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Raise your Xpectations for IP networking

Nokia 7730 SXR powered by FPcx silicon and cloud native NOS; SR Linux

Over the years spent in this industry, it has become apparent that there will always be opportunities for improvement as tools and technologies advance. Attacking a problem with the benefit of hindsight is undoubtedly advantageous, but the true challenge lies in breaking boundaries.

This is precisely what the Nokia IP routing team has accomplished, and it is an honor to collaborate with this exceptional group of hardware, silicon, and software engineers who have contributed to Nokia's IP achievements.

Yesterday, Nokia introduced the 7730 Service Interconnect Router (SXR), a novel IP Routing solution that expands upon Nokia's success in CSP and mission-critical IP routing.

The distinguishing factor on this launch is that it’s focused on the three key pillars that have differentiated our IP solutions from day one: Systems, Silicon and Software. For the first time since we launched the 7750 SR we are announcing significant progress on all three pillars at once. The announcement includes:

  • The Nokia FPcx: compact and extensible new silicon that introduces fully programmable high touch traffic processing to the access, aggregation and edge layers of the network.

  • The 7730 SXR portfolio: a collection of six new IP routing platforms specifically designed for the aggregation and service edge layers in both CSP and mission-critical networks.

  • The expansion of SR Linux: our cloud-native and modular Network Operating System (NOS) on the 7730 SXR to provide the consumability and extensibility that enables NetOps in this high-touch network layer.

Over the past two decades, there have been minimal advancements in IP aggregation platforms, with many market solutions relying on common merchant silicon. To appeal to as many vendors as possible, this silicon has sacrificed features for speed. This type of silicon was compatible with legacy aggregation roles by providing limited functionality for predominantly tunneling best-effort fixed and wireless broadband connections to the high-touch and service-rich IP edge platforms.

Nonetheless, the prevalence of high-speed fixed (GPON) and mobile (5G) broadband, along with the expedited adoption of cloud-based IT by enterprises, necessitates an increasing need for advanced network intelligence within the IP edge segment of the aggregation domain.

This trend drives not only an enhancement in network intelligence as traffic demands escalate across a diverse spectrum of best effort, time-sensitive, and mission-critical customer services, but also a need for this intelligence to be appropriately dimensioned in terms of both interface counts and rack units due to spatial and energy constraints.

It is in this context that the first two pillars of our announcement excel. The 7730 SXR is specifically designed for these situations, offering a series of six platform variants that range between 1RU and 8RU to accommodate various IP network locations. Nevertheless, size is merely one aspect of the equation; the aggregation domain has been seeking increased network intelligence, which is where the FPcx comes into play.

Developed by the team responsible for creating the FP silicon used in our flagship 7750 SR family, the FPcx harnesses the capabilities and full programmability of a Network Processing Unit (NPU) tailored for the new IP edge which is closer to the customer.

As with all Nokia IP silicon products, the FPcx boasts a strong lineage in Hierarchical-QoS, deep packet buffering, and unwavering service consistency that customers expect from Nokia's IP routers—now adeptly tailored to respond to the growing demands of IP aggregation.

While these platforms are purpose-built and their silicon optimized for high-touch, multi-customer service delivery with rich features, it is our new NOS, SR Linux that serves as the crowning touch.

The rapid expansion of cloud technology in both personal and professional communications has imposed significant challenges on the operation of IP networks. To address these difficulties, one can examine the strategies employed by hyper-scalers who consistently deliver cloud-centered services.

Cloud providers, and recently cloud-informed enterprises, have embraced DevOps due to its efficient CI/CD processes and cultural transformation, which cater to the needs of their cloud systems. The network counterpart of DevOps is NetOps.

The implementation of NetOps necessitates a cloud-native Network Operating System (NOS), which highlights the significance of the recent introduction of SR Linux on the 7730 SXR platform. SR Linux is designed with an emphasis on modularity and microservices, providing segregated protocol functionalities, large-scale telemetry, comprehensive service monitoring, and a novel method for configuration and operability that incorporates NetOps tools such as YANG and digital twinning to automate numerous manual network tasks.

Today’s announcement will help to cultivate a dynamic operational environment for the network's new 'IP edge'— the IP aggregation domain. 7730 SXR driven by FPcx and fueled by SR Linux delivers solid base for CSPs and mission-critical network architects to safeguard the future of their networks and master the unexpected.

As part of the Nokia IP team, I eagerly anticipate collaborating with you in advancing this environment into the NetOps era.


Vach Kompella

About Vach Kompella

Vach Kompella has over 25 years of experience in the networking field and currently heads the Nokia IP Networks Division. A Bell Labs Fellow for his contributions to MPLS and VPLS standards, he founded the corporation’s Mobile Gateways program in 2008 and led MPLS development from 2001 through 2009. Vach has been a speaker at multiple industry conferences and is a regular contributor to standards in the IETF, including a role as co-chair of the l2vpn Working Group for five years. He joined Nokia through the acquisition of TiMetra Networks in 2003. Vach holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California San Diego.

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