Enabling the Internet Evolution – Cisco Blogs


Co-authored by Aravind Srikumar

This weblog is a component two of a four-part sequence discussing Cisco’s routing and automation technique, the developments and inflections we see in these areas, and the way we’re guiding our clients by their digital transformation journeys. See half one right here.

Cisco has made vital investments in silicon, techniques, software program, and architectures to steer the following period of networking. Particularly, the Cisco 8000 household of routers developed with Cisco’s Silicon One NPUs, allow market-moving transitions similar to IP and Optical convergence with the Cisco Routed Optical Networking (RON) structure. As we glance to the horizon, we see a number of imminent market inflections.

The Internet phase is closely pushed by hyperscalers, who’ve been constructing massive-scale community infrastructure to maintain up with the demand for shopper functions or as-a-service cloud infrastructure. Many of those community buildouts have centered on Frontend (FE) networks, i.e., these dealing with clients or enterprise customers of cloud infrastructure, constructed with Ethernet-based applied sciences. As well as, hyperscalers and others have invested in Backend (BE) networks constructed for storage and high-performance computing (HPC), together with AI/ML workloads. These networks have traditionally been constructed with non-Ethernet applied sciences similar to InfiniBand.

AI/ML networks constructed on open requirements

A essential inflection that we see on the horizon is the expansion of Ethernet-based, Internet Backend (BE) networks. With the appearance of 400G and 800G networking, Ethernet is more and more considered because the expertise of selection for constructing AI/ML community clusters. That is primarily resulting from higher value economics, open requirements, and heavy industry-wide funding, which is enabling Ethernet to shut the hole with proprietary AI/ML networking applied sciences.

Hyperscalers favor and actively drive open requirements and the disaggregation ecosystem of their quest to construct large, high-performance networks. Because of this, leveraging white-box switches and routers constructed with high-performance silicon and open community OS (NOS), similar to Software program for Open Networking within the Cloud (SONiC) and Fb open switching system (FBOSS), is customary.

Cisco 8000: A high-performance portfolio constructed for open ecosystems

Cisco 8000 and Cisco Silicon One paved the way with industry-leading bandwidth density, energy effectivity, and programmability. Designed for disaggregation, the portfolio allows numerous consumption fashions, from silicon-only and whitebox techniques operating Cisco or third celebration NOS, to completely built-in Cisco 8000 techniques. Moreover, the Cisco 8000 portfolio designed for hyperscaler information facilities contains the complete complement of 100G, 400G, and 800G techniques starting from 3.2T to 25.6T spanning ToR, MoR, and Backbone roles, all able to operating Open NOS together with SONiC and FBOSS. This portfolio gives hyperscalers a constant Ethernet-based portfolio for each Frontend and Backend networks, enabling cost-efficient community operations at scale.

Holistic options: Placing all of it collectively

Options don’t tackle a degree downside. As an alternative, they construct on at this time’s ideas to engineer resilient architectures that pre-provision for innovation but to come back. That is doable when the design and implementation technique will not be myopic and isn’t centered on level merchandise. Constructing an answer requires a holistic, full-stack method. Business-leading Cisco 8000 {hardware} platforms and techniques present essential aggressive differentiation for high-scale and feature-rich use circumstances that may profit from Cisco’s long-standing market incumbency and technical experience. These may be MPLS/SR-enabled WAN deployments that make use of intricate visitors engineering and repair programming necessities or very particular cloud-edge use circumstances that cater to a various end-user phase. Nonetheless, architectures that require a extra plug-and-play working mannequin with a comparatively contained function set, can profit probably the most from Open NOS adoption. Be it supporting concurrent 32K IPv4 & 32K IPv6 VXLAN tunnels or 4K BFD {hardware} offload on a TOR class system, Cisco Silicon One enormously enhances the capabilities of the OS, permitting for the complete potential of software program to be realized. Our purpose is to assist cloud operators and supply the flexibility to cross-leverage the advantages of open software program like SONiC & FBOSS on a completely validated vendor ecosystem.

A latest inflection level with community engineering is how networks are managed and operated. Community techniques are actually being managed as compute with a single pane of glass orchestration and automation framework. Optimizing AI/ML workloads for scale and sustainability or constructing the following era distributed scheduled material requires a clear-sighted software program funding technique to maintain these architectures in the long run. Cisco 8000, with its one silicon, one SDK benefit definitely offers it the distinctive differentiation of being positioned in a myriad of roles inside the community with none vital operational uplift. The important thing focus of our software program funding technique goes past function improvement. Not solely aiming at use case completion but in addition emphasizing the infrastructure modernization enhancements to facilitate the shift in how networks are managed/operated. Be it for IOS-XR or open-source NOSs, we’re constructing elements each within the vendor and open NOS ecosystem that allows answer completion. Our underlying working precept is to “leverage what you’ll be able to and construct what you have to.”

At its premise, our expertise improvements in techniques and software program have attained nice heights due to our partnership with hyperscalers and {industry} leaders at giant. Our core technique is to proceed fostering these long-standing partnerships and set the inspiration for thrilling future concepts.

Please keep tuned for this sequence’ subsequent deep dive weblog, specializing in the metro edge.


Aravind Srikumar | Cisco Techniques – Director, Product Administration
Aravind heads the Product Administration Group for the Routing/Switching and SONiC/Open NOS portfolio aimed on the Internet/Hyperscale phase for Cisco’s Mass-scale Infrastructure (MIG) group. His crew focuses on defining & growing merchandise that align Cisco’s options to the ever-evolving wants of the {industry} & expertise.


Gurudatt Shenoy | Cisco Techniques – Vice President, Product Administration
Gurudatt is chargeable for the Internet and Service Supplier routing enterprise chartered with delivering {industry} main applied sciences for 5G and Internet routing functions.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here