Remote PHY 2.0: The Next Steps For Remote PHY Technology (2019)

By Pawel Sowinski, Andy Smith & Tong Liu, Cisco Systems Inc.

In the period between the initiation of the Remote PHY program and the deployment of phase one significant changes have taken place in cable operator services, and network deployments and also in the technologies that have become available to build and operate systems such as Remote PHY. It is appropriate to consider the next generation requirements R-PHY will need to solve and what are the best tools to use to do this.

As the first phase of Remote PHY is moving towards technological maturity, the time is right to plan the next steps in its evolution. The paper proposes a strategy for enhancing the Remote PHY architecture by examining a set of its real and perceived issues, and by suggesting a how to effectively tackle them.

The paper focuses on the following technical issues:

  • Cloud APIs and Automation: How to transition the R-PHY control plane towards mature, open model driven network management protocols such as NETCONF, RESTCONF or gNMI.
  • Manageability: A recommendation for model driven telemetry for Remote PHY.
  • Latency: How to eliminate latency issues resulting from the physical distances between R-PHY system components by incorporating a DOCSIS upstream bandwidth scheduler into the RPD.
  • Operation in Multi-Service Networks: The application of modern network standards, such MPLS and Segment Routing to R-PHY data plane transport.

The paper presents an in-depth technical analysis and discusses the utility and economic value of the proposed enhancements. The paper demonstrates that the proposed functional advancements, taken together represent the next generation of R-PHY architecture, Remote PHY 2.0.

The paper does not explain the details of R-PHY architecture. The paper is written with the assumption that the reader has at minimum a rudimentary familiarity with Remote PHY. The necessary background information can be found in [RPHYTR] and [RPHY] .

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