07 July 2017
| Guy Matthews
Ground-breaking IP routing innovation from Nokia represents a leap forward in the evolution of the Internet. We take a look at a product range that delivers the performance, intelligence and security that is needed for the cloud and machine era
The Internet is entering a new era. This next phase will see
exciting progress in areas such as immersive communications,
the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial
It is an era that will produce innovations that change our
world in ways hard to imagine today. Our productivity will be
enhanced, automation and robotics will take over more and more
of what humans used to do, and the very way we work and live
will be transformed.
All of this transformation will unquestionably place fresh
demands on networks that are already being stretched by
today’s services and applications. Rapid growth in
traffic volume is inevitable, creating in its wake a new order
of security threats, and demanding ever more agility in network
To give an idea of how much things are set to change, Nokia
Bell Labs forecasts that IP traffic will more than double in
the next five years, reaching 330 exabytes a month by 2022 with
compound growth at 25% per annum. Peak data rates will grow
even faster, at nearly 40% annually. This directly relates to
consumer and business demand for services including
high-definition video streaming and virtual reality.
"The networks of the future will require more performance to
support increasingly sophisticated applications and services,"
predicted Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia,
speaking at the recent launch of the company’s
latest generation of IP routing products. "We need networks
with little or no delay that can respond up to 10 times faster
than current networks. This will all be powered by the next
generation of IP routing platforms."
This new era for networking has moved several steps closer
with the unveiling by Nokia of the world’s most
powerful internet routing platforms. They are set to play a key
role in ensuring that modern networks are faster, safer and
dramatically more adaptable than any that exist
Designed without compromise
The market-leading FP4 silicon at the heart of
Nokia’s new platforms provides a generational
performance boost (see boxout) over existing solutions, while
delivering improved network security and intelligence. These
innovations will allow both webscale operators and
communications service providers to build the
world’s most powerful networks and usher in a new
phase for the Internet.
Suri explains that Nokia’s new IP routing
products are designed without compromise to bring together in
the same platform both high performance and the security and
intelligence required to support the connecting and automating
of billions of devices: "For far too long IP solutions across
our industry have required that the customer settle for less,"
he says. "They’ve had to compromise and choose
between platforms that are either amazingly fast or highly
capable. Nokia is launching a total redesign of our network
processing silicon. We are introducing solutions that literally
reimagine IP networks. We’re delivering a
generational leap forward in IP routing with phenomenal
performance and optimal capability. Our new solutions will
provide the networking building blocks to enable an age where
everything is connected and automated – machines,
"This combination of power with capability is vital to
enable the Big Data insights that the communications, cloud and
content industries demand," explains Houman Modarres, marketing
leader, IP routing, Nokia, talking to Capacity after the
The latest Nokia routing platforms, he says, offers unique
enhanced packet intelligence and control capabilities to
provide deep visibility and fine-grained control, improving
quality of experience as well as asset utilization: "The new
platforms have been designed to allow webscale companies and
service providers to meet data demands, adapt to change, and
scale cost-effectively and securely for the cloud, 5G and
Better security, built in
The clear and present challenge of network security is
integral to Nokia’s new routing platforms. Both
enhanced packet intelligence and control technology are
embedded in the FP4 silicon, which, when combined with
Nokia’s Deepfield IP network analytics solution
and comprehensive SDN portfolio, not only maximizes efficiency
and opportunity but also crucially minimises and mitigates
threats. These threats include DDoS attacks, which impact
productivity and commerce and are growing in number and impact
each year. According to Deloitte Global’s TMT
predictions, over 10 million such attacks are expected this
"With the proliferation of things that have an Internet
connection, all over the home and workplace, you have perfect
places for a denial of service attack to start," says Modarres.
"As you add more and more devices onto the network, the network
has to be part of the solution. That’s why
we’re looking at better insight, control and
visibility at the network level so that the network can
effectively protect itself."
These new platforms are also about enabling the next
generation of cloud solutions by taking IP evolution a stage
further into cloud-scale routing.
The new FP4 chipset is built for cloud-scale routing, as
Basil Alwan, president of IP/Optical Networks with Nokia,
explained at the product’s launch event:
"Networking is changing," he outlined. "Cloud is not about
running things in one remote data centre. It’s
about assembling a whole bunch of things from 20 remote data
centres. The traffic generated by one single cloud transaction
is being multiplied as tiers of applications talk to each
other. We’re now talking about exabytes and
zettabytes of storage. We’re getting close to
petabyte class routing. Traffic patterns too are becoming more
Webscale operators, he points out, are already dealing with
these challenges, and have effectively been leading the way for
others in their use of techniques for managing traffic
effectively. Now with Nokia’s new routing
platforms, service providers can achieve the same levels of
management as the basis for a new wave of cloud solutions.
"What service providers need is platforms that are up to the
challenge – bigger, more powerful and efficient," says
Modarres. "They also need to be more secure and adaptable to
handle challenges going forward. The era of cloud-scale routing
means, for users like you and I, better, more immersive and
richer experiences. That’s what people want.
It’s also about a safer and more efficient
society. The endgame is huge."
Routers in a class of their own
With the FP4 chipset, Nokia has taken the IP industry into
uncharted waters. Not only has it gone up six fold in the
capacity that routers can handle, it’s the first
multi-terabit routing chipset in existence. It can handle
terabit flows, which no other chipset can do.
"It’s incredibly capable and impossibly fast,"
says Alwan. "And it offers a huge price performance boost.
Routers based on this chip can move massive traffic, but they
are also the smartest and strongest routers on the planet. They
give deep insight into traffic for analysis and optimisation.
They provide the requirements for the next chapter of Internet