To understand the full cycle of an RPD provisioning, from the design phase to the provisioning in the field, we need to get into some Remote PHY concepts first.
CCAP (Converged Cable Access Platform)
It is a CableLabs-led effort that brings technical and operational unity to two projects:
- Converged Multiservice Access Platform (CMAP), headed up by Comcast Corp.
- Converged Edge Services Access Router (CESAR), headed up by Time Warner Cable Inc.
The goal is the development of a super-dense, power- and space-saving architecture that combines edge QAM and cable modem termination system (CMTS) functions and puts the cable on a path toward service convergence and an IP video platform.
Remote PHY System
The integrated CCAP is separated into two distinct components. The first component is the CCAP Core, and the second component is the R-PHY Device (RPD). The CCAP Core contains both a CMTS Core for DOCSIS and an EQAM Core for Video.
The RPD platform is a physical layer converter whose functions are:
- To convert downstream DOCSIS, MPEG video, and OOB signals received from a CCAP Core over a digital medium such as Ethernet or PON to analog for transmission over RF or linear optics.
- To convert upstream DOCSIS, and OOB signals received from an analog medium such as RF or linear optics to digital for transmission over Ethernet or PON to a CCAP Core
“The development of a super-dense, power- and space-saving architecture that combines edge QAM and cable modem termination system (CMTS) functions and puts cable on a path toward service convergence and an IP video platform.”
So, how will the MSO operationalize the deployment and management of a more complex network? Simple, with SIM (Symphonica Infrastructure Management) that follows what TM Forum calls Resource Lifecycle Management, a bigger and abstract picture for what SIM solves in RPD Deployment.
Symphonica Infrastructure Management Modules
VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Management)
The solution was designed to support the 1st Design phase of a topology provisioning of nodes in a DAA (Distributed Access Architecture) initially for RPDs.
Symphonica VIO (Virtual Infrastructure Orchestration)
Designed to support the 2nd phase as an add-on to Symphonica to execute the workflow on the CCAPs/vCCAPs and network elements to provision the RPD.
FST (Field Service Tool)
It assists in the 2nd phase as well to be a mobile application for the technician to be used in the field to execute a work order to provision an RPD and get the environmental metrics from it.
The following graph shows a mapping of the solution in the TMForum Frameworx:
RPD Deployment Preparation
When VIM taps into real-time network information, this phase ends. As well as does inventory information from the MSO, to define the installation parameters per RPD (i.e., CCAP, Card, Slot). This resource allocation is based on a set of traffic engineering rules associated with the topology. It is supported by DSG & VSG (Data Service Groups and Video Service Groups). The tool provides the information needed for provisioning the VIO (Cisco SmartPHY or Symphonica VIO) via a file or directly using each VIO’s API. The user will benefit from:
- Standardize engineering rules, bringing consistency, and optimize network resource usage.
- Provide a visual layout of the CCAPs and Projects, allowing more accessible validation of engineering rules.
- Minimizes human error during the design process, while making optimal utilization of the network resources.
- Automate the engineering function when allocating CCAP resources when deploying RPDs, making it less prone to human error.
- Speed up the designing-time in RPD deployment & analog to DA migration projects by at least 60% per equipment.
- Set different thresholds for the design algorithm dynamically.
- Configurable rules for the engineering and deployment of the RPDs. Compatible with multiple DAA Solutions.
- Integrate south-bound to Cisco SmartPHY or Intraway Orchestration Tool to start the provisioning and increase automation, if needed.
This is an example of the Layout for a CCAP topology with the RPDs distributed given a set of rules:
RPD Installation in the Field
In this phase, our solutions use Symphonica to provision the RPD, prepared in the previous step. Symphonica runs BPM Workflows and connectors to the network elements to accomplish this task. The following is an example of RPD bottom-up provisioning with Symphonica:
RPD and Service Monitoring
In this phase, our solution focuses on the following added values:
- Close-loop installation validation
- Orchestrated Assurance: Taking input from monitored platforms and act upon them to correct the configuration or escalate the issue.
So, from the design, implementation, and control of the new Distributed Architecture Networks, Symphonica Infrastructure Manager will accelerate the adoption and deployment of the latest technologies by simplifying and reducing operational costs with automation.