[c-nsp] Devil's Advocate - Segment Routing, Why?

Tim Durack tdurack at gmail.com
Fri Jun 19 14:09:47 UTC 2020

On Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 9:05 AM Mark Tinka <mark.tinka at seacom.mu> wrote:

> On 19/Jun/20 14:50, Tim Durack wrote:
> > If y'all can deal with the BU, the Cat9k family is looking
> > half-decent: MPLS PE/P, BGP L3VPN, BGP EVPN (VXLAN dataplane not MPLS)
> > etc.
> > UADP programmable pipeline ASIC, FIB ~200k, E-LLW, mandatory DNA
> > license now covers software support...
> >
> > Of course you do have to deal with a BU that lives in a parallel
> > universe (SDA, LISP, NEAT etc) - but the hardware is the right
> > price-perf, and IOS-XE is tolerable.
> >
> > No large FIB today, but Cisco appears to be headed towards "Silicon
> > One" for all of their platforms: RTC ASIC strapped over some HBM. The
> > strategy is interesting: sell it as a chip, sell it whitebox, sell it
> > fully packaged.
> >
> > YMMV
> I'd like to hear what Gert thinks, though. I'm sure he has a special
> place for the word "Catalyst" :-).
> Oddly, if Silicon One is Cisco's future, that means IOS XE may be headed
> for the guillotine, in which case investing any further into an IOS XE
> platform could be dicey at best, egg-face at worst.
> I could be wrong...
> Mark.
It could be worse: Nexus ;-(

There is another version of the future:

1. SP "Silicon One" IOS-XR
2. Enterprise "Silicon One" IOS-XE

Same hardware, different software, features, licensing model etc.

Silicon One looks like an interesting strategy: single ASIC for fixed,
modular, fabric. Replace multiple internal and external ASIC family,
compete with merchant, whitebox, MSDC etc.

The Cisco 8000/8200 is not branded as NCS, which is BCM. I asked the
NCS5/55k guys why they didn't use UADP. No good answer, although I suspect
some big customer(s) were demanding BCM for their own programming needs.
Maybe there were some memory bandwidth issues with UADP, which is what Q100
HBM is the answer for.

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