Traffic Engineering in a Fiber Deep Gigabit World (2017)

By John Ulm & Tom Cloonan, ARRIS

Many new innovations are finding their way into cable operators’ plants and many others are on the way.

With DOCSIS 3.1 deployments well underway, a new era of Gigabit services in the downstream are being introduced. With DOCSIS Full Duplex (FDX) on the horizon, operators have the promise of symmetric Gigabit services. At the same time, some operators are starting their migration to fiber deep networks and others are looking at Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) such as Remote PHY.

All of this will have significant impact in the way operators manage their traffic engineering and network capacity planning. As an industry, we need to re-evaluate and update our models. This starts with an intimate understanding of subscriber bandwidth behavior. This paper takes a detailed look at a year’s worth of live consumer data collected from a single cable site. When sampling during peak busy hours,every packet was tracked to allow for traffic analysis down to the second.

The paper will investigate many different bandwidth trends uncovered. Some of the key variables of interest include traffic consumption based on:

  • Differing Service group sizes
  • SG to SG variation
  • Subscriber service tiers
  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Month to month

With these trends in hand, the impacts on existing network capacity models are discussed and how they might morph to provide traffic engineering in a Fiber Deep Gigabit world.

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