In just six short years, customers across multiple market segments have come to embrace segment routing (SR) as a mainstream technology – from communication service providers to enterprises, to utilities, to the public sector.

Its success is no surprise as the first version of segment routing, SR MPLS, provided a slew of benefits:

  • Protocol simplification, removing the need for RSVP-TE and LDP
  • Reduction of the amount of state held on the network routing equipment
  • Concurrent support for services with different SLA requirements
  • Cross-domain traffic-engineered paths thanks to Path Computation Element (PCE), automatic steering, and on-demand next hop (ODN)
  • Operator choice on the level of centralized controller (SDN) involved in provisioning and operating the network

For communication service providers using an MPLS-SR design, segment routing is the ideal technology to converge their transport architecture, since it is capable of simultaneously supporting the needs of fixed, enterprise, and consumer services.

Today, however, 5G and IoT are driving a new wave of services at a scale previously unimagined – billions of devices connecting to the network, tens, or hundreds of thousands of network slices being instantiated – all of which will over power SR MPLS and IPv4.

Interestingly, two technologies, when combined, can deliver the unprecedented scale required – segment routing and IPv6.

Since its start in 2017, the industry traction of the segment routing over IPv6 (SRv6) project has been phenomenal. SRv6 enhances SR MPLS capabilities and goes further in scaling, simplifying, and reducing the overhead from a large-scale infrastructure that incorporates packet transport with edge computing. It also offers true programmability of the packets through the network, from both a path and services perspective.

SRv6 allows for huge simplification and enables IPv6 to be self-sufficient. It also provides ultra-scale and end-to-end policy with IP summarization, stateless network programming, and native compression supporting a complete handset-to-server solution.” – Clarence Filsfils, Cisco Fellow

As an industry-standard, Segment routing with IPv6 (SRv6) is progressing quickly at the IETF with the architecture and data plane documents already published as RFCs (respectively RFC 8402 and 8354).

As of today, we count:

  • Nine public, large-scale commercial deployments
  • Twenty-five hardware implementations supporting SRv6 at line rate. These hardware implementations are on custom silicon (Cisco, Huawei) and merchant silicon (Broadcom, Barefoot, Arccus, Intel, Marvel, and Mellanox.)

And the open-source community is backing up SRv6 with eleven open-source platforms/applications. SRv6 is not only supported in the native Linux kernel and FD.io VPP (and has been since 2017) but also in P4, Wireshark, tcpdump, iptables, nftables, snort, ExaBGP, and Contiv-VPP.

Join us on October 13th, 2020 to learn more about the benefits of SRv6 and its use cases, with two SRv6 experts, Cisco Fellow Clarence Filsfils, and Bell Canada Technical Fellow Daniel Voyer.

To learn more or stay up-to-date on the latest SRv6 news, visit our segment routing website.


Frederic Trate

Marketing Manager

Service Provider Business Architecture, France