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Cisco is redesigning Internet infrastructure for 5G future

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Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM, mass-scale infrastructure, Cisco Systems.
Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM, mass-scale infrastructure, Cisco Systems.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Internet traffic spiked by 25% to 45% in most regions across the globe, fueled by the explosion of video conferencing, online learning, remote healthcare services, streaming, gaming, and more.

According to Cisco, this is only a taste of the traffic volume that will emerge in the 5G era, with 29.3 billion connected devices expected by 2023.

Against this backdrop, during its Cisco Live 2021 virtual conference this week, the networking giant announced its strategy to help service providers and enterprises  address the surge in Internet traffic, as well as simplify, secure and automate their networks.

The Internet architecture needs continuous care and attention to support the world’s ambitions, the company said, and operators are under increasing pressure to build more networks and extend the Internet to more areas.

Cisco is developing a new networking architecture, Routed Optical Networking infrastructure. It’s based on previously announced Converged Software-Defined Network Transport architecture, designed to help service providers to converge multiple networks into “a common, cost efficient and secure infrastructure with enormous scale.”

“The need to transform how we build networks is critical,” the company stressed.

Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM, mass-scale infrastructure at Cisco, said the pandemic has shown that the digital divide is very real, with three billion people that are either unconnected to underserved, without access to vital information, learning and opportunities.

He said it was time to rethink the fundamentals of how networks are built, because over the past decades the Internet and most networks have all been built in the same way – with layers upon layers, and it’s time to simplify that.

“Cisco has spent the last five years researching and investing in this portfolio of innovation, focusing on how to help our customers deliver the best Internet, while being able to grow revenue, reduce their costs and mitigate risk,” said Davidson. “By helping our customers make the right decisions for their networks today, we are setting the world up for success, to connect more people, places and things than ever before. We can all look back on this point in time in the next ten years and celebrate how we rose to the challenge and did the right thing to take care of the Internet.”

Other Cisco Live announcements

Other highlights from the virtual conference include:

  • The launch of the Cisco Cloud Native Broadband Network Gateway for telco customers. According to Cisco, it paves the way for convergence to a unified subscriber management solution and enables cloud service providers to offer access-agnostic services.
  • The Cisco Silicon One platform has been upgraded from a routing-focused solution to a platform that addresses the Web scale switching market, offering ten networking chips ranging from 3.2Tbps to 25.6Tbps.
  • Cisco’s latest 8000 family of routers now features Cisco Silicon One Q200 series chips offering up to 14.4 Tbps total capacity, enabling 32 and 64 x 100G web scale switches.
  • Crosswork Cloud delivers a new application called Traffic Analysis, offering a comprehensive view across network peering points. With this insight, Traffic Analysis provides recommendations to optimise traffic at the network edge.
  • Cisco announced the integration of ThousandEyes Internet and cloud intelligence solution with the Cisco Catalyst 9000 switching portfolio and Cisco AppDynamics Dash Studio, presenting the industry’s first enterprise-wide ‘observability’ offering.
  • An expanded Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture is said to simplify networking and security operations. Cisco also unveiled innovations to the cloud-native platform, SecureX, delivering complete protection from endpoint to the cloud.
  • Cisco Secure has introduced infrastructure agnostic, passwordless authentication by Duo, enabling users to skip the password and securely log into cloud applications via security keys or platform biometrics

“We are at a unique point in time in which we can shape the future ahead of us, and to do that, we need the right technology to form the foundation,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO at Cisco. “With the innovation we are delivering this week, our customers around the world will not only be able to connect, secure and automate the future of IT, but also leverage technology to truly power an inclusive future for all.”

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