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Fiber Deep Part 2: Is Your Network Ready?

As we discussed in the blog post, “Fiber Deep Part 1: What is it?”, by pushing the fiber node, where fiber meets coax, closer to the end-user, Fiber Deep significantly reduces the number of homes that must share the coax portion of the HFC network, enabling gigabit internet services while simultaneously reducing power consumption and maximizing service availability by eliminating the need for RF amplifiers. But how can we best evolve the network from the fiber node to the head-end and beyond to support Fiber Deep?

First, let’s look at some of the key challenges cable MSOs are facing as they implement Fiber Deep and other initiatives including DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex, Head End Re-architected as a Data Center (HERD), Distributed Access Architecture (DAA), and Remote PHY. Scaling capacity cost effectively to deliver turbocharged internet speeds is one key challenge. Minimizing latency is another as this becomes an increasingly critical component of the customer experience with residential customers prepared to switch providers if video streaming quality suffers or web response times appear slow, gamers actively seeking providers with the lowest latency, and new applications such as VR streaming and the tactile internet likely to make latency even more critical. Minimizing operational costs related to power consumption, footprint, and labor-intensive manual processes is also key. And underpinning all this is the need to accelerate innovation as the primary enabler for CapEx and OpEx reductions, capacity and performance improvements, and new services.

So how can we best address these challenges? At Coriant, we believe the four key principles of the Coriant Hyperscale Carrier Architecture (HCA) offer the best approach:

  • openness
  • disaggregation
  • virtualization
  • SDN-enabled automation

Openness and disaggregation separate hardware and software into best-in-class functional blocks with open APIs, providing the ability to replace each functional block independently, reducing vendor lock-in, and enabling faster innovation. WDM transport systems are disaggregated into Open Line Systems and Open Transponder/Muxponders. The packet function becomes programmable with options including SDN control of converged packet optical platforms, and white boxes together with hardware-independent network operating systems enabling applications including disaggregated routing. Virtualization moves network functions from dedicated hardware to VNFs running on commodity x86 servers and white boxes. Benefits include reduced costs, the ability to turn up and scale services on demand, and the option to reduce latency by moving VNFs closer to the customer. SDN-enabled automation includes end-to-end service provisioning across multiple layers, network operations tasks such as service activation testing, and platform management tasks including commissioning, software upgrades, and configuration backups. In addition, SDN speeds innovation by greatly simplifying the integration of new technologies into the IT/OSS environment.

Internet service speeds can now be scaled cost effectively leveraging 100G+ optics, optical express, and disaggregated routing. Low latency is enabled by optical express and NFV edge compute. OpEx savings result from minimized power consumption, reduced footprint, and SDN-enabled automation. And the innovation capabilities of the entire ecosystem can be tapped with Coriant solutions including disruptive technologies from best-in-class companies in the Coriant Multi-Sided Platform (MSP) Partner Program.

For more details on how Coriant can evolve your cable MSO network, check out the new Coriant Solutions for Cable MSOs solution note.

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