AT&T Extends Open Dis-Aggregated Design to Converged IP Edge 

Solution integrates Cisco IOS-XR software to same Broadcom Jericho2/UfiSpace hardware being used for the Core

AT&T* today deployed a next-gen open dis-aggregated IP edge routing platform into its production environment with support from Broadcom, Cisco, and UfiSpace. The hardware platform being used for this edge application is identical to that previously announced for AT&T’s IP/MPLS core, demonstrating the true openness of the hardware. 

“The first IP edge use case is peering – the system that connects AT&T’s IP network with that of other Internet Service Providers (ISPs)”, said Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s CTO for Network Services. “But this is just the tip of the iceberg; we are working with Cisco on developing additional edge use cases that will include broadband, IP content, Ethernet, mobility, and VPN services. We have started the journey to converge the disparate edge implementations we have today onto common software and hardware driving uniformity, simplification, and agility.” 

The identical open hardware from UfiSpace that is being used for the core will be used for the edge applications. Common hardware enables consistent maintenance processes and sparing. The Broadcom Jericho2-based hardware designs have been accepted by OCP, and compatible products are available from other ODMs. The UfiSpace portfolio consists of three components: a 40x100G line card system, 10x400G line card system, and a 48x400G fabric system. These building blocks are deployed using the highly flexible Distributed Dis-Aggregated Chassis (DDC) design in various configurations to build routers with capacity anywhere between 4 Tbps to 192 Tbps. 

“Jericho2's scalability allows the hardware platform to be used from the core to the edge of the AT&T network, while enabling a thriving ecosystem that supports their vision of a disaggregated, flexible, and simplified network infrastructure, said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom. “Broadcom is pleased to work with AT&T to enable merchant silicon solutions for end-to-end deployments,”   

Cisco’s innovative and feature-rich IOS-XR Network Operating System provides the management and control functions for the solution. Some of the key features for the peering use case are BGP Flowspec, unicast Reverse Path Forwarding (uRPF), and port mirroring which collectively will allow AT&T fine granular monitoring and mitigation actions for security threats such as Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. 

“The internet of the future is supported by an automated, software-defined network that can easily support the cloud-and-app-powered world we live in,” said Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM , Mass Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “Cisco’s broad portfolio of industry -leading silicon, systems and software disaggregation is making the internet better and stronger. Together with AT&T we are marking a milestone in the industry with the convergence of the IP edge using open, dis-aggregated hardware and software-only models designed to fit a broad spectrum of commercial arrangements.” 

“This is a really big development in the networking eco-system,” Fuetsch said. “This model gives us options and flexibility in our supply chain and enables us to use best-in-breed products whether they come from established or disruptive suppliers. And this is well past lab experiments; the technologies and eco-system have matured, and we are now into the production deployment phase.”