Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) open many new business opportunities at the edge of the network for the cable operator. Increasing service options in bandwidth terms, overall service quality, reduced cost of optics, and lower latency, are key values of the architecture. The infrastructure introduces all digital wavelength division multiplexed 10-100 Gigabit Ethernet from Hub to pole with highly precise timing support. This further creates a simpler path to 5G roll out for the MSO, in addition to residential and business services over any form of wireline access.
While Remote PHY is the most common distributed access technology today, there are multiple forms of DAA including Remote PHY, Remote MACPHY, and OLT-PON, in addition to emerging 5G backhaul networks.
Serving each of these platforms is an Ethernet system known as the Converged Interconnect Network (CIN). This digital infrastructure enables multiple services over each of these remote functions. These same CIN systems enable 5G backhaul opportunities that require access network sharing, sometimes termed network slicing functionality. Lastly, DAA brings with it support for the era of cable Network Function Virtualization (NFV). In fact, DAA is not any one element, it is all these platforms working together.
However, one fundamental role that the CCAP platform had must be introduced into the Distributed Access Architecture. The automatic discovery, provisioning, and telemetry for Physical layer and MAC layer functions in the topology must exist for DAA as they do today within any Integrated-CCAP chassis.
Without this functionality in place, the increased management complexity due to the larger number of DAA devices can negatively impact operations and expected cost savings.
The authors seek to address the opportunity to add intelligence at the DAA edge using a select set of back office systems creating an SDN-based ‘Intelligent Edge’ for the DAA. Through this Intelligent Edge, operators may now see these distributed and often decoupled systems realized not at a network or element level, instead being brought together to deliver services in an end-to-end fashion, with dynamic provisioning effectively returning the same Zero-Touch onboarding and deployment a CCAP-based chassis provides for HFC-based PHY and MAC functions.
In this paper, we will review options for top down orchestration based on industry practice. Additionally, an approach to bottom up network discovery and considerations for automation and device provisioning from the edge of the network into the Hub and Headend are detailed to provide guidance on Zero-Touch provisioning for DAA.