Lessons from Operating Tens of Thousands of Remote PHY Devices (2021)

By Jorge Salinger & Steve Sigman, Comcast Cable Communications

This paper explores lessons learned the hard way, gaps discovered and filled, as well as processes developed to improve issue detection and lower mean time to repair (MTTR). The paper focuses upon factors to keep both maintenance technicians and customers happy, including:

  • Whole system monitoring: Real-time telemetry, visual dashboarding tools, and error condition detection and alarming for not just RPDs, but the entire architecture, including R-PHY cores, engines, switches, and timing servers;
  • Outside plant considerations, including plant powering;
  • Provisioning management, including addressing challenges with having all required systems configured at time of node cutover;
  • Hardware and software management, including how lab testing can lead to a better customer experience.

This paper begins by outlining the evolution of service provider networks, and then describes why and how the migration to a distributed access architecture is necessary and beneficial. The paper then expands into features that can be implemented with DAAs and discusses the topic of virtualization. Finally, the paper explores how the implementation of DOCSIS 4.0 could be implemented in DAA networks.

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