As you probably know by now, building the internet of the future is of the utmost priority for Cisco. Forty percent of the humans on planet earth still don’t have access to reliable, secure, high-speed broadband connectivity. We need to solve this problem by more cost-effectively scaling out networks, and that means rethinking the way we architect, build and operate those networks.

For the past couple of years now, my team has been collaborating closely with Tech Mahindra, in an effort to build the internet of the future. Like Cisco, when Tech Mahindra sees an opportunity for Service Providers to make a complex yet beneficial transition, they invest in the resources to enable and drive outcomes. Tech Mahindra saw this very opportunity with Routed Optical Networking and I’m thrilled that they chose to partner with Cisco in helping bring the benefits of Routed Optical Networking to our joint customers. You can read about how Tech Mahindra is investing in a Routed Optical Networking practice here.

What is Routed Optical Networking, why does it matter? Why is a partnership between Cisco and Tech Mahindra for Routed Optical Networking compelling?

Said briefly, the way we architect networks hasn’t changed in the past 20 years. Previously, the router was the most expensive element in the network, so we designed networks to bypass routers whenever possible. This added significant complexity to networks in additional management, control planes, and elements, with more operational burdens – but it made sense to do so because of the economics.

Fast forward 20 years – thanks to innovation in silicon, the cost of router ports has decreased significantly, and the router is no longer the most expensive element in the network. Also, we now have the ability to put transponder technologies into pluggable optics. And to top it off, as an industry we have innovated in software to reduce the complexity of operating networks through automation.

When we started to rethink network architectures, we quickly landed on Routed Optical Networking. Routed Optical Networking leverages coherent pluggable optics in router ports as an alternative to optical transponders, this is a much more cost-effective solution to procure, deploy and operate. Cisco is at the forefront of this transition as the global leader in routing, having acquired Acacia, a leading provider of high-speed integrated optical interconnect modules. In addition, Cisco continues to invest in automation software which was boosted by our acquisition of Sedona Systems.

We know that we can’t do it alone though, and that’s why I’m thrilled to have great partners like Tech Mahindra to help take customers on this journey. Tech Mahindra’s expertise in OSS/BSS and credibility with Service Providers will help accelerate this critical transition that is needed to build the internet of the future, connect the unconnected, and cost-effectively scale the internet.


Shaun McCarthy

Vice President, Worldwide Sales

Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group