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Data Sheet

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Updated:May 24, 2019

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Updated:May 24, 2019


Cisco Crosswork Optimization Engine provides real-time network optimization capabilities that allow operators to effectively maximize network utility as well as increase service velocity.

Product Overview

Network operators are facing challenges to support the exponential growth of network traffic while addressing the pressure to efficiently run network operations. Providing quick service and network resolutions is vital for the business to remain viable. Network operators need a toolset to help automate bandwidth optimization and efficiently steer traffic with little operator intervention.

As can be seen in the chart in Figure 1, traffic grows with an average of 25 percent CAGR across the different categories. To run the network efficiently, network automation is a necessity.


Figure 1.           

Traffic Growth from 2016 Estimated through 2021

Let us look at a typical network operation lifecycle. In a typical lifecycle, there is always a feedback loop that traditionally is done manually through human intervention. With network automation, the objective is to automate the feedback loop to enable quicker reaction to network events and faster determination on actions to perform on the network.

Looking at the network operation lifecycle shown in Figure 2, Cisco® Crosswork Optimization Engine is built to fulfill the need for closed-loop optimization as described under the near-real-time feedback loop. Through Crosswork Optimization Engine, the operator would be able to define the optimization intent, implement the intent, and continuously monitor, track, and react to maintain the original intent.


Figure 2.           

Network Operation Lifecycle

Features and Benefits

Table 1 outlines key features and benefits of Cisco Crosswork Optimization Engine.

Table 1.             Features and Benefits



Topology auto-discovery

Auto-discovery is based on the IETF standard, Border Gateway Protocol link state (BGP-LS), to automatically discover the IP topology across multiple vendors.

Closed-loop feedback

Leveraging real-time protocols such as BGP-LS and Path Computation Element Communication Protocol (PCEP), Crosswork Optimization Engine enables closed-loop tracking of the network state, reacting quickly to changes in network conditions. Crosswork  Optimization Engine can enable closed-loop automation to create a self-healing network.

Dynamic SLA management

An industry-proven algorithm manages Service-Level-Agreement (SLA) objectives dynamically based on defined intent.

Real-time visualization

Crosswork Optimization Engine enables real-time visibility of the network, constantly in sync with the current state to provide true representation of the underlying infrastructure.

Segment Routing (SR) policy lifecycle management

A simple-to-use GUI can drive Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations of segment routing policy.

API framework

An open and programmable framework enables network operators to develop their own applications based on a pre-defined API.

Function pack

The function pack can enable field-developed applications to support additional use cases.

Prominent Feature

Real-Time, Multi-Vendor Visibility

End-to-end visibility is important to any network operator to run their network effectively. Crosswork Optimization Engine not only provides this visibility, but also the ability to visualize the network across different layers (optical to IP) and the relationship between each layer.

Crosswork Optimization Engine leverages the IETF-standard, BGP-LS, to discover IP networks automatically, with features such as:

     Up-to-date visibility – It maintains real-time, up-to-date visibility of the network infrastructure, which provides the network operator with true representation of the actual topology

     Hierarchical view – It provides a hierarchical view of the topology, which enables operators to define the different levels of granularity in the topology visualization

Figure 3 below shows an example visualization of the topology, providing geographical perspective of the topology as well as detailed path of a specific Segment Routing policy.


Figure 3.           

Geographical Visualization of Topology

Simplified Workflow for SR Policy Lifecycle Management

Crosswork Optimization Engine also provides an easy-to-use UI to manage the SR policy lifecycle. The UI enables the network operator to:

1.     Create, modify, and remove SR policies using an intuitive workflow

2.     Continuously track SR policy dynamic path computations to maintain SLA objectives

3.     Preview an SR policy before deploying it to the network

Figure 4 shows the user interface to create a new Segment Routing policy through the GUI.


Figure 4.           

Creation of SR Policy GUI

Extensibility through the Function Pack

The Crosswork Optimization Engine framework enables function packs that can be developed in the field to support additional use cases that are not available out of the box. By leveraging Software Development Kits (SDK) and Application Programming Interfaces (API), network operators can build additional function packs to support more optimization workflows.

Protocol Support

Cisco Crosswork Optimization Engine supports network elements that comply to the following standards, as outlined in Table 2.

Table 2.             Network Elements and Standards Compliance


RFC / Draft




Northbound distribution of link-state and Traffic Engineering (TE) information using BGP



BGP-LS extensions for segment routing



BGP-LS extensions for segment routing BGP egress peer engineering



Signaling maximum SID depth (MSD) using BGP-LS



BGP-LS advertisement of Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) traffic engineering performance metric extensions



Path Computation Element (PCE) Communication Protocol (PCEP) generic requirements



A PCE-based architecture






PCEP extensions for stateful PCE



PCEP extensions for PCE-initiated LSP setup in a stateful PCE model



PCEP extensions for segment routing



Carrying binding label / segment-ID in PCE-based networks



Conveying path setup type in PCEP messages



PCEP extensions for establishing relationships between sets of Label Switched Paths (LSP)



PCEP extension for signaling LSP diversity constraint



Inter-stateful PEC communication procedures



Extensions to PCEP to compute service-aware LSPs

System Requirements


VMWare ESXi 6.5 Update 2 or later


96 GB minimum

Disk space

1 TB


16 vCPU


Two physical interfaces:

  One interface for management traffic, including SSH and GUI access to the VM. The DNS and NTP servers, and the default gateway, must be reachable via this interface.
  One interface for data traffic. Managed devices must be reachable via this interface (routable).

Ordering Information

Contact your Cisco account representative for details on how to order Cisco Crosswork Optimization Engine.

Cisco and Partner Services

Cisco offers a wide range of services to help accelerate your success in connecting to Cisco Crosswork. The innovative Cisco Services offerings are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, and are focused on helping you increase operational efficiency and improve your network control. Cisco Advanced Services use an architecture-led approach to help you align your network infrastructure with your business goals and achieve long-term value. Cisco Crosswork products can be combined with Cisco SMARTnet Service to help you resolve mission-critical problems with direct access at any time to Cisco network experts and award-winning resources. Spanning the entire network lifecycle, Cisco Services offerings help increase investment protection, optimize network operations, support migration operations, and strengthen your IT expertise. For more information, visit https://www.cisco.com/go/services.

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Call to Action

Speak to your Cisco sales representative to learn more about Cisco Crosswork Optimization Engine or to schedule a demonstration.

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