Cisco Stretches 'Internet of Everything'

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cisco unveiled its Networking Convergence System (NCS), which the tech giant is touting as a way for service providers to cope with exploding quantities of customer data.

Part of what Cisco describes as "the Internet of Everything," an ambitious plan to connect new applications and devices to the network, NCS is a mixture of networking hardware and software. Cisco says the technology can transport the entire Netflix library in less than a second.

Cisco's NCS offerings comprise three routers: the NCS 6000 and 2000, which are shipping immediately, and the 4000, which will be available in the first half of next year. The devices use Cisco's newly-launched nPower X1 network processor. Cisco says that the NCS hardware, combined with its Quantum and Prime software offerings, can virtualize telecom services, simplify operations and streamline networking infrastructure.

Running on the Cisco ONE Service Provider Architecture, the networker says that NCS technology can reduce service providers' total cost of ownership by 45% while consuming 60% less power.

"It acts like a central nervous system to the architecture," said Doug Webster, vice president of service provider networking at Cisco. "The new silicon has eight times the throughput for a quarter of the power compared to previous versions of the silicon in the industry."

Webster cited skyrocketing use of video, mobile Internet and machine-to-machine communications such as network-connected industrial devices and cars, as fuelling the need for highly scalable service provider networks. Cisco, for example, estimates that in the last week alone some 26 million new programmable devices were added to networks.

"Over the next ten years, we believe that businesses such as health care, manufacturing and the home will generate hundreds of billions of dollars of addressable opportunity," added Webster.

In a nod to service providers' complex network infrastructures, however, Cisco said that NCS will also work with gear from other networkers.

The San Jose, Calif.-based firm also announced three service providers - BSkyB in the U.K., KDDI in Japan and Telstra in Australia, that are already using NCS. "We have engagements in process with U.S. customers," added Webster.

Revenue from Cisco's Next-Generation-Routing (NGN) products was flat during the company's recent fiscal fourth-quarter results, although service provider video revenue grew 23% year over year. Overall, Cisco's service provider product orders increased 6% compared to the prior year's quarter.

Cisco shares, which have increased 22.6% this year, dipped 0.6% to $24.13 in Tuesday trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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