In the market for cloud and digital services, speed kills. There’s just so much competition, so many organizations constantly pushing new solutions to meet changing customer needs. If you can’t get new digital products and features out the door quickly—if you can’t retool on the fly to capture new opportunities—you’re likely to get your lunch eaten by competitors who can.

Aligning the business around speed and agility is a tough task for any organization. When you run millions of devices in a hyperscale data center, it’s an order of magnitude harder. Companies like Microsoft and Google wrote the rulebook for infrastructure agility, pioneering the DevOps ways of working that define a modern digital business. But, as these infrastructures grow larger and more complex, maintaining that speed gets ever more challenging.

Fortunately, webscale companies have one of the world’s leading technology partners backing them up. With Cisco’s new portfolio of technologies for hyperscale data centers, you can build a flexible, easy-to-manage infrastructure to power the internet of the future.

Building a Better Data Center Infrastructure

Hyperscale data centers have gotten so huge, just their day-to-day operation presents problems that dwarf other business’ technology challenges. For example, conventional companies traditionally staff one engineer per 10-50 devices they maintain—enough to log in to each device to provision it as needed or push out basic scripts. For a few hundred or even a few thousand devices, that’s reasonable. When you’re running millions of servers and hundreds of thousands of routers and switches, the economics just don’t work.

To cope with this magnitude of scale efficiently, data center infrastructure must be:

Automated, so that when you want to expand or change services, you can apply changes to thousands of infrastructure devices at once
Homogeneous, so that when you’re building out that automation, you can build once and apply everywhere—instead of having to wrestle with different processes for hundreds of different hardware and software versions

As much as any other innovation, its advances in these two areas has allowed webscalers to create the modern web. But today, we’re on the cusp of a new generation of digital services—mass-scale augmented reality, smart vehicles, connected healthcare, a thousand other dynamic, personalized experiences. These new services will push hyperscale data centers in ways they haven’t been tested before, and the need for simplicity and agility becomes even more urgent.

Simplify and Automate at Scale

New Cisco technologies for hyperscale data centers were built from the ground up for speed and agility, designed to meet and exceed the requirements of tomorrow’s webscale services. They provide:

Architectural flexibility: New Cisco Silicon One™ network processing units (NPUs) raise the bar for hyperscale infrastructure flexibility. Not only do they break the 10 Tbps milestone for routing, they’re universally adaptable across every part of the network. You can use Cisco Silicon One architecture as a router on a chip, a line card in a modular router, or as a switch fabric. The ability to perform all these functions using a single, unified silicon architecture makes deployment and operations much quicker and simpler, while allowing you to easily scale across routers, fabrics, and modular systems as needed.

Programmability: You understand your environment and users better than any vendor can. That’s why new Cisco silicon architectures, optics, and systems are designed to plug directly into specialized hyperscale data center management and automation frameworks. These new solutions provide external APIs and software development kits (SDKs), so you can fully control them just like any other part of your hyperscale infrastructure.

Security: Central to moving quickly is knowing that the infrastructure your digital services run on is secure. To achieve the level of trust you need, it’s not enough to use strong security measures at the data center perimeter or even in device software. You need to address the security posture of infrastructure at every point in the supply and value chain. Cisco is leading the industry in making this possible. New solutions such as Cisco 8000 Series routers are designed with foundational security capabilities that verify devices for authenticity and integrity and enforce fine-grained policies to establish trust. Cisco is also leading the way in broader supply chain trust initiatives with programs like the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle and Cisco trustworthy framework. Measures like these can give you the confidence to move quickly wherever new opportunities take you, knowing that we’re focusing on security at every phase in the lifecycle of your networking products, from concept to end of life.

Cisco has also announced flexible consumption models—mixing and matching hardware, software, silicon, systems—that allow you to organize these technologies in the way you want to consume them. However you choose to scale, whatever your goals for your infrastructure, Cisco technologies can help you achieve them.

Building Business Agility

As you prepare for the amazing digital experiences of the future, you’ll need an infrastructure model with long-term stability that you can continually innovate with minimal cost and effort. Cisco is committed to helping you do it. Our new “Internet for the Future” innovations—Cisco Silicon One architecture, new optics and systems, support for third-party networking software like SONiC—are not just one-off products. They have long-term roadmaps to continue advancing over the next decade and beyond.

You can invest in integrating new Cisco innovations once and amortize that investment over the life of your network. For example, you can integrate Cisco Silicon One architectures into your environment today and continue to take advantage of new updates—all the way to 50 Tbps and beyond—quickly and easily, without having to re-tool or rebuild automation.

Just as important to business agility, webscale companies can now back up their hyperscale data center infrastructures with Cisco’s industry-leading global supply chain. Even in the event of regional natural disasters or other production disruptions, Cisco can continue to meet hyperscale infrastructure needs anywhere on the planet. So you can continue trying new business models, continue experimenting with new services, knowing your networking supplier has the reach and stability to scale with you.

It’s all part of a new, expanded partnership between Cisco and the world’s largest cloud and web leaders. Let us help you tame the largest, most complex hyperscale data center infrastructures, so you can quickly move your business wherever you choose to go.



Ben Dawson

Vice President

Cisco Australia and New Zealand