Segment routing is coming to a competitor near you and it will be a key element of the network infrastructure of the future. But what is it and how will it offer tangible benefits for you, the service provider?

It promises to simplify network operation and ensure the best performance of vital applications on that network. So segment routing (SR) is something that should pique the interest of all service providers. And it’s not just providers who are taking up the baton. Enterprises and hyper-scale web providers are getting involved too.

At a recent Cisco sponsored Tech Field Day event a host of major players attended to wax about their SR journey and spread the gospel. Among them, Comcast, Walmart and Microsoft. They all told of the quiet revolution going on in their networks. So what does it actually do?


The path of least resistance  

It’s all about taking control over the network. With SR you can now control the way your network transports applications. And it all happens with no need to introduce a new protocol. It reuses existing routing protocols augmented by specific extensions.

Not all applications are the same. SR recognises that and acts on it. Consider a network application as a tourist who needs to take a trip… bear with me. In this scenario SR is a high end travel agent. It simply finds the fastest, most comfortable route across the network. One tailored to the needs of your tourist.

Supercharge your applications

For an example of a real world benefit, financial applications are a good place to start. For obvious reasons, they are very sensitive to latency. SR seeks out a certain path through the network with very low latency. This ensures the best performance of the app.

Another benefit is the option for you to have a disjoint path through your network. This creates two paths that never cross each other. They don’t even have to share the same optical fiber. This gives a higher level of availability. It means that if a primary path breaks, you have a second path that you can be sure will be up and running. A backup to ensure the safe passage of your applications.

The whole point of SR is to make the network and applications work hand-in-hand in a simple and scalable way. And that’s the vital point. It’s so scalable. Previous attempts to make this possible have been too complex. Complex to rollout. Complex to operate. Complex to scale up.

With high uptake expected in the next two years from service providers across the board, it’s time to act. If your competitors start to enjoy the cost benefits and operational ease of this technology soon, can you afford not to? So let your applications travel in style with segment routing.

Find out more

Discover how segment routing could supercharge the vital applications on your network with segment routing, here.


Frederic Trate

Marketing Manager

Service Provider Business Architecture, France