Cisco announces ‘Internet for the Future’ strategy

Cisco unveils its ‘Internet for the Future’ technology strategy based on development investments in Silicon, Optics and Software

Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.
Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.

Cisco has unveiled further details behind its technology strategy for building a new internet — one designed to push digital innovation beyond the performance, economic and power consumption limitations of current infrastructure. A multi-year approach that is defining the Internet for decades to come, Cisco’s strategy is already delivering technology breakthroughs to pave the way for the world’s developers to create applications and services they have only begun to imagine.

Cisco introduced its latest innovation including Cisco Silicon One, the industry’s only networking silicon architecture of its kind; released the new Cisco 8000 Series, the world’s most powerful carrier class routers built on the new silicon; and announced new purchasing options that enable customers to consume the company’s technology through disaggregated business models.

“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. These future generations of applications will drive complexity beyond the capabilities current internet infrastructure can viably support.

For the past five years, Cisco said it has driven a technology strategy that is building the internet its customers will need for the future success of their business in an advanced digital world. Aimed at solving the toughest problems that will emerge as digital transformation taxes current infrastructure to its breaking point, this strategy will lead to the next-generation of internet infrastructure that combines Cisco’s new silicon architecture with its next-generation of optics. Cisco’s strategy will change the economics behind how the Internet will be built to support the demands of future, digital applications and will enable customers to operate their businesses with simpler, more cost-effective networks.

Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.

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 the most

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.

Traditionally, multiple types of silicon with different capabilities are used across a network and even within a single device. Developing new features and testing can be lengthy and expensive. Unified and programmable silicon will allow for network operators to greatly reduce costs of operations and reduce time-to-value for new services.

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:

  • Optimised for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps in just a single rack unit
  • Powered by the new, 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 your 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 pioneering customers on deployments and trials of the Cisco 8000 Series. STC, the leading telecom services provider in the Middle East, Northern Africa region, marks the first customer deploying the new technology. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTTCom among others.

Building a new internet that can support future digital innovation will depend on continued breakthroughs in silicon and optics technologies. Cisco is unique in the industry with advanced intellectual property in both areas.

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. Cisco is investing organically to assure our customers that as router and switch port rates continue to increase, optics will be designed to meet the industry’s stringent reliability and quality standards.

Cisco also announced plans to offer flexible consumption models first established with Cisco’s Optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS-XR software, and now including Cisco Silicon One. This new model is highly adaptable and offers 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 significant business value.

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