The astute among you may recall that just a few months ago – specifically, at the ANGA conference in June – we announced a new Cloud Native Broadband Router, the cnBR, aimed at making the industry’s CCAP deployments radically more feasible and economical.
This week, going into the Cable-Tec Expo, I’m (beyond) pleased to tell you that the cnBR went live recently, in Mobridge, South Dakota, with our customer Midco. It’s always gratifying when a plan comes together, and especially because with the news we’re showing actual results, and not “convention slide-ware.”
Midco exemplifies what it means to be passionate about affordably operating advanced wired (and wireless) networks – networks geared for capacity, quality, and an overall customer experience that makes would-be competitors nervous. They started their Gigabit journey four years ago and are deep into a DOCSIS 3.1 cadence.
What makes the cnBR attractive to broadband innovators like Midco, in part, is how elegantly it scales, up and down: One blade of one server is sufficient to cover a market the size of Mobridge, for instance. Less dedicated hardware, less space, power, and maintenance. With the machine-level metrics that satisfy stakeholder KPIs – both known and developing.
About “Cloud Native”
Just so the “cloud native” part of the cnBR doesn’t get lost, indulge me a brief discourse on what it means, relative to “virtualization.” It’s subtle, but it goes like this: “Virtualization” for the Cable Access market has generally implied running legacy code on a hypervisor – lets’ say CCAP code, on virtual machines. People tend to call this “lift and shift.”
Yes, “lifting and shifting” an existing CCAP into a VM is relatively quick to accomplish, with reasonably sound scaling impacts. (And here comes the “however.”)
However, “lifting and shifting” something as vital as CCAP is an interim step, at best. In order to actualize the real benefits available with modern software frameworks, one must consider a microservices architecture leveraging container technology. Containerization is favored, from an engineering perspective, because it vastly improves the testing, deploying and scaling of software. It’s favored, from a business perspective, because it’s what the “Big Internet” is doing – and it’s perfectly applicable to instantiating and maintaining a right-sized CCAP core.
Timing-wise, the cnBR will be available soon. The great news about this solution is that all of the hardware that you need to run this scalable system is available now! Ranging from data center servers and switches, IP routers, Remote PHY nodes and shelves – Cisco has a full portfolio of market leading platforms to support your journey to cloud native. Finally, all of these system elements are tied together with our Automation software, making provisioning, deploying and operating the system a breeze.
Our customers, exemplified by Midco, rely on CCAP to power their most mission-critical services. But they need it on their terms, which means market-sized, light on facility-based resources, super reliable, exceptionally responsive to market demands for new functionality and heavy on metrics. That’s the cnBR. Come by and learn more at our SCTE Cable-Tec Booth #1603 this week in Atlanta!