Head In The Cloud, Feet On The Ground: Virtualization Of The Residential Gateway (2016)

By Barak Hermesh, Shaul Shulman, Guy Ray, Paul Mannion and Eoin Walsh, Intel Corporation

he benefits of virtualizing the functionality of the broadband home gateway into the cloud have been discussed for some time in the telecommunication industry. These include OpEx reduction through ease of home gateway SW deployment, faster time-to-market of new features, and ease of service-chaining with little dependency on capabilities of the residential HW resources.

As we enter the DOCSIS 3.1 era, the transition to an end-to-end virtual gateway architecture not only is needed but also technologically attractive.

This paper describes the Virtual Home Gateway using Software Defined Network principles. We will discuss a reference architecture and present analysis of benefits in terms of easier software maintenance and reduction in time to market of new services. We will also discuss some of the implementation challenges in the path of making the Virtual Home Gateway mature for mass deployment: open networking while preserving subscriber privacy and intelligent hair-pinning over the wide-area network under constrained uplink resources.

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