Cisco announced in a Tuesday press release that it is upgrading its Cisco ASR 9000 edge routing platform to more readily carry users “into the 5G and multicloud era.” The platform is getting new automation software, a new networking processor, and updates to its IOS XR network operating system, the release said.

According to the Cisco VNI Mobile Forecast for 2016-2021, 5G connections are expected to hit more than 25 million in 2021. That is a growth of more than 1000% from the 2.3 million expected in 2020.

Additionally, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index for 2016-2021, multicloud services are accelerating, “driven by shifts in content, compute and cloud requirements,” the release said. As such, Cisco is updating the ASR 9000 platform to facilitate these shift, starting with its bandwidth capabilities.

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“Over the past 10 years, the ASR 9000’s slot capacity has been increased by a factor of 80, up to 3.2Tbps from 40G,” Cisco senior vice president of engineering, Sumeet Arora, noted in a blog post. “More importantly, customers can benefit from this stunning bandwidth increase without having to change their existing ASR 9000 chassis.”

The updated ASR 9000 platform features network segmentation and segment routing with high levels of efficiency, the post said. This makes it easier to be deployed in places where power consumption is an issue. And the network segmentation can help with scalability and the move to 5G.

Service providers can also use the Cisco Crosswork Network Automation portfolio with the ASR 9000 to improve automation efforts, the release said.

“With these advancements to the Cisco ASR platform, we are simplifying, automating and converging our networking technology for the 5G and multicloud era,” Arora said in the release. “We are committed to helping our customers deliver better experiences for their customers, enabling them to optimize the capex spend with an easy roadmap for network planning purchasing and optimization.”

Also, the ASR 9000 platform has new payment models as well. The new Flexible Consumption Model features a pay-as-you-grow approach that makes it easier to budget for scalability.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Cisco’s ASR 9000 is getting new automation software, a new networking processor, and a new operating system.
  • Service providers can use the Cisco Crosswork Network Automation portfolio within the Cisco ASR 9000 platform.