Cisco announces new network fabric family to power “Internet of Everything”


Surya Panditi, SVP and GM, Cisco’s Service Provider Networking Group

Cisco has announced the Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS), a network fabric family aimed at the global service provider market, and designed to serve as the foundation of a massively scalable, smarter and more adaptable Internet.
The NCS family, with more than 100 patents, joins the Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS) and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) as foundational network fabrics. It is the first system in the industry built for petabit scale, capable of supporting trillions of events across a connected fabric.  The NCS is capable of transporting the entire Netflix library in less than one second. Designed for advanced virtualization capabilities, the NCS manages and moves network and compute resources wherever and whenever they are needed across the architecture, in real time.
“The Cisco NCS was engineered with the programmability, intelligence and scalability to meet the demands of today and tomorrow,” said Surya Panditi, SVP and GM, Cisco’s Service Provider Networking Group. “The NCS delivers an evolved programmable network that will enable service providers to generate new revenue streams and business models, while delivering exciting new experiences to their customers.”
It can also deliver it less expensively. When deployed as part of the Cisco ONE Service Provider Architecture, which embraces and extends software defined networking and network function virtualization, Cisco says the NCS family can help network operators reduce total cost of ownership by 45% while consuming 60% less power.
The Cisco NCS family consists of three sets of routers that can be managed as a single integrated system for business agility and simplified operations. Two of them are available now.
The NCS 6000 is shipping now with the industry’s first 1 Tbps line card and the capability of transporting up to 5 Tbps per slot and 1.2 Pbps per system, to support a converged IP and optical environment.
The NCS 2000 is also shipping today. It connects DWDM transport networks at rates of 100 Gbps and beyond and supports dynamic network configurability with 96-channel, next-generation intelligent ROADM capabilities.
The NCS 4000 will be available in the first half of 2014. It will support 400 Gbps per slot and 6.4 Terabits per system and be available in single, back-to-back, and multi-chassis configurations.  It will also support optical transport network (OTN), dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM), SONET and Ethernet applications.
The technology heart of NCS – which Cisco is calling a breakthrough – is the recently announced Cisco nPower X1 integrated network processor. With 4 billion transistors on a single chip, the nPower X1 implementation achieves unprecedented levels of performance, functionality, programmability and scale for a network processor. It is also used in Cisco’s CRS-X router.
The Cisco NCS converges IP and optical networks and is designed to seamlessly integrate with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) and the Dynamic Fabric Automation capabilities supported by Cisco’s data center innovations. This convergence capability lets the NCS act as a flexible foundational network fabric for an evolved programmable network, able to shift and redirect data center, core, edge and optical resources spontaneously and in real time. This lets service providers accelerate service velocity while reducing overall complexity and operating costs.
The NCS also boasts advanced virtualization capabilities, which enable the system to orchestrate services and resources across disparate physical, virtual and geographical elements as if they are part of a single unified system using Cisco Prime and Cisco Quantum solutions. The system’s advanced virtualization features enable service providers to elastically scale up and down both network and compute resources, utilizing scalable multichassis configurations that can be managed as a single entity.
“The Internet as we know it is at a crossroads, as the impact of not only human-driven but machine-driven events changes network dynamics and imposes entirely new service requirements,” said Yoshiharu Shimatani, Senior Vice President and Director, of Japanese service provider KDDI, one of several global service providers announced as already dsploying the Cisco NCS. “KDDI believes the Cisco NCS is the foundation for a new generation of Internet networks that will allow us to offer our consumer and business customers the newest and most exciting Internet experiences at a very low total cost of ownership.”

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