Cisco keeps system simple with solution from Cable&Wireless

22 Mar 2007

Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. The company is also a pioneer in using the Internet to increase its operational efficiency, enhance customer services and reduce costs. Europe and emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa play a central role in its success, contributing nearly 28 per cent of total net sales in fiscal year 2005.

In 2002, Cisco decided to replace the hub and spoke network throughout its European and emerging markets operations. Having successfully implemented some voice and video traffic over the hub and spoke infrastructure, the company wanted to maximize the benefits of a converged environment. To do so, it needed a topology that was simpler and more cost effective to operate. Quality of Service (QoS) and multicast capabilities would be essential. From a conceptual point of view, an IP VPN seemed to be the most appropriate solution.

The invitation to tender asked service providers to bid on three different scenarios: extending the existing hub and spoke design, providing an IP-VPN, and offering the optimal solution based on their own network. Cable&Wireless, a leading telecommunications company, was one of 14 service providers to respond to the tender. It used its VPN and QoS capabilities, geographical reach, and in-depth knowledge of Cisco solutions to deliver the winning scenario.


Cable&Wireless proposed a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) IP-VPN connecting 93 sites "” 71 Cisco sites and 22 partner sites "” in 37 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Based exclusively on Cisco solutions, the IP VPN offered embedded QoS and multicast capabilities managed by Cable&Wireless. Both functions were essential to the Cisco business model of running a fully converged infrastructure and to its requirement for an early Return on Investment (ROI).

"The sheer volume of real-time applications that would need to travel across the network meant that a clear channel solution "” in which we provided bandwidth between the sites and Cisco managed QoS "” would not fl y," explains Brian Copeman, the Account Director for Cisco at Cable&Wireless. "We concluded that an MPLS IPVPN with embedded QoS would be ideal because Cable&Wireless would be able to manage it on Cisco's behalf, giving them a much stronger ROI."

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