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Colt fast-tracks the delivery of new services with Cisco segment routing and Ethernet VPN

Cisco and Colt Technology Services has announced that they have successfully achieved a key milestone in upgrading Colt's pan-European, US and Asian packet network.

This lays the foundation for the Colt IQ Network to deliver further differentiated, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions.

Cisco and Colt revealed in December 2016 that they were working on a system-wide, multiple 100Gbps upgrades to Colt's IQ Network. This will enable it to rapidly deliver high-performance connectivity for cloud-scale, business-critical applications to its enterprise, carrier and web-centric customers. By combining segment routing and Ethernet VPN (EVPN), Colt’s IQ Network now benefits from faster convergence time, increased network availability and resiliency for any topology, while enabling the service provider to deliver high-bandwidth solutions much faster.

Colt's next-generation packet network uses end-to-end segment routing technology to simplify and automate network operation and significantly reduce operating costs. With the quality, speed, capacity and flexibility to meet application-specific service quality requirements, Colt’s customers will benefit from an infrastructure designed for enabling digital businesses.

“Colt is focused on providing best-in-class, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions to meet our customers’ ever-growing business needs,” said Peter Coppens, vice president, Product, Colt. “Aligning with these overarching goals, we worked closely with Cisco to design a network architecture that is simple to operate, highly available and capable of delivering innovative network services. This also enables Colt to benefit from faster time-to-market. Segment routing significantly decreased complexity in the IQ Network and helped us start offering differentiated network services such as disjoint path. EVPN further contributed to operational simplification and made the delivery of services much more efficient.”

Colt’s IQ Network connects more than 800 data centres around the globe, with more than 25,000 on-net buildings, providing high-bandwidth network and voice services for enterprises and wholesale customers in Europe, Asia and North America. EVPN drives the next level of simplicity by offering a unified control plane protocol (Border Gateway Protocol - BGP) for all services types, including both Layer 2 VPN and Layer 3 VPN services. It also provides faster convergence times that significantly enhance the customer experience.

Segment routing reduces the network complexity, as it cuts down the number of protocols required. It also improves network availability with 50ms protection mechanism, covering 100% of the possible network topologies using TI-LFA SR, enables better utilisation of the network with simple and scalable MPLS segment routing traffic engineering for the data plane and makes possible the delivery of innovative network services possible, offering on-demand real-time delivery capabilities.

The Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) 5500 series and the Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 platforms will form the main components of a unified fabric powered by IOS XR and its market-leading software innovations -- segment routing and EVPN.

“We have been working on this initiative with Colt for more than a year, and we are proud to bring additional benefits to its network, as well as lay the groundwork for new opportunities,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking, Cisco. "In selecting Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking technologies such as the Cisco® NCS 5500, segment routing and EVPN, Colt is now in a position to deliver the high bandwidth and customer-oriented experience that defines the network of the future."