Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Interest in Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) continues to grow among operators looking for more efficient, less power-hungry networks. View on demand to learn about why Distributed Access Architectures can improve network efficiency. Also, understand the differences between Remote PHY and Remote MAC-PHY, the two main options.
Watch now to hear speakers from CableLabs, VIAVI, and other industry experts as they explore improving network efficiency with DAA.
Check out the full transcript of the Exploring Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) webinar below
Ron: It'll be my pleasure to moderate four presentations on distributed access architecture. We'll start with Chris Tucker, director of Business Development in Technology Cable and Emerging Markets at Nokia, who will begin with an overview of distributed access architectures, and why they're of interest. Next we'll hear from John Schnoor, a lead engineer at CableLabs who review our CableLabs and the cable industry at large. We're helping to make distributed access architectures the reality.
Ron: Tom Cloonan, he's technology officer of network solutions that Eris will follow with his perspective on how we might seem to stimulate access architectures evolve in the future. Finally, we'll hear from Dave Hering, senior product line manager at the ABI solutions who offer a look at the test and measurement aspects of distributed access architectures. Let's begin with our first presentation from Chris Tucker, director of Business Development and Technology cable and emerging markets at Nokia, as mentioned, Chris will provide us with an introduction. So, you distributed access architectures.
Chris Tucker: Thanks Ron. Appreciate the introduction. So, let's jump right into the content here for this morning. The first thing I want to highlight is, is what's driving the new tools and the change in our industry, throughout the advent of DOCSIS services and high speed Internet, we've seen an explosive growth in traffic and it's one that we expect will, be upon us for at least the next several years, if not well into the future. And, as the rate of acceleration of demand has gone up, so have the need to develop new tools to address that demand.
Chris Tucker: So in the past, what we've done as a cable MSO service provider community is: we've done things like adding channels to service groups and node splits and that's worked for us for quite a long time. What we are seeing today in our industry is that as we add channels, we're running out of spectrum on the wire with current technologies like DOCSIS 3.0 and that's not enough to meet the hockey stick, growth in demand, more devices connected.
Chris Tucker: More video consumption on the high-speed services, and more users connecting to the internet. In addition, to adding channels, we've done a node splits. So, we've segmented the network more and reduce the number of subscribers, sharing a pool of bandwidth with node splits, comes the challenge of running out a head end space for new chassis and equipment that served those new service groups that we create.
Chris Tucker: Then also we're running into signal quality issues, whereby the signal isn't good enough at the last subscriber to realize the benefits of the higher modulations that DOCSIS 3.0 provides us. We'll look at that on the next slide. But finally there's some relief insight, and that's called Distributed Access Architecture's. DAA gives us the promise of lower power consumption in the inside plant, in the head end where real estates are premium and a lower pooling bill and lower cooling load, smaller air conditioning and then reduce space requirements within the inside plan and that the hub site.
Chris Tucker: In addition to all of those great benefits operationally, we also bring with us the benefit of a higher signal quality or MER at that last subscriber. Because we're eliminating a portion of the network that used to be analog, and we're converting that to a digital scheme whereby we're able to start the modulation closer to the subscriber, and provide a better experience. So, let's look at what it is today and then let's evolve that to the future.
Chris Tucker: Today we're doing an HFC or a hybrid fiber coaxial architecture, where we have a CCAP chassis alongside our video services and we are at combined in the head and or hub site. And we use analog lasers to transmit that out to an optical node that is a somewhat close to the subscriber. From there, we use RF amplification in some cases, and in many cases there are multiple RF amplifiers in the line, towards that last subscriber off of the RF network with all of those amplifiers, and with that analog laser and the analog fiber in play.
Chris Tucker: We incur a signal loss from the CCAP chassis MER that's near perfect all the layouts of the subscriber than encourage that loss. And with that loss comes lower modulation. Expanding this network requires more space in the head end or hub site, and that provides a challenge as we run out of space in those hub sites and we run out of the ability to supply power to that new equipment, compare and contrast that to distributed access architecture, where we moved more functionality out to the outside plant, and push that deeper into the network.
Chris Tucker: In distributed access architecture, we actually bring the Mac and or the fly out to the outside plant in a smarter node and we convert that to the digital transmission. And a digital transmission over ethernet brings the modulation closer to the subscriber, meaning that you don't have the MER loss associated with the analog fiber transport that you had with HFC.
Chris Tucker: We incur a signal loss from the CCAP chassis MER that's near perfect all the layouts of the subscriber than encourage that loss. And with that loss comes lower modulation. Expanding this network requires more space in the head end or hub site, and that provides a challenge as we run out of space in those hub sites and we run out of the ability to supply power to that new equipment.
Chris Tucker: Compare and contrast that to distributed access architecture, where we moved more functionality out to the outside plant and push that deeper into the network. In distributed access architecture, we actually bring the Mac phy node to fly out to the outside plant in a smarter node and we convert that to the digital transmission. Digital transmission over ethernet brings the modulation closer to the subscriber, meaning that you don't have the MER loss associated with the analog fiber transport that you had with HFC.
Chris Tucker: So, that gives you anywhere between six to nine dB increase in MER, based on what our research has shown, which many times can mean the difference between one k qualm and two K or even four K qualms at the subscriber. That's last on the strands. So two Distributed Access Architectures that have emerged from this new innovation, and I'll compare and contrast these two for our benefit.
Chris Tucker: The first is Remote PHY and in Remote PHY, the physical layer the modulation of the DOCSIS signal, and the video signal is pushed out to this intelligent node called remote PHY node or RPD remote PHY device. That device takes the place of the old analog node, closer to the subscriber out in the outside plant. And that device communicates with the CCAP Core, in the head end or hub site over a digital 10 gigabit Ethernet link using common off the shelf switches and routers and CableLabs calls that the skin layer.
Chris Tucker: In that mode of the DOCSIS Mac stays within the CCAP core or the data core inside the hub site, you get the benefit of increased MER towards the subscriber and you definitely get a higher order modulations as a result of that. You're leveraging a metro Ethernet network that can be leveraged for other services like business services right alongside the remote PHY. So you get a lot of benefit out of that fiber usage being a digital rather than analog.
Chris Tucker: There is tunneling involved because when the DOCSIS frame hits the remote PHY node, it's D modulating and then sent in a tunnel format back through the skin layer to the CCAP core, which then takes that DOCSIS frame, converts it to Ethernet performs or routing function and sends it towards the core. So, that CCAP core is very involved in all of that switching and routing, that needs to happen to make the service work.
Chris Tucker: Compare that to a remote Mac and PHY where the DOCSIS Mac function resides in the node, in the outside plant. You still get the great to MER improvements because you're still 10 gigabit Ethernet and you're using an all IP all fiber network out there towards the outside plant. In this case, you don't need a CCAP core in the hub site or head end. You're using common off the shelf routers and switches from a variety of vendors.
Chris Tucker: And you have a cloud based controller out there that tells the nodes what to do from a control plane perspective. It looks a lot more like SDN. Some of the models that we've seen out there with other technologies such as wireless and in remote Mac and PHY, the DOCSIS Mac terminates on that node and the node sends a pure Ethernet frame up towards the switch and then it's routed in the same way that a CCAP core would be routed either on a collapsed core or with a PE router.
Chris Tucker: The existing core that exists in a lot of operator networks today. Video can be Debbie and pier as outlined in the CableLabs, remote PHY specifications in either remote Mac PHY or remote PHY. And in fact, CableLabs is working on some standardization efforts, to make sure that's very clear for both technologies going forward.
Chris Tucker: Nokia is virtualized, DAA ends the debate between remote PHY and remote Mac PHY. As I compared and contrasted on the previous slides, there are different approaches to DAA and that previously, we involved a pretty significant architecture decision on behalf of the MSO, with our solution going forward, and with virtualization is a technology, that debate is slowly coming to an end. Because when you virtualize the DOCSIS Mac, you're able to run that either on servers or on the node, and the switch between the two is simply a configuration change, not a truck roll and a rip and replace, which is a great innovation for the cable MSO community.
Chris Tucker: As vendors, we want to avoid truck rolls and rip and replace and the old adage of a forklift upgrade going forward, and I think as a vendor community, we're working hard and making strides to make that reality for our customer, which is great for both our customer and the subscriber. So, when we virtualize the DOCSIS Mac, running it on a server versus running it on a node, it really frees the operator to make the decision neighborhood by neighborhood hub site by hub site, head end by head end or globally as their operational model and their engineering design inputs dictate, which is a very powerful tool for our cable operators going forward.
Chris Tucker: So, here's a couple of applications of that, with a congested head end, it tends to make sense to push the DOCSIS Mac or virtual CMTS closer to the subscriber on the node and run it in the outside plant. That way you conserve space and in the head end and you have less devices inside that head in. With limited outside plant power, there is an uptick in the outside plant power for running the CMTS on the node, anywhere between five to 10%.
Chris Tucker: So, if you do have OSP power constraints in some areas, it may make sense to run that DOCSIS Mac inside the hub site and deploy more of a remote PHY configuration. If you wish to centralize a lot of your control plane and in a lot of your video architectures, it may make sense to run the virtual CMTS on the node because then you have a greater distance capability between the node and the data center, which could be across the country or even across the world, as we're hearing with a better optical transport technology transoceanic, so that allows you to deploy in a data center that may be less expensive for the operator to run because its overseas where real estate is less expensive.
Chris Tucker: So I'll leave you with a Bell Labs Case Study. And in our partners at Bell Labs had done a lot of research and a Distributed Access Architecture. So one of their studies has been a head end equipment for a thousand service groups, one reference design. And we've done a comparison of integrated CCAP versus remote PHY and then virtualization to the far right. What we've found is that there's a considerable reduction, Rackspace, as you turn towards virtualization and as you push their virtual CMTS out to the known.
Chris Tucker: There's a considerable reduction in power as you trend towards the virtualization and distributed access and, the one promise that all VAA solutions give us as is no more analog fiber, so quite a bit higher plant fidelity, which reduces truck rolls, reduces churn, and gives you higher speeds and feeds to your customer, which we all benefit from. And it also gives us a future proof all IP network that we can leverage for better services going forward, which again, we all benefit from as a community. So with that, I'll thank you for your time and I'll pass it back to Ron.
Ron: All right, Chris. Thank you very much. Our next speaker is John Schnoor, a lead engineer at CableLabs. John is the lead engineer for a research Consortiums Wired Technologies team focused on remote PHY technologies. He's managing remote PHY and remote Mac PHY programs, developing solutions and championing the cable industry toward direct a distributed access architectures of the future. Tom Will now discuss the work CableLabs is doing and distributed access architectures. John.
John Schnoor: All right, thank you Ron. I'm going to talk a little bit today about kind of the work going on at CableLabs. How are we making this a reality for the industry? First thing I'm going to do is really talk about the difference between Distributed Access Architecture work as well as the Distributed CCAP Architecture. Just kind of clear up a little bit of a nomenclature and then I'll go into the different, distributed CCAP architecture projects we have here, that I am leading and kind of where we're at with those projects.
John Schnoor: What you can expect here in the near future. First of all, DCA, we have a program here called DCA Distributed CCAP Architecture and this is kind of where remote PHY remote Mac PHY fall. This program really take the CCAP Architecture, the integrated CCAP architecture that everyone is probably familiar with and we are distributing that. We're blowing up the CCAP big iron and we are creating a remote PHY, and remote mac PHY architecture.
John Schnoor: But also the DCA work is actually within a larger program called DAA, which is probably more widely used as a term the Distributed Access Architecture. The CableLabs, we have a good amount of people at cable was the industry vendors operators, a large number of groups working on a full duplex, DOCSIS coherent optics proactive network maintenance. And then there was a recent announcements that has gone public, and I was told I can talk about it, but it's full duplex, coherent optics. And so, these kind of fall under a larger distributed access architecture program that we have.
John Schnoor: So, that's kind of highlights the difference between the DAA and how DCA fits into the Distributed Access Architecture. All right, moving on. Some of the things that I am involved with and leading is remote back five, remote PHY. I want to kind of give a little, kind of roadmap here, what work has gone on and what work we are going to be doing this year and going forward.
John Schnoor: So remote PHY, we've been working on this for a couple of years. We are nearing the end of specification work. So, while there is still a significant amount of work going on, literally today, we are nearing the end of that. We currently have three working group meetings per week. We've completed 11 interrupt events, so we're pretty far down the road with remote PHY.
John Schnoor: We do have a program called open RPD, which is open development group, that creates RPD, the remote PHY device, as you've heard Chris kind of defined earlier, we have this open development group that writes code for RPDs and can be downloaded and used and new versions uploaded by the community. So that, that seems to be doing really well. We have created acceptance test plans and a CableLabs does have an RPD qualification program up in open and running.
John Schnoor: There's a lot of activity going on with remote Max, remote PHY. Next is a remote Mac five, we had just kicked off this past December, a working group to standardize that. We have defined all the objectives, we've created the different phases in the road map as well as defined the outline for the specification. We are literally this past week we have made assignments, and we are literally writing Spec as I speak right now.
John Schnoor: We're moving along pretty quickly in that. So with that, I want to go into a little bit of those phases of remote PHY and remote Mac PHY. I want to kind of show you where we are at and where we're going as far as the technical work that's going on here at CableLabs. So first of all, you can see kind of the OSS infrastructure we have here on the left.
John Schnoor: This is kind of what's not changed. We will be adding a little bit of what you see down here at the bottom, over the next few months and years actually, but this is kind of what exists today. The first work we have done, as I mentioned earlier and Chris talked about a little bit, is the remote PHY work. So, there we introduced a CCAP core.
John Schnoor: This is really what the integrated CCAP is minus the five minus the physical layer portion. However, with remote we have created this remote PHY device, and this is a module that fits into node that's closer out to the customer. So, within remote PHY we defined a CCAP core where the processing happens, you've defined a remote fight advice where the five processing happens and we have also created specifications and requirements on how that is communicated back and forth.
John Schnoor: We have a generic control protocol we've developed, we have extended the downstream external PHY interface, for the remote PHY architecture as well as the upstream external PHY interface. We've introduced timing as well. So we support, 1588 timing for all of this because we have to worry about the upstream and downstream scheduling. We have split the mac from the five and so the timing becomes very crucial in this type of architecture.
John Schnoor: We also, have developed this idea of auxiliary corps so you could actually create or have separated video core for out of band signaling in, for our European partners are: MDF and MDR narrow band digital return, and digital 14 for their video pieces as well. So, this is really kind of encapsulates all of the work going on with remote PHY. Each one of these is a specification onto itself.
John Schnoor: We actually have a library of specs for remote five. So, this leads us into remote Mac five and the launch of this work and, and, and how it builds on the remote PHY work that we've already done. So, one of the things I want to point out here is all of the work that we have yet to do builds on the work that we have done. So, we are never really reinventing the wheel here.
John Schnoor: We want to, we want to take baby steps, we want to build on what we've done, leveraged as much as we can. That way we can limit the time to market for our vendor partners as well as our members, not a cable operators. So, jumping into the remote Mac five project, we have created this idea of a Mac manager because now we have created also this idea of a remote Mac device.
John Schnoor: Similar to an RPD, we can kind of see the green there, the little RPD, there is a five portion, the RPD module that's in this remote and Mac fine node, but we're calling this the remote Mac device. Well, because we are pushing out the Mac and the five close to the subscriber, we need a way to manage and initialize that device as well. So, we've created a MAC manager and we've created a remote Mac device component as well.
John Schnoor: Well, the nice thing about this, the remote PHY device, we can just leverage all the work we did in remote five with GCP, Debbie, pier timing to manage and configure the RPD. The new piece of work here with remote Mac PHY that is underway today in phase one is defining how we manage and configure and run that remote Mac device and we're using the Mac manager to do that.
John Schnoor: We have a TBD here that, that's because we are literally defining that today. So, pretty soon that will be TBD and in fact, over the next three to four months, we hope to finalize that work. So, going forward next phase, we have this idea of a remote Mac core, a remote Mac core actually takes your RMD type node. [inaudible 00:25:03] Mac five note in splits it up. So, we have this component called the remote Mac core.
John Schnoor: Now that the operator can install and configure input put anywhere in their network that makes sense for them, and it makes sense for the market they're deploying in. And again, because we've pulled out the MAC processing out of the RMD, that leaves us with an RPD the five portion. Well guess what we've already designed, developed and produced the requirements to manage and use this RPD.
John Schnoor: We're going to leverage all of that work for the second phase of remote Mac five. Well that gets us back to GCP deputy you API in timing. We're going to leverage that. We are going to leverage the work we do in phase one and the RMD to manage and configure and run the RMC. So we're again, we're just building on what we've done before. And then finally we've got you know, the connection with the auxiliary corps as well.
John Schnoor: Then the third and final phase of remote Mac PHY is the virtualization piece. This is kind of the home run if you will., We were, we implement an SDN controller, we actually implement a DOCSIS controller, for this third phase of remote Mac five, and we implement the virtual Mac core. And so, this is really kind of the end game where we want to be.
John Schnoor: This is going to be a lot of work. This is all going to be new type of work we're doing for the industry, but we're going to leverage the RPD as well. We've got the connections to the back end, so we have this Mac manager that controlling and managing a lot of the new pieces we have. Of course, we've got the new interfaces that we need to develop, as well as we've gotten our existing that we're going to leverage.
John Schnoor: All right, and so that actually completes my portion of the Webinar and hopefully that's pretty clear on, what work is going on, in CableLabs as well as where we see this going. And I'd like to thank for all of those on the Webinar for joining today, as well as our vendors and operators on there that are participating in these projects. I want to thank everyone there too. So, with that, I am done. Thank you very much.
Ron: And that includes our next speaker, Tom Cloonan, who is chief technology officer of network solutions at Arris. Coming now take a look forward and discuss how DAA evolves into future and what's next. Tom.
Tom Cloonan: Thank you Ron, and I'd like to thank the audience. Say I was given a very interesting slice of the talks today. I was handed the opportunity to talk about the future a little bit. Talk about where we see the student access architectures moving toward. And talking about the future is always a challenging topic because it requires us to look in a crystal ball a little bit and I'll be honest that the future is interesting and complicated.
Tom Cloonan: The crystal ball is a little bit cloudy and I'm sure everybody has a slightly different views. So, no matter what I say today on, I'm guaranteed to create some debatable a statements and topics. And maybe that's okay. I think it's good that we discussed these things and try to figure out together where the industry's heading.
Tom Cloonan: But, I do know that it's heading in a direction with a lot of different options that will be offered to the operators and I think all the vendors and all the operators realized as we move forward, they're going to be a lot of transitions and a lot of changes and aa lot of opportunities to, to pick from.
Tom Cloonan: So that's, that's my goal in the next few minutes is to give you a feel for where I think things are going and maybe stimulate some discussion in that area. So one of the things that I always liked to do when I, when I think about the future is to take a look at the fundamental element that we manage is as an industry. And really we, we manage, in my opinion, we manage bandwidth. We manage through, put bit rate for the subscribers.
Tom Cloonan: We've been tracking the bandwidth for quite a few years now. And you know, it's been interesting. Every year we show the chart, this is the average bandwidth trends both downstream on the top picture here and upstream, the bottom picture here. The blue candle sticks can indicate the average balance trends, and you see that exponential growth curve that we've been talking about for quite a few years.
Tom Cloonan: It continues to grow and it will likely continue to grow in the future, which is one of the dominant reasons that we're looking at all these new technologies, is to find good ways to manage the through puts that are coming in the future. I will mention a few anomalies that we caught every January. We pull in some new, a bandwidth and throughput numbers from our some MSO partners in this January was a little bit surprising. The throughput on the downstream actually dropped a fair amount from what the numbers of the past has usually been.
Tom Cloonan: We've been talking about 50% growth rate on the downstream for quite a few years. And the average with the operators who have responded so far, there's still some numbers coming in, but the average of those that have responded so far is showing about a 30% growth rate on the upstream, that's per year. So, it's a little slower than the 50% number that we had in the past, but it's still growing 36% growth rate still very quick, and we'll see if that changes. The other interesting thing, is we saw a bifurcation In the throughput trends. Some of the operators saw lower than 36% down in the 20's and some saw much higher than 36% up into the 70% growth rates. So, that's ad and we're going to need to keep watching that and pay attention to it.
Tom Cloonan: Maybe, a year from now we'll see two years, and see if that was an anomaly or if it's actually a trend. But the upstream, another interesting thing happened. We saw a precipitous rise in the upstream growth rates from 20% up to about 25%. So, we're seeing a little bit more upstream growth rate going on now, and that's one of the things is probably leading into some of these new technologies like full duplex DOCSIS and things like that.
Tom Cloonan: It will impact how we design our networks, and our equipment going forward. So bottom line, a lot of growth, a lot of the throughput growth going on out there and I think DAAs Distributed Access Architectures that we'll talk about right now or are going to be part of the solution and delivering those through puts. So, when I was handed this assignment, I sat down and I try to put a picture together just to try to get my arms around all the things that are going on and it is a confusing time.
Tom Cloonan: This is the picture I came up with. It's a little bit of a crystal ball picture looking out into the future. But I also started by looking into the past because oftentimes the past is a decent way to ... I get a feel for where we might be going. So, what we see here is in blue align that kind of shows an upward trend and there's no label on the y axis here.
Tom Cloonan: It's just increased throughput. But what we see as an upward growth that occurred kind of from the 1998 time frame all the way to today., Where we've increased our throughput by working with big iron boxes that were called CMTSs or CCAPs at different points in their history and we've had different DOCSIS Spec said, increase the throughput on each of the channels using techniques such as OFTM or FDMA and LTPC.
Tom Cloonan: But also we've, we've changed the systems of lap by adding more capacity through the use of increased service groups. So, we can support more RF spigots that we're driving or more knows that we can hang off of these big iron boxes. So this is the integrated CCAP, the euro or the centralized access architecture generation in the Blue Line. And it'll continue, you know, contrary to popular belief, you go to a conference, you don't hear a lot of talk about I CCAPs, but believe it or not, there's still quite a few of them getting deployed.
Tom Cloonan: In fact, the majority of our, you know, the market right now, it'd be 100% honest and it's probably going to continue. There's a lot of places where I-CCAPs will continue to be the technology of choice, for many operators going forward. Just because they're not faced by some of the constraints that are driving us to the right side of this chart.
Tom Cloonan: But the right side of this chart kind of shows the future. And this is what we're here to talk about. We show a lot of little ellipsis here of different colors in each ellipse is either an event that's already happened or events that are likely to happen in the future. What I did was I tried to make guesses and they are guests is likely to be wrong, but hopefully they're in the ballpark of correctness.
Tom Cloonan: These guesses are indicating when we think some new technologies will likely show up that'll be based on the standards that John just talked about in his talk standards that are being worked on it at cable APPS. So, when you look on the right side, we start to see our new generation, these are distributed access architecture technologies, where we're moving functionality out of the head end and out into the fiber nodes on different amounts of functionality in different types of functionality are contained in these different ellipses that I have in this picture here. A little hard to see the dates, but if you look at the first ellipse on the bottom, it's kind of a maroon looking color.
Tom Cloonan: That's where the distributed access architecture debates began back in the 2011 time frame. Lots of discussions about which way to do it. We talked about many other options besides remote final Max PHY, and the two that we're working with today are the two that bubbled to the surface as the most desirable approaches.
Tom Cloonan: A SPEC Scott issued back in, I think I was in 2016 time frame, and now we are just on the edge of I think having SPEC compliant RPDs are going to be deployed out. There were just a few breaths away from that happening. So, it's an exciting time as we enter into the SPEC based PD era and that, that's kind of shown by those, Maroon ellipses on the bottom. Full duplex DOCSIS is another activity that John mentioned as shown in blue here, and that work actually began in late 2015 early 2016.
Tom Cloonan: There've been some specs issued recently, late last year and network will likely lead to FDX a compliance systems, my guess is 2019. That's where that blue ellipsis, there basically RPD based to begin with, but you'll also follow a line going up into the right from the FDX specs shown in blue there, and that's going to be become RMD based or FDX based RMDs that will likely occur in the future as an offshoot of those yellow ellipsis.
Tom Cloonan: Let me talk about the yellow ellipsis, as John mentioned, the Spec work on RMB began in September and December of all last year and it's been going very, very well and that's shown in the first yellow ellipse. And we're moving forward to likely getting spec compliant RMDs in the near future, that there may be 2019, somewhere in that time frame. And so, I think we're, we're heading toward a path where those products will also be available and that will be Spec compliant.
Tom Cloonan: The Spec needs to come out first of course, but we think that's on its way. So, the next Arrow points upward to a green area. There are nets, the RMC type technologies that are roadmapped, core technologies, which is a little bit of a blend of both. It has an RPD feel to it and an RMD field to it. Still has a Mac core, but the core is out in a node that has RPD sub tending off of it.
Tom Cloonan: So, it's kind of a combination technology, I guess, that might be further to the right a little bit. Maybe I'm guessing wrong there, but I think at some point in time we will likely see RMCs showing up as well in this chart. [inaudible 00:36:51] in purple as a moving up the list of ellipsis here, the remote OLTs, there's definitely a spec based products that are on their way to coming out and getting deployed in the very near future here.
Tom Cloonan: I think those ultimately lead. So what we'll show in a couple of minutes here is the multi-services access node architectures. Where you'll have remote OLTs coupled together and nodes with RMDs are RPDs nodes, that do a lot of functionality on side of one node delivering different types of last mile technologies to the end point subscribers. Then along the tap, the last group of ellipses I show up there in red are the extended spectrum DOCSIS ideas. This hasn't yet come to CableLabs.
Tom Cloonan: Maybe in the future we've heard rumors that might show up in a cave webs committee in the future. There's no guarantees there, but certainly an interesting technology that pushes the spectrum of the HFC plant beyond one point seven Gigahertz and tries to increase the total throughput down to subscribers to be greater than 10 Gigabits per second. We might go to a four Gigahertz spectrum and get 25 or 30 gigabits per second to subscribers, or we might shorten the length of the box and we'll talk about this and get to maybe 200 gigabits per second going into subscribers, sales extend into the future.
Tom Cloonan: So as you can see, when you look at all these ellipses, you start to see upward slope that might cover another 10 to 15 years of life on the HFC plant, as we continue to deliver broadband services over the HFC plant into the future. So, a lot of debatable statements made there, but you know, it's something to be thinking about as we look at all these technologies.
Tom Cloonan: I wanted to take you on a quick walk through each of those ellipses and just show you what they look like from a subsystem point of view. A little bit of repeat here to what John did, so I'll move quickly, but at a high level. We begin with the integrated CCAP and the tap picture here where they're colorful backs and the left is the head end integrate CCAP that has the Mac and the five functionality in it.
Tom Cloonan: Then we see the HFC plant with the node shown in black. They're moving to the right of that picture. So now that's kind of the business as usual. I list here some of the positive attributes for each of these technologies. There's pros and cons to each of them, but I just listed a few positive attributes just to give you a feel for why an operator might choose to go down this particular path.
Tom Cloonan: Basically, one of the benefits of this is if there's no need to touch the nodes. So, that's could be viewed by some operators as a benefit. Next picture is remote PHY. So we move into the distributed access architecture domain now. This one has the Mac still living in that head end, but it moves the fire out into the node, out into the outside plant, connected by the Debbie and pier tunnels that were talked about by Chris a little earlier.
Tom Cloonan: This one has good benefit. Some of the attributes are, operates with lower node power than some of its other counterparts. And it also allows you to share the MAC functionality that exists in the head end between multiple notes. The next one on the list, the third one down is there MAC fight at. Chris also talked about where we basically moved the MAC and the five functionality out to the node, and this one has some very good attributes including reducing the head and power requirements.
Tom Cloonan: It's a little bit about a simpler system. It's got kind of all the subsystems in one back. So, some operators have claimed that they liked the simplicity of this approach.The next one on the list is remote OLT. It's kind of a causing to remote to Mac PHY, but instead of using DOCSIS as an output, it uses pine, either A pine, G pine is outputs coming out of the remote OLT and this is definitely a future oriented technology and operators that may want to move toward pine and those types of fiber to the home systems might move in this direction.
Tom Cloonan: We continue through the walk. We then go to remote Mac cores I mentioned earlier. This is a little bit of a blend or hybrid between remote fine, remote Mac PHY. It basically pushes them back out into a node and the HFC plant and has a separate node that does the PHY. So, it has the Mac a little closer to the PHYs there. It can lower the power in the node and lower the power on the note head end and it also allows you to share that Mac between multiple nodes. So, there's some of its attributes.
Tom Cloonan: The next topic is remote PHY with full duplex DOCSIS, the committees. That's a working out of CableLabs, and coming out with recent specs and hopefully products in the near future, and this is an exciting technology.
Tom Cloonan: It changes the nature of how we transmit signals on the coaxial portion of the plant, and it requires a node plus zero plant, but it has a lot of the benefits that the others have. It's still can lower node power and share the Max if it's remote PHY. You can also have a Mac five version of MTX that's the third picture down as the same benefits of FDX, but has the remote Mac five benefits. Then you can have remote map core system that has SDX in.
Tom Cloonan: So, all three of the distributed architecture systems we talked about earlier can have FDX added in the future as we want to get a more symmetrical services going on. The last walk I'll do is shown here. So, I talked about a multi-services access node. It's shown in the figure here where we might envision a note of the future that has subsystems including B axis and pine and Ethernet wireless, all inside a single node and this is a doable technology in the future.
Tom Cloonan: The only thing holding us back, is the amount of power consumed right now. If we use those subsystems as Moore's law improves, and we can reduce the power for each of those subsystems, we'll be able to push more parallel subsystems together into a single note and get to these multi-service access, knows that support multiple technologies.
Tom Cloonan: Then the last two I show here, are the extended spectrum DOCSIS, and the idea here is just to increase the spectrum and there's a few variants of it. One where you would have, a remote fine node that creates the higher bandwidth signals going out over the next. Another one where you can have remote node with a fiber output that then goes to a media converter at the tap, a little more complicated, but it reduces the coaxial length unless you get too much higher group wants to the subscribers.
Tom Cloonan: Quick walk, I know that was quick, but hopefully it gives you a feel for the different types of technologies coming. I think we're doing this mainly to make sure we can support the through puts and bandwidth required by the subscribers in the future, and there will be a lot of different technologies to choose from. If you like, choices, you're going to love the future. All these choices that we just mentioned will be out there and I think an exciting time is coming for us and as an industry I know will work together to figure out which ones are these, make the most sense. So, with that I will thank you for your attention and not turn it back over to Ron.
Ron: Great, thank you very much. Our next speaker or frontal presentation today comes from Dave Hering senior product line manager at GRV solutions. Dave will now take us through the test and measurement aspects of Distributed Access Architectures. Dave.
Dave Hering: Thanks Ron.
Dave Hering: So I wanted to talk very specifically about tests and measurements, and what are seeing in the remote PHY environment. So, if we just look at the different architecture is to compare the centralized access architecture that you see on the top of this command here with our PHY, and I kind of lumped RPYH and the Mac PHY together for this.
Dave Hering: Basically, I go from an optical fiber to internet for the communication. But as we go through and talk to operators, there is the desire to go through, and move that CCAP functionality in an RPHY environment very specifically further and further back into the network, outside of the hub maybe into the serving head ends or maybe even into a data center as all of the processing for this becomes virtualized. So, when you start talking about a separation of Mac and PHY and show larger physical distances, then that's going to raise issues in terms of timing.
Dave Hering: Then when you start talking about having a master clock and you know, based on your experience in other technologies like mobile back haul for example, those sort of time of your requirements that start to come into play. So, if you really look at the testing required to turn up remote PHY based on, you know, these, these sort of constraints, it's the stuff you'd normally expect with fiber. Okay, I want to go through and inspect it before I connect, make sure that, I don't have any dust on a maiden connections that's not going to crop up and become a problem in the future. Want to use OTDR and makes sure I'm really connected to what I think I'm connected to, and there are no issues with the integrity of that fiber. Once again, ensure that my future performance will be solid.
Dave Hering: Then you need to verify even that link between the RPD and the CCAP, okay. The timing for I triple E, 1588. Once again, that's kind of dependent upon how far apart it's a CCAP is from the remote PHY. But that starts to come into play, and then once you have the system up running, turned on to, you need to do the RF service testing just to make sure that the performance is there. So, not horribly different from things that we've seen, but once again now we start talking about, introducing timing requirements and things like that, into the process. If you look at the test and measurement related to assurance for Remote PHY, that actually looks very similar to what it would for a centralized access architecture. So, I do need to make sure that my Ethernet services are working.
Dave Hering: So, very specifically a test you'd still want to be able to do is between the RPD, and the CCAP to make sure that you have the performance if you're seeing problems, you need to monitor the fiber between the sites as well. So, now everything becomes ether net links, okay or Debbie pier links and tunnels, but I need to go through and make sure that the fiber between my head in to my hub. Where my data center in my head in is very robust and certainly any problems in those areas are going to propagate all through the plant on the track.
Dave Hering: The health of my RF plants with proactive network maintenance. So, I'll go through and use tools looking at downstream spectrum. Looking at what I'm seeing in the upstream, but looking at FEC statistics is part of that and that all gives me a picture of what's going on with the plant health to the home health actually, as well as really what's going on with my subscribers and how is the service working for the subscribers.
Dave Hering: Then the last thing that you'd add on that, is the spectrum of return path monitoring because the equation hasn't really changed. I still funnel online noise back to that remote PHY node. So, noise continues to be a problem in a remote PHY environment. Now this kind of segues to, well there are some, some challenges with going through and doing that. In the remote PHY environment because, I do not have an RF connection back from a remote PHY to the hub.
Dave Hering: Essentially I don't have equipment that I can put them ahead in for sweep or for leakage if I want to go through and tag my downstream for leakage or for return path monitoring. So, that makes it very challenging to go through and do things like return path monitoring, in gris suppression sweep. So we need to get new tools in place for that. Basically, the answer is you really have to go through and work with the vendor community, I mean the whole RPHY and Mac PHY solutions are all examples of virtualization and you got to have independent linkages basically between the components.
Dave Hering: We've really taken that approach to make sure that we have consistency and continuity for technicians. We heard in the previous section, lots of options available now and more coming in the future. So, providing continuity and that sort of environment is very, very important for maintaining the plan. So, looking at software agents to go through and replace traditional probes to manager to manage the Ingrid side of it, the monitoring as well as the troubleshooting when you're in the field.
Dave Hering: Integrating the leakage, tagging technology within the RPDs and using standards like NDF and NDR as a port sweep are examples of ways that you can ensure that the technician operating the tools, and the field really sees the same workflows is he would in a centralized access architecture. So, you want it to be able to take advantage of the new technologies, but you can't have one test case for our PHY one, for Mac PHY one for centralized access architecture.
Dave Hering: The trend that we see is a gradual migration of operators, not the big bang approach. So, these technologies and existing side by side. This is just an example of deployment of a software agent in parallel with the CCAP to go through and enable a lot of this processing. So once again, moving from physical probes to distributed software is really the way to tackle this space as it starts to look more and more like a virtualized solution.
Dave Hering: In summary, to really get the most out of the RFI deployments, make sure that you define and stick to the plan for your turn up testing, monitor your services, wants to deploy to ensure good quality. And make sure that you have consistency across your maintenance practices and the information in the hands of the technician as you go through, and do those deployments. So I'll conclude with that.