Cisco (CSCO) this week introduced the Network Convergence System (NCS), a network fabric family designed to help service providers handle rapidly growing volumes of Internet traffic in cloud, mobile, video and machine-to-machine applications. A key focus for NCS is the "Internet of Everything" - the trillions of programmable device-driven events generated by networked devices and sensors.
NCS is a solution combining hardware, software and silicon, featuring the recently announced nPower X1 integrated network processor. It is designed to help service providers build services and capabilities to build business from the explosion of data being generated by new devices being used to monitor our world. Cisco cites data from Machina Research projecting market opportunities of $174 billion in health care, $284 billion in manufacturing and $850 billion in smart homes.
Monetizing that opportunity requires even smarter networks, according to Cisco. The NCS is its solution, and the offering has seen early adoption from global service providers such as BSkyB, KDDI and Telstra.
"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 at KDDI. "Managing bandwidth alone is no longer enough, as Internet transactions communicate at machine speeds. 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."
Flexible foundation, Petabit scale
The NCS is built for petabit scale, capable of supporting trillions of events across a connected fabric. The NCS can manage and move network and compute resources across an architecture in real time. Enabling a flexible foundation network fabric, NCS converges IP and optical networks and is designed to seamlessly integrate with the Cisco Unified Computing System. The NCS's element, system and architectural virtualization capabilities 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.
NCS's 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 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."
In this video Surya Panditi, SVP/GM of the Service Provider Networking Group at Cisco, introduces the Cisco NCS product family. The Cisco NCS family consists of three key components that can be managed as a single integrated system for business agility and simplified operations. Available immediately, the NCS 2000 connects DWDM transport networks at 100G rates and beyond; the NCS 6000 is also available immediately, for 1 Tbps line card and the capability of transporting up to 5 Tbps per slot and 1.2 Pbps per system; and the NCS 4000 available in the first half of 2014 will support 400 Gbps per slot and 6.4 Terabits per system and be available in single, back-to-back, and multi-chassis configurations.