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Cisco Continues OSS IP-centered Push

Cisco Systems advanced its Internet operations support systems (OSS) product portfolio Monday with the release of three new domain managers.

The new fall lineup includes the Cisco Mobile Wireless Center, Cisco Broadband Access Center and Cisco Packet Telephony Center. Pricing depends on number of units (CPE, routers/switches, subscribers or broadband access lines) and ranges from $25,000 into the millions of dollars for the most complex installations.

The San Jose, Calif.-based computer-networking equipment maker said the new products are targeted at service providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators who want to do more without spending a fortune on network operations and maintenance.

"Our new domain managers further extend our Internet OSS IP-centered philosophy by continuing to put more intelligence into the network infrastructure," said Cisco Intelligent Network Services Management Business Unit vice president and general manager Anson Chen. "By driving more intelligence into the device-management systems, service providers can automate many processes that help them lower operations costs while also offering differentiated, value-added services to their customers that drive greater profitability."

Over the past several years, Cisco has developed a number of element- and domain-management systems for a variety of platforms. The company decided early on that OSS systems would move the industry toward the next-generation in "full-service" networks after it saw the emergence of the "network of networks" concept, where multiple network domains are involved with the delivery of a collective set of packet-based and IP services.

Cisco's latest push to build its Internet OSS product line is fueled by massive investments in packet-based hardware by telcos.

The new domain managers focus on provisioning, service-level monitoring and service-level accounting functions, and can be used as a standalone application or serve as a subsystem to use with existing OSS infrastructures.

Cisco said its Mobile Wireless Center (MWC) domain manager offers tools and services to support mobile wireless deployment, such as flow-through provisioning of Radio Access Network (RAN) transport networks built on Cisco hardware.

The Broadband Access Center (BAC) domain manager provides a single management system for all access technologies, including cable, DSL, T1, broadband aggregation and VoIP over Ethernet.

Rounding out the suite, the Cisco Packet Telephony Center (PTC) domain manager supports new call agents and gateway devices and lets service providers mix then into new VoIP networks so they will co-exist with the public switched telephone network.

In addition to these three new domain managers, the Cisco domain manager suite also includes the Cisco VPN Solution Center. The carrier-class network- and service-management software currently supports Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and IPSec VPN. Cisco said more than 100 service providers already have deployed this domain manager in their networks.