Harmonic Updates CableOS with Lower Latency and Virtual Segmentation
Harmonic is demonstrating a series of updates to its CableOS virtualised cable access system at ANGA COM 2019 in Cologne, Germany, running from 4 to 6 June. These include a low-latency mode improving the quality of experience for interactive transmissions like video games and much greater throughput performance due to use of the most recent 1-RU Intel servers and 100G NIC (network interface cards).
CableOS now supports centralised and distributed architectures simultaneously on a single core server. It is interoperable with standard-compliant, third-party Remote PHY devices, and integrates Harmonic’s own CableOS Pebble-1 Remote PHY Device into third-party nodes.
CableOS software’s support for the latest generation of 1-RU Intel server CPUs and 100G NIC gives services a significant boost in throughput. By running on up-to-date Intel servers, CableOS software allows operators to keep pace with developments and performance improvements in IT, without waiting for and purchasing short-lived custom hardware-based CMTS (cable modem termination system) platforms.
Virtual Segmentation and QoS
One of the most significant updates is virtual segmentation with network-wide QoS capabilities, further expanding deployment options. Cable operators can increase bandwidth on existing coaxial cable to feed Remote PHY (physical layer connections) devices without deploying fibre to the new segmentation site.
Developments in delivering data-over-cable services via a Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) like CableOS have increased the density and scale of transmissions and helped operators address the on-going customer demand for more bandwidth. The next shift is expected to be toward a distributed access architecture, which enables access hardware to be moved from the headend to smaller hub sites. This implementation is achieved by separating the CCAP core and PHY functions – that is, moving the PHY as close as possible to the subscribers while only the core functions remain in the headend location.
But this involves connecting the physical layer to the core via a digital optical transmission link, which requires operators to deploy fibre down to each location and is costly and takes time. Virtual segmentation allows operators to deploy PHY without the associated fibre deployment, and is a low-latency and low-power alternative that allows Ethernet traffic over coaxial cable.
Remote PHY Operations
The new CableOS software also supports hybrid Remote PHY operations for centralised, remote shelf and node deployments. Remote PHY shelves optimise the network by consolidating smaller hub sites and preserving the investment in existing fibre nodes, and remote PHY nodes add intelligence to HFC networks by remote management, electrical controls and automation.
The software continues to serve operators that need to boost capacity for low service group counts as well as large-scale environments, with flexible deployment options. For example, CableOS was recently deployed in a traditional HFC (hybrid fibre-coaxial) architecture with the core server in one location and compact 1RU CableOS Wave Remote PHY shelves deployed in remote locations. Harmonic’s CableOS Wave Remote PHY shelves use less than 130 Watts, helping operators save power and space.
Earlier versions of CableOS software included the ability to measure and transmit performance figures, and it now gives operators access to Harmonic’s managed network services and a web-based dashboard for network monitoring. By generating a complete picture of network performance to speed up issue resolution, operators can use CableOS software to help maintain QoS for subscribers.
In short, the new CableOS software takes better advantage of Harmonic’s cloud-native architecture to help users develop more flexible, scalable multi-gigabit broadband services. The use of virtual segmentation, the Intel servers’ ability to deliver more bandwidth with less power, and more 3rd pary integrations and compatibility are bringing the virtualised CableOS system closer to an agile, true software architecture. www.harmonicinc.com