vcpe Options for Delivering Business Services over DOCSIS (BSoD)

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1 White Paper This approach is undergoing standardization at SCTE in 2016, as part of their operational best practices initiative. Cable MSO Strategy: vcpe Options for Delivering Business Services over DOCSIS (BSoD) NFV-based vcpe modules are a highly effective way for MSOs to capture their share of the commercial services market ckhaul networks BSoD: A Lucrative Market Commercial connectivity services command premium pricing, and cable multi-system operators (MSOs) have the infrastructure in position to take advantage of this market segment. However, reliability and performance are more important than bandwidth, given that cloud computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and data center connectivity are increasingly critical to operations. Over-the-top video, conferencing services, and other bandwidth-consuming applications often share the same link. MSOs can grow business services over DOCSIS (BSoD) revenue by offering assured quality of service (QoS) and service level agreements (SLAs) committing to guaranteed uptime, bandwidth availability, and rapid mean time to repair (MTTR). Such capabilities allow MSOs to offer sophisticated connectivity and managed services for important commercial segments including healthcare, education, hospitality, and financial services. DOCSIS 3.x cable modems do not offer integrated performance monitoring, service turn-up testing, demarcation, and other features required for efficient business services delivery. Also, the BSoD market is cost sensitive, eliminating the option to use network interface devices (NIDs) that typically terminate and assure fibered enterprise connections. Complementing the capabilities of cable modems, virtualized customer premises equipment (vcpe) strategies employing network functions virtualization (NFV) can deliver full NID functionality using low cost, standards-based vcpe modules, ensuring MSOs obtain the visibility and reporting capabilities required in the most operationally and cost efficient manner. This paper aims to provide concrete methods and procedures MSOs can employ to leverage these NFV-based vcpe strategies to deploy, monitor, and maintain BSoD services alongside their existing operational infrastructure. October 2015

2 BSoD Lifecycle Consistent with Metro Ethernet Forum s (MEF) definition of the Carrier Ethernet service lifecycle which serves as an established model for commercial connectivity there are three phases to the BSoD services lifecycle: 1. Deployment (provisioning and service activation testing/sat) 2. Performance Monitoring & SLA Reporting (collecting and presenting key performance metrics) 3. Troubleshooting (identifying, isolating, and resolving service issues) MEF service lifecycle. (Source) In each phase of this lifecycle, use of NFV-based vcpe for BSoD must integrate with existing operational practices and address MEF standards. Deployment Requirements and Architecture A highly cost and operationally efficient approach to deploying SLA-grade BSoD uses a network-embedded architecture that employs small footprint, programmable performance assurance hardware modules (vcpe modules) augmented by virtualized performance assurance functions hosted on a centralized controller. The intent of this strategy is to virtualize as many customer-located networking functions as possible, while retaining the minimum hardware necessary for service delivery that s consistent with performance, reliability, and Quality of Experience (QoE) expectations. In the example shown below, on-site hardware appliances performing firewall, PBX, and routing functions are virtualized. Local network functionality becomes softwarebased, using virtual network functions (VNFs) hosted on low-cost, commercial off-theshelf (COTS) servers or cloud-infrastructure.

3 vcpe: traditional vs. virtualized customer premises equipment example For BSoD delivery, this approach introduces customer premises-located performance monitoring, turn-up testing, Service Operations and Maintenance (SOAM), and troubleshooting functionality which in the case of fiber business services is normally provided using a NID. The connection between the performance assurance VNF controller and each module must be reliable, secure and lossless (e.g. TCP-based) to ensure that the vcpe module can assume the same level of functionality as a NID. This management tunnel is critical to support performance assurance VNFs, because raw data is returned to the controller for test results calculation, performance and fault reporting, session control, module management, synchronization information, etc. In an NFV-based vcpe architecture, the lossless control sessions allow each remote module to virtually become a remote port of the controller analogous to a virtualized NID which acts as a single logical appliance with thousands of remote endpoints. NFV-based vcpe control tunnel and function locations Economical, Precise Performance Management NFV-powered hardware modules can offer the same level of performance monitoring precision, loopback, and full line-rate turn-up test capabilities at a fraction of the cost of a NID, making this approach an economically viable solution to deploy SLA-grade BSoD.

4 In addition to adding Carrier Ethernet service capabilities and operations, as well as operations and maintenance (OAM) functions, the NFV-based vcpe also offers advanced performance assurance features which allow MSOs to: Reduce truck-rolls over the service lifecycle when compared with handheld test sets. A single vcpe module can remotely perform turn-up testing, continuous monitoring, and on-demand troubleshooting. Simplify integration with existing operational practices and infrastructure, leveraging compatibility with hand-held Ethernet test sets and third-party centralized monitoring probes. Streamline new services roll-out; NFV allows for remotely adding functionality to the vcpe module no need for additional equipment on-site. Example: Virtualization of NID architecture using NFV A Better Approach to Monitoring and Troubleshooting Some vcpe architectures virtualize customer-premises functions with a simple COTS server at the customer site. But, this is impractical in BSoD deployments because the cost of a COTS server is significantly higher than compact vcpe modules, and because performance assurance functions implemented purely in software lack sufficient time stamping precision and packet transmission scheduling control. Compared with traditional test set and centralized probe solutions, a BSoD strategy using NFV-based vcpe modules offers two other distinct advantages: Modules Traditional Test Sets Can monitor and test between themselves for site-to-site monitoring, end-to-end turn-up testing, and troubleshooting between customer service endpoints. Enable remotely initiated testing using CPE installed during service provisioning. Typically limited to loopbacks or monitoring tests from a central location to a service endpoint. Require trained technician dispatch to each service endpoint for SAT or troubleshooting.

5 Take Commercial Services Delivery to the Next Level MSOs seeking to deploy BSoD with the lowest possible operational and capital expense are increasingly adopting the method described in this paper: NFV-based vcpe modules with a related VNF controller. It is possible for MSOs to efficiently deploy and manage performance assured BSoD so long as they adopt a single test architecture and consistent instrumentation is applied from initial deployment through monitoring and troubleshooting. NFV-based instrumentation methods provide the full set of SLA key performance indicators (KPIs) required to deliver premium, differentiated BSoD, putting MSOs on a cost-efficient path to compete against telecom and internet service provider (ISP) incumbents. BSoD is also the beginning of an evolution that transforms MSOs into rich, intelligent connectivity providers serving the shift to cloud compute. By first developing the right base of performance assured BSoD offerings as outlined in this paper, MSOs will be able to contribute to more detailed procedures, and robust standards, positioning themselves as leading connectivity providers in this emerging market. Learn More Learn about Accedian s approach to NFV-based vcpe for BSoD in our solution brief and video Accedian Networks Inc. All rights reserved. Accedian Networks, the Accedian Networks logo, SkyLIGHT, Plug & Go, AntMODULE, Vision EMS, Vision Suite, VisionMETRIX, V-NID, R-FLO, Network State+, Traffic-Meter & FlowMETER, FlowBROKER are trademarks or registered trademarks of Accedian Networks Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective companies. Accedian Networks may, from time to time, make changes to the products or specifications contained herein without notice. Some certifications may be pending final approval, please contact Accedian Networks for current certifications.

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