Earlier this week Cisco unveiled details behind its technology strategy for building a new internet.
Cisco introduced its latest technologies including Cisco Silicon One, the industry’s only networking silicon architecture of its kind; released the new Cisco 8000 Series of powerful carrier class routers built on the new silicon; and announced new purchasing options.
“Innovation requires focused investment, the right team and a culture that values imagination," said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. "We are dedicated to transforming the industry to build a new internet for the 5G era. Our latest solutions in silicon, optics and software represent the continued innovation we're driving that helps our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come.”
Over the next decade, digital experiences will be created with advanced technologies — virtual and augmented reality, 16K streaming, AI, 5G, 10G, quantum computing, adaptive and predictive cybersecurity, intelligent IOT, and others not yet invented.
The next-generation of internet infrastructure combines Cisco’s new silicon architecture with its next-generation of optics. Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.
“Pushing the boundaries of innovation to the next level — far beyond what we experience today — is critical for the future and we believe silicon, optics and software are the technology levers that will deliver this outcome,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of the Networking and Security Business at Cisco. “Cisco’s technology strategy is not about the next-generation of a single product area. We have spent the past several years investing in whole categories of independent technologies that we believe will converge in the future — and ultimately will allow us to solve the hardest problems on the verge of eroding the advancement of digital innovation. This strategy is delivering the most ambitious development project the company has ever achieved.”
The new Cisco Silicon One will be the foundation of Cisco’s routing portfolio going forward, with expected near-term performance availability up to 25 Terabits per second (Tbps). This is the industry’s first networking chip designed to be universally adaptable across service provider and web-scale markets. Designed for both fixed and modular platforms, it can manage challenging requirements in a way that’s never been done before. The first Cisco Silicon One ‘Q100’ model surpasses the 10 Tbps routing milestone for network bandwidth without sacrificing programmability, buffering, power efficiency, scale or feature flexibility.
The new Cisco 8000 series is the first platform built with Cisco Silicon One Q100. It is engineered to help service providers and web-scale companies reduce the costs of building and operating mass-scale networks for the 5G, AI and IOT era. Standout features include:
Optimized for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps in just a single rack unit
Powered by the cloud-enhanced Cisco IOS XR7 networking operating system software, designed to simplify operations and lower operational costs
Offers enhanced cybersecurity with integrated trust technology for real-time insights into the trustworthiness of critical infrastructure
Service providers gain more bandwidth scale and programmability to deliver Tbps in even the most power and space constrained network locations
Cisco is working with a group of customers on deployments and trials of the Cisco 8000 Series. STC, a leading telecom services provider in the Middle East, Northern Africa region, marks the first customer deploying the new technology. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTT Communications among others.
As port rates increase from 100G to 400G and beyond, optics become an increasingly larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure.
Through the company’s qualification program, Cisco will test its optics to comply with industry standards and operate in Cisco – and non-Cisco hosts. With this program, Cisco's customers can utilize Cisco optics in applications where non-Cisco hosts have been deployed.
In addition, as silicon and silicon photonics advance, functions that were traditionally delivered in separate chassis-based solutions will soon be available in pluggable form factors. This transition has significant potential benefits for network operators in terms of operational simplicity. Cisco is investing in silicon photonics technologies to effect architectural transitions in datacenter networks and service provider networks that will drive down cost, reduce power and space, and simplify network operations.
Cisco also announced plans to offer flexible consumption models first established with Cisco’s Optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS XR7 software, and now including Cisco Silicon One. This new model is highly adaptable and offers Cisco's customers choice of components, white box, or integrated systems to build their networks. This approach matches the evolving nature of operators selecting discrete or aggregated technology elements for their buildout and creates new economics of the Internet to provide business value.