The Headend Evolution: Design Considerations for Deploying vCCAP and Other VNFs (2020)

By Patricio Sebastian Latini, CASA Systems

The telecommunications industry is well underway to moving to virtualizing network functions, and the cable industry is no exception. This paper focuses on providing understanding of virtualized solutions and technology, by analyzing design aspects, capacity planning and architecture evolutions of a CCAP virtual function.

Initially, different virtualization technologies such as virtual machines vs containers are compared, together with continuous integration and deployment as a key element for the required agility to deploy new services and network functions. It is important to mention how the evolution to a distributed computing model and particularly how Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and network slicing will shape future networks.

Next, a network architecture design is presented focusing on the evolution to separate control and user planes and the impact on network traffic, how they align with distributed access architectures in two flavors, Remote PHY and Remote MAC PHY, and how the vCCAP function could split in two new logical functions in the near future.

Lastly, a set of conclusions is presented to help cable operators better understand the requirements, design options and tradeoffs of vCCAP and DAA deployments in general for the next two to three years and how this decision will impact on the deployment of other related VNFs such as BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) or an EPC (Evolved Packet Core).

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