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Optical/IP Networks

Podcast: Cisco's Masum Mir on the reality and hype of the metaverse

LAS VEGAS – The story of what the so-called "metaverse" will be or should be is just getting started, and views differ widely between high expectations driven by hype and the realities of today's technologies and those on the viewable horizon.

But network operators, network suppliers and software engineers are already starting to put a lot of thought into what kind of performance levels – such as for speed, capacity, latency and security – will be required to support whatever form the metaverse ends up taking.

Masum Mir, VP and GM of engineering at Cisco, recently joined the Light Reading podcast during the Cisco Live event in Las Vegas to offer some of his insights about the metaverse and its potential.

Mir, who is responsible for Cisco's cable, mobile and IoT business, noted that "we are all scratching the surface" on the metaverse when considering what might be possible in the next three to five years. He added that the industry went through a similar exercise two decades ago in considering the implications of the now-proverbial cloud.

"We have gone through this transformation again and again," he said.

While there are some assumptions that can be made about what the metaverse will need – such as symmetrical capacity, super-low latencies and a deep reassessment of the role of cybersecurity – he also holds that the Internet must evolve, and not be effectively rebuilt, to ensure that the metaverse becomes "another citizen on the Internet."

Here's a snapshot of topics discussed during this podcast:

  • What's a realistic view on what the metaverse will be in the next three to five years? (1:10)
  • How do the expected capabilities of the metaverse cross into the domain of 10G, the cable industry's program focusing on symmetrical 10-Gig speeds, low-latency and strong security? (5:45)
  • Why the Internet must evolve – rather than be "reconstructed" – to support the demands of the metaverse. (7:15)
  • The expanding role of cybersecurity, from reactive one-offs to fully integrated ecosystems that are built-in during the early days of metaverse development rather than bolted on sometime down the road. (10:30)
  • How Cisco's role with the cable industry has evolved as the company's attention continues to shift away from traditional access network hardware components such as amplifiers and nodes. (14:00)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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