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Cisco unveils ESP to see into the future of network services

Cisco recently announced its Evolved Services Platform
(ESP), building on the SDN and NFV concepts already incorporated in Cisco’s
vision for programmable communications service provider (CSP) networks (Cisco
ONE), and the company’s Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) for a virtualized
network infrastructure.

Cisco recently announced its Evolved Services Platform
(ESP), building on the SDN and NFV concepts already incorporated in Cisco’s
vision for programmable communications service provider (CSP) networks (Cisco
ONE), and the company’s Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) for a virtualized
network infrastructure.

ESP automates the delivery of virtualized network services
using three components: a services broker that acts as the app store; a catalog
of virtualized network functions (VNFs) used to implement network services; and
an orchestration engine used to automate the configuration of network
resources. Cisco released a library of VNFs, along with two initial service
modules within the services broker for ESP; a multi-screen Cloud DVR service to
boost ARPUs and supported by virtualized Cisco Videoscape VNFs; and a mobile
Internet service based on Cisco’s Quantum collection of mobile network
services.

The introduction of ESP provides evidence of a number of
industry-wide changes occurring in service provider networks. First it
demonstrates that the SDN and NFV market is beginning to mature; with less
focus on the technology details, and more on supporting service provider
business needs. Second, it shows how business models are changing with
software-centric networks.

Finally, ESP presents clear evidence that Cisco is moving to
virtualize its entire network services portfolio. Critics will say ESP is
another proprietary solution from Cisco, but Ovum sees value in simplifying
deployment with an integrated solution.

David Krozier, Principal Analyst, Network Infrastructure,
Ovum  said, “over the next 2-5 years,
service providers will have to weigh how they can best apply network
elasticity, scalability, and automation to solve their growing operational
issues: by deploying integrated and supported solutions or by becoming system
integrators to support multi-vendor solutions. We believe they will push as
much systems integration onto their vendors as they can; Cisco’s ESP and last
week’s Ericsson-Ciena development and distribution agreement are two distinct
approaches to providing this integration.”

By CIO staff

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