The most immediate benefit of segment routing is the major operational savings it brings about. By enabling the network to provision its resources more efficiently in an automated way, it gets a better performance from your infrastructure.

But this is far from the only benefit. Segment routing technology, originally developed by Cisco, is now rapidly becoming an industry standard for programmable networks, and is set to underpin many of the most exciting developments in this area over the coming years. And it doesn’t just enable innovations – it allows you to bring them to market at low cost and a fast pace.

Service providers creating programmable networks now have a fantastic opportunity to increase revenues through developing new products. Here are three areas we think it’s definitely worth investigating:

Guaranteed Uptime, Minimal Cost

Some network links are absolutely vital. Think of the connections between data centres that your customers cannot afford to go down. Naturally, businesses want backup to protect their most important assets. But what they may not realise is that different service providers often share the same fibre connections. So getting a second provider to step in in case of failure doesn’t necessarily help.

Segment routing can get around this problem by providing two distinct pathways for thedata to take between data centres – creating what’s called a guaranteed disjoint path. So your customers can rest assured that if the network is disrupted or redundant, traffic will automatically be diverted to the other pathway.

Crucially, what segment routing offers is not just this opportunity, but the automated controls that make it straightforward to implement. So you can develop new capabilities like this quickly, and bring related products to market as soon as you can. We don’t just make innovation possible – we make it easy.


Guaranteed Speed

For some businesses, speed is everything. In high-frequency currency trading, a fast connection can enable organisations to take advantage of price differences between markets that exist for just fractions of a second.

Typically, traffic is routed through high bandwidth centres, but where speed is important, there are other options. Segment routing enables you to offer specific customers a low latency path – in effect, a personal direct, high-speed route. It’s a bit like priority boarding to get on a plane.

Guaranteed Bandwidth

In a world where video is king, sometimes you need to know that your message is going to get through. Maybe you want to live stream a new product launch from a busy location, or broadcast a CEO’s quarterly update to staff around the world. Segment routing prioritises traffic and balances loads on your system, so that occasions like this go ahead without a hitch.

Again, the technology is agile and automated, so it’s simple and efficient to set up solutions like these.

Guaranteed Innovation

These examples are just a taste of what’s possible. Forward-thinking service providers around the world, like Wolfe.net in the US, are constantly finding new applications for segment routing to drive revenue. And doing this will become even more important as the world becomes increasingly connected and mobile. Innovations that succeed will be those that are brought quickly to market and can adapt intelligently to changing circumstances.

Cisco invests $6bn a year in research and development because innovation is at the heart of what we do. Our experience developing programmable network technology, and using it to drive enhanced performance, puts us in a great position to help you find what works.

Explore Cisco Solutions for more information: Application Engineered Routing

Or talk to us to find out more.


  • Operational savings aren’t the only benefit of segment routing technology. It also enables service providers to create innovative products and bring them to market at a low cost and fast pace.
  • One possibility is to use segment routing to guarantee network uptime by ensuring there are two distinct pathways that data can take between data centres. This means that if the network is disrupted or redundant, traffic will be automatically diverted to the other one.
  • Another is offering specific customers a low latency path – in effect, a personal direct, high-speed route. This can be useful for businesses that rely on ultra-fast connection speeds, like high-frequency currency trading.
  • Crucially, as segment routing is software defined, the implementation of services is automated and simple to manage. So you can develop new capabilities quickly, and bring related products to market as soon as you can.
  • If you want to learn more: visit our Evolved Programmable Network page.



Bertrand Duvivier

Principal Engineer

Web Portfolio