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Enabling the Net Evolution – Cisco Blogs

Co-authored by Aravind Srikumar

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

Cisco has made important investments in silicon, techniques, software program, and architectures to guide the subsequent period of networking. Particularly, the Cisco 8000 household of routers developed with Cisco’s Silicon One NPUs, allow market-moving transitions akin 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 Net phase is closely pushed by hyperscalers, who’ve been constructing massive-scale community infrastructure to maintain up with the demand for shopper purposes or as-a-service cloud infrastructure. Many of those community buildouts have centered on Frontend (FE) networks, i.e., these going through 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 akin to InfiniBand.

AI/ML networks constructed on open requirements

A essential inflection that we see on the horizon is the expansion of Ethernet-based, Net Backend (BE) networks. With the appearance of 400G and 800G networking, Ethernet is more and more seen because the know-how of selection for constructing AI/ML community clusters. That is primarily attributable to higher price 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 huge, high-performance networks. In consequence, leveraging white-box switches and routers constructed with high-performance silicon and open community OS (NOS), akin 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 varied consumption fashions, from silicon-only and whitebox techniques operating Cisco or third occasion NOS, to totally built-in Cisco 8000 techniques. Moreover, the Cisco 8000 portfolio designed for hyperscaler knowledge 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 supplies 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 deal with a degree downside. As an alternative, they construct on in the present day’s rules to engineer resilient architectures that pre-provision for innovation but to return. That is potential when the design and implementation technique isn’t myopic and isn’t centered on level merchandise. Constructing an answer requires a holistic, full-stack strategy. Trade-leading Cisco 8000 {hardware} platforms and techniques present essential aggressive differentiation for high-scale and feature-rich use instances that may profit from Cisco’s long-standing market incumbency and technical experience. These will be MPLS/SR-enabled WAN deployments that make use of intricate site visitors engineering and repair programming necessities or very particular cloud-edge use instances 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 drastically 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 power to cross-leverage the advantages of open software program like SONiC & FBOSS on a totally 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 subsequent technology distributed scheduled cloth 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 provides it the distinctive differentiation of being positioned in a myriad of roles inside the community with none important operational uplift. The important thing focus of our software program funding technique goes past function improvement. Not solely aiming at use case completion but additionally 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 know-how improvements in techniques and software program have attained nice heights due to our partnership with hyperscalers and {industry} leaders at massive. Our core technique is to proceed fostering these long-standing partnerships and set the inspiration for thrilling future concepts.

Please keep tuned for this collection’ 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 Net/Hyperscale phase for Cisco’s Mass-scale Infrastructure (MIG) group. His group focuses on defining & creating merchandise that align Cisco’s options to the ever-evolving wants of the {industry} & know-how.


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




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