Cisco is betting on the future of networking with the announcement of a new chip and platform designed to support AI, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and a host of advanced network workloads. The company announced its Internet for the Future strategy earlier this month, part of a multi-year approach to redefine the future of the Internet and networking.
The company’s strategy places heavy stock on creating digital experiences through technologies and workloads like virtual and augmented reality, 10G, quantum computing and cybersecurity, not to mention AI and machine learning. Cisco has rolled out its Silicon One networking architecture and the Cisco 8000 series of carrier class routers as part of of its announcement. The product lines blend the new silicon architecture with next-generation optical networking, and the company ambitiously plans to change the economics of the Internet and networking to support the workloads of the future.
“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 foundation for Cisco’s long-game strategy has been a focus on investments and development in silicon, optics and software. The Cisco Silicon One is a unified, programmable architecture that will serve as the foundation for the company’s routing portfolio. Cisco expects near-term performance availability of up to 25 Tbps for the networking chip, which is adaptable across service provider and web-scale markets. It is designed for use in both fixed and modular platforms.
Of course, the Cisco 8000 series is the first platform built using the Silicon One Q100 chip, and is being marketed to service providers and web-scale companies with the goal of reducing their costs for building and operating massive networks to support 5G, AI and IoT. The routers are optimized for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps for a single rack unit. The series is powered by the cloud-enhanced Cisco IOS XR7 network operating system software, and features enhanced cybersecurity and real-time insights about the performance of critical infrastructure.
Cisco is trialing the new series with a group of customers including Comcast, Facebook, Google Cloud and NTT Communications. STC, a telecom services provider in the Middle East and Northern Africa region, is the first customer to deploy the new architecture. The company is also offering flexible consumption models like those established in the Cisco Optics portfolio. Customers will have a choice of components, white box or integrated systems to build out their networks through an adaptable approach.
TechZone360 Contributing Editor
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