Nokia this week unveiled several new offerings designed to support providers' ongoing implementation of virtualization as a way to reduce costs, simplify operations and improve flexibility.
Targeting cable operators, the vendor took the wraps off a virtualized Distributed Access Architecture (vDAA) that virtualizes the CMTS, and allows providers to configure it as either a R-PHY or R-MACPHY device. Previously, operators had to select which of the two DAA approaches to use before deploying their next-generation network, Jeff White, head of cable strategy and business development at Nokia told UBB2020. Nokia's new vDAA allows operators to switch between remote PHY and remote MACPHY on the same network, he said.
"The big thing that's occurred with DAA coming into play and every cable operator we talk to -- some are more aggressive, some are less aggressive -- but every single cable operator we speak to sees their next-generation architecture as being a distributed access architecture," said White. "Virtualization actually eliminates the need for making this really big, hard architectural decision -- or what was once thought to be a really hard architectural decision -- right up front regarding remote PHY and remote MACPHY."
Continuing in the virtualization vein, Nokia debuted a software-defined access network (SDAN) solution, designed to help service providers more easily build smart, scalable networks without vendor lock-in. Cloud-native software platform Altiplano is designed for operators implementing software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) because it centralizes and virtualizes the network functionality historically embedded in access equipment. It cuts across network management silos to automatically align the network and allows operators to integrate the SDAN into multi-vendor environments, said Stefaan Vanhastel, head of fixed network marketing at Nokia, in an interview.
The vendor's Lightspan hardware features programmable access nodes that provide cloud and operational agility to an outside plant's copper and fiber, according to the vendor. The hardware includes SX-16F, a 16-port reverse-powered Gfast micro-node that can be reverse-powered from the home. It also includes a stackable software-defined optical line terminal (OLT) with NG-PON.
"Life is getting complicated. You're talking about combining different technologies, different deployment models. We're moving from best-effort megabits per second to latency critical gigabits per second. We're talking deep fiber deployments, lots of remote nodes that need to be managed," he said. "You've got to manage the in-home Wi-Fi network so it's getting very complicated and of course the way to deal with it is virtualization."
"It's really about the use cases that you enable because in the end a virtualization platform is just another way of managing your network," said Vanhastel. "It shouldn't be a goal by itself."
In one use, for example, Gfast deployment time was cut by one-third by virtualizing "a big part of the Gfast nodes" so they automatically powered up, configured and provisioned themselves, he said. In another, NG-PON and virtualization enabled a provider to use an existing network for mobile transport, about half the cost of building a new network, Vanhastel added.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.