delivery based on the application being offered and a user's connection type. The platform runs on top of Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) layer and beneath the application layer. It's based on open standards, incorporating Openstack and the Open Daylight framework for deploying software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) also says ESP is interoperable with other vendor solutions through third-party software.
Along with the ESP launch, Cisco is also making available the first two service modules for its platform. Virtualized Mobile Internet supports new services such as sponsored mobile data, which will allow content providers to bundle data costs in with the content they offer. Cisco says the module is currently in trials with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) and other service providers.
The second module, Videoscape Cloud DVR, enables cloud-driven video recording and content storage. At CES in January, Cisco highlighted its Videoscape cloud capabilities for the first time, demonstrating how its cloud-based solutions could be used for the rapid deployment of new video services like 4K TV and multiscreen video applications. With the DVR component now available, Cisco is offering providers several ways to deploy new video recording services, including through a pay-as-you-go delivery model. (See Cisco Moves Videoscape to Cloud .)
Although Cisco isn't naming any specific customers for its cloud DVR technology, it does say that the Videoscape solution is "currently deployed in a major North American video operator," and there are multiple reasons to believe that operator may be Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK). First, NBC Universal , which is owned by Comcast, has been using Cisco's Videoscape cloud solutions for its multiscreen delivery of the Winter Olympic Games. Second, Comcast partnered closely with Cisco when it recently built out its own private Openstack cloud. (See NBC Jumps on Cisco's Cloud and Comcast Opens Up on OpenStack.)
All told, Cisco says that more than 25 customers around the world are using its Evolved Services Platform, including China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Technik Gmbh, SunGard (NYSE: SDS), and Telecom Italia (TIM) .
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading