White paper

Bringing the power of virtualization to cable service operators Casa Systems, Kyrio, and Intel show that virtualization decreases rack space and power and increases throughput—while cutting TCO Today’s cable service providers face no shortage of opportunities and challenges as they compete in a rapidly changing marketplace distinguished by high-bandwidth growth and a ...race for faster speeds. At the same time, new markets for low-latency applications, such as augmented/virtual reality, 5G small-cell backhaul, and mission- critical IoT, loom on the horizon. Virtualization and the disaggregation of network functions provide key tools to allow service providers to face their challenges and seize opportunities. Distributed access allows for an order of magnitude increase in capacity while freeing up space and reducing power. Virtualization delivers the flexibility to respond rapidly to new revenue opportunities along with the high potential for significant cost savings. As more cable service providers balance opportunities and challenges, many are rethinking how they operate so that they can balance change and expenses. A solid total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis for the architecture changes and transition steps, as presented in this white paper, is needed. Why move to virtualization The evolution to the virtualization of network functions and the development of software-defined infrastructure in general represents a paradigm shift in the industry, with virtualization likely being new to many. It moves companies from fixed-function appliances with fixed capacity to virtual network functions (VNF) written in software and running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and switches. Among the most sought-after goals is a lower TCO of the network elements. That means bringing down the cost per bit over the network while giving service providers the enhanced flexibility they need to respond to market demands. It also means preserving, as much as possible, existing services and technology, thereby avoiding costly rip and replace scenarios. By exchanging a hardware-based cadence for one driven by software, service providers can greatly accelerate the speed of innovation. Virtualization is also the best way to conserve space and power while growing the access network. Some purpose-built infrastructure will always be needed, but it is becoming clear that important benefits can be achieved when progressively adding more network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN)–based deployments over time. This evolution becomes an important tool for driving network scale and agility. The specific hub site chosen was large, but as can be seen by the distribution of rack space shown below, it was a typical CCAP installation. As a result, the TCO analysis and conclusions are applicable for a wide range of deployments and cable service providers. Current Rack Space Distribution CCAP VOD/SDV Optical TX/RX RF combining Optical MUX A Casa Systems, Kyrio, and Intel collaboration In 2017, in the face of these escalating demands, a client approached Casa Systems with a question. As a cable service provider with millions of subscribers, the company wanted to know this: As we increase network throughput, what will the effect be on our hubs if we grow in a traditional way vs Read the full White paper.