As we head to MPLS + SDN + NFV World Congress this week, I’m reminded of conversations I have with Service Providers all the time.  They tell me how they need complete solutions to meet their business needs, not just a slice of a technology stack.  They tell me they want software that supports an end-to-end architecture that is tightly integrated with their OSS/BSS systems, and runs on a full range of hardware. And, they want it to be simple to implement and easy to use.

That’s exactly what we created with Cisco IOS XR.  More than 150 service providers – including some of the biggest web players around the world – have deployed our next generation containerized/virtualized IOS XR, which is the richest networking stack available on the market, with industry-leading innovations in IP transport (Segment Routing), IPv6, Services (EVPN), Visibility (Streaming Telemetry), Security (MacSec), Programmability (Yang), 5G (clocking/synch) and a whole lot more.

Our IOS XR has three main areas of innovation:

  • Unparalleled silicon diversity, running on world class Cisco ASICs as well as merchant silicon
  • Cloud-scale automation, with performance, model-based interfaces for software-centric operations
  • Next-generation network architectures, with common design patterns that Service Providers can apply to leverage unified network fabric  from  data centers, central offices, and across multiple domains in metro and core networks

An example of this innovation is IOS XR’s support of Linux containers, which we delivered back in 2015 with IOS XR 6.0.  We architected our IOS XR software stack to run in containers and provide support for customer and third party applications in containers too, which is possible because the software distribution supporting IOS XR is based on Open Embedded Linux. At the same time, we aligned our deployment and automation capabilities with industry standards (Netconf/gRPC) as well as server workflows (iPXE, ZTP, Ansible, Chef, Puppet and more). In fact, we demonstrated IOS XR running as part of a Mesos Cluster at MesosCon 2015.

We also made sure IOS XR is available on Cisco and merchant silicon across a wide variety of hardware platforms, ranging from 1 RU to multi-chassis systems.  It runs in a virtual form factor on general x86 compute platforms with the full feature set and a high-performance data plane. With support for physical and virtual, IOS XR gives Service Providers  real choice in their designs, while offering a common operational experience end-to-end.  We are also laser focused on making our software easy to use and implement.  We are designing with ruthless ease in mind.  You can read more about full IOS XR capabilities on https://xrdocs.github.io or follow @xrdocs on twitter.

I’m so proud of our team for their continual innovations in software that launched the industry to new heights back in 2015 and still far outpaces anything on the market today.

If you are attending MPLS+SDN+NFV World Congress make sure to register for the event online for  Cisco’s workshop to learn more about IOS XR and meet our experts.



Yvette Kanouff

Senior Vice President/General Manager

Service Provider Business