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Cisco taps next-gen networks for the cloud

The networking company has announced its Unified Service Delivery package, a more efficient platform aimed at cloud services providers.

Networking company Cisco has introduced a package of data center tools for carriers wishing to deliver cloud services over next-generation IP networks.

The Unified Service Delivery package, announced on Tuesday, combines Cisco's existing Unified Computing System technology with its Nexus 7000 switch--an updated, data center-optimized version of its CRS-1 router--and the company's next-generation IP products.

The combination will make delivery of video and data services more efficient and lay the groundwork for the delivery of business applications to any place, according to Cisco.

"The unification of the data center and the IP next-generation network is a natural progression, not just in the evolution of networking--it also builds the foundation for innovative service optimize their networks towards delivering new revenue-generating, cloud-based services," Kelly Ahuja, general manager in Cisco's service provider routing technology group, said in a statement.

The new CRS-1 Carrier Routing System integrates two 10Gb modules and a 40Gb forwarding processor, all designed to handle virtualization from the data center over next-generation IP networks. The CRS-1 modules, when used in the Unified Service Delivery package, will allow providers to virtualize traffic and network operations on a per-service or per-customer basis, Cisco said.

Cisco said that the Unified Service Delivery package will allow for greater power efficiency compared with "traditional" data center needs and so will cut costs.

The announcement builds on Cisco's Unified Computing System, a grand plan for next data centers launched in March. At the heart of the system is the idea of providing a single cohesive "architecture"--or set of products and services--for data centers. It combines computing, networking, virtualization, storage access and management components with its own blade servers.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.