Cisco has introduced software and developer tools for cloud-scale networking that enable service providers and web companies to deliver cloud applications with greater agility, automation and simplicity, while reducing the cost of operating the networks that support them. Innovations to the Cisco® IOS XR network operating system will deliver these benefits by enabling traditional and web service providers to converge their data centers and wide area network (WAN) architectures, by making networks more programmable, and by facilitating tighter integration with popular IT configuration and management tools.
Developed in collaboration with some of the world's leading web companies, and based on their operational best practices, the new Cisco IOS XR innovations will enable faster and simpler cloud-scale networking for all service providers. Cisco is also announcing the availability of three additions to the industry-leading Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) Series routing portfolio.
Digital Transformation Drives Opportunity for Service Providers
Digital business transformation — the rapid and escalating value derived from the interconnectivity of people, processes, data and things — is placing unprecedented new demands on service provider networks, causing network operators to seek an alternate approach to their architectures that gives them more agility to innovate and compete. According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019), released last month, total global data center traffic is projected to triple by the end of 2019 (from 3.4 to 10.4 zettabytes), and 83 percent of total data center traffic will come from the cloud by 2019 (up from 61 percent in 2014). The proliferation of more business devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, as well as more scalable services and applications with additional storage needs, will create new network and compute requirements, specifically a convergence of the data center and WAN.
Introducing New IOS XR Capabilities for Service Providers
Cisco is introducing powerful new capabilities to the Cisco IOS XR software, enabling service providers to run their networks at half the total cost of ownership (over five years) compared to the present mode of operation, and these solutions will essentially double network efficiency and performance. Additionally, customers can leverage their investments in IOS XR and seamlessly transition to cloud-scale networking with their current or new hardware platforms.
Cisco IOS XR, deployed across over 50,000 live network routers, now includes the following new capabilities:
- Software Modularity and Extensibility to Enable Agility and Innovation
- Increased service agility with granular software packaging and automated upgrade
- IT and network automation convergence with third-party application hosting, such as industry standard DevOps tools, Chef or Puppet
- Open innovation with IOS XR Software Development Kit (SDK) and Cisco DevNet Developer Program
- Large-scale Automation for Greater Operational Efficiency
- Predictable network programmability through data-model-driven APIs (YANG/OpenConfig)
- Extensive flexibility to adapt to customers' operational environment (i.e., any data model, any encoding method, and any transport method)
- Fine-grained Visibility and Control for Simplification and Enhanced End-user Experiences
- Actionable and contextual network insight due to data-model-driven access to extensive operational state data (i.e., highly augmented visibility compared to mechanisms such as SNMP)
- Near real-time network programmability with enhancements to Application Engineered Routing solution — WAN Automation Engine (WAE) support for Telemetry and Segment Routing Traffic Engineering.
Cisco NCS Series additions include:
- Cisco NCS 5000 Series, delivering up to 40-80 10GE ports and 4 100GE ports
- Cisco NCS 5500 Series, providing up to 288 routed 100GE ports for WAN aggregation
- Cisco NCS 1000 Series, supporting 100/200/250Gb wavelengths over distances exceeding 3000 km with existing fiber
"Service providers are looking to leverage the operational best practices established in massively scalable computing environments and marry them with their own networking reach to compete and innovate faster," said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president of Cisco's service provider segment. "With this announcement, Cisco is leading the industry toward cloud-scale networking, converging the data center and WAN and delivering new levels of speed, automation and simplicity. We feel this is a real game-changer that will help service providers of all types in their digitization journeys, enabling them to operate their networks in near real-time while dramatically increasing operational efficiency."
"Service providers seek to reduce costs, create new business opportunities, and introduce new services more quickly," said Masayuki Seno, executive vice president and head of network products business unit of Fujitsu Limited. "Fujitsu has been a long-time partner with Cisco to provide leading-edge network platforms for service providers through the joint integration of IOS XR. Fujitsu is excited to continue our partnership with Cisco to integrate industry-leading solutions for customers, beginning with Japan, leveraging the latest IOS XR technologies, which can meet these requirements."
"The network is cloud computing's final frontier, at technology, people and process levels," said Laurent Lachal, senior analyst, infrastructure solutions -- software group, Ovum. "It needs to be built for scale and ruthlessly automated, to deliver the right service on demand, and to rely on tools and technologies that enable network specialists to effectively interact with the rest of the IT team as well as business users. Cisco's software-centric approach enables businesses to capture the digitization opportunity and conquer this final frontier."
This article was originally posted “Cisco Introduces Software Solutions For Cloud-Scale Networking” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.