A new cloud-scale networking solution introduced by Cisco this week aims to help service providers and web companies reap the benefits of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) as they transition their central offices to next-gen data centers.
According to the company, the networking solution includes a number of benefits for enterprise clients, including large-scale automation for provisioning and the ability to implement network changes in minutes instead of hours. It also provides software extensibility for more modular and faster service deployment, while offering real-time visibility and control through streaming telemetry.
Lowered Costs, Increased Efficiency
The solution will be delivered through Cisco IOS XR software at half the total cost of ownership (TCO) and double the efficiency and performance over five years, compared to present mode of operation, the company said.
Cisco added that the networking solution also utilizes data center ‘DevOps’ principles and techniques to offer improved agility, efficiency and simplicity, which the company said would extend beyond the traditional network and into the central office.
According to a study commissioned by Cisco, more than 70 percent of service providers surveyed are in the process of or are planning central office transformations using NFV and SDN techniques.
“Our continued progress with the Cloud Scale Networking platform is proof of our commitment to NFV and SDN solutions for open, programmable and automated networks,” said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president for Cisco's Service Provider Business.
“Central office transformations are part of our customers’ top priorities worldwide, and we are in a unique position to help them with easy upgrades to their existing routing platforms using the Cisco IOS XR software.”
The company described the new platform as more simplified, more automated, and more virtualized than network platforms that are currently available. It will also help companies such as service providers, media and web companies to reduce costs, improve time to market speed, and secure their networks.
EVPN and BGP
Cisco said it is collaborating with a number of working groups in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to help advance vendor-neutral projects such as segment routing and streaming telemetry. The company credited its work with those groups with helping it develop the new platform.
Among the new capabilities included in the launch is Ethernet Virtual Private Network (EVPN) which provides separation between the data plane and the control plane, creating a unified, centralized overlay control plane based on border gateway protocol (BGP) and industry standards.
The platform also includes end-to-end segment routing, which Cisco said will create a unified, common-forwarding underlay to simplify network operations. In addition, the platform includes "model-driven telemetry" to deliver increased, granular, real-time visibility via native, open, common data models for automation, plus more efficient operation of physical and virtual resources.
Cisco plans to bring together these Cloud-Scale capabilities across the entire network with ongoing additions to the Cisco Network Convergence Series (NCS) family.