Calix introduces Ethernet service assurance for fiber access systems

Calix Inc. has introduced Carrier Ethernet service assurance for its Calix Unified Access portfolio. Calix fiber access systems--including the E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP), 760GX family of optical network terminals (ONTs), and Calix Management System (CMS)--now enable communications service providers to ensure their Ethernet services conform to service level agreements (SLAs) via industry-standard Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM).

Calix Inc. has introduced Carrier Ethernet service assurance for its Calix Unified Access portfolio. Calix fiber access systems--including the E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP), 760GX family of optical network terminals (ONTs), and Calix Management System (CMS)--now enable communications service providers to ensure their Ethernet services conform to service level agreements (SLAs) via industry-standard Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM).

Tactically, Ethernet OAM is essential for service providers to demonstrate their adherence to SLAs that are increasingly required by business subscribers for mobile backhaul, mission-critical enterprise services, and wholesale services, says a company spokesperson. Strategically, communications service providers are finding that meeting the needs of business subscribers is a fundamental requirement to the overall success of their “Fiber Forward” initiatives, both from a business case contribution perspective, as well as to achieve their economic development aspirations.

“We’re seeing significant growth in our retail Ethernet services to businesses, as well as wholesale Ethernet access and mobile backhaul transport,” says Chris Emick, manager of network operations at SECOM, a division of the Southeast Colorado Power Association based in La Junta, Colo. “The new OAM enhancements to the Calix fiber access portfolio provide us with the tools we need to sell high-quality Ethernet service and predictable service level agreements to demanding businesses and mobile providers. Our serving area is extensive, and having remote test heads and Ethernet monitoring tools embedded at the end of every circuit allows us to understand how an Ethernet service is performing without sending technicians out to the far corners of our network.”

OAM tools, available on any member of the Calix 760GX ONT family when deployed in conjunction with software release 1.2 on the Calix E7 ESAP, enable Calix customers to monitor, manage, and report on SLAs they sell to their commercial customers. In addition, CMS can now provision and activate Y.1731 Performance Monitoring, 802.1ag Fault Management, and RFC2544 out of service testing by enabling Calix 760GX ONTs to function as remote test heads and RFC2544 “reflectors.”

These enhancements automate the testing, fault detection, and performance monitoring of Ethernet circuits in the field. Other features include enhanced alarming using 802.1ag continuity checks with remote defect indication (RDI), which notify the network operator when a service starts degrading, as well as CMS collection of Y.1731 performance data compiled at the ONT service edge, which enables the creation of historical reports and graphs to be used as SLA compliance mechanisms for the end customer.

All nine members of the Calix 760GX business services ONT family now support Ethernet OAM, making it available in a variety of port configurations, including rack-mounted as well as outdoor wall/pole-mounted versions. The 766GX, the most popular unit for commercial services and mobile backhaul, offers four gigabit Ethernet (GE) ports, eight POTS ports, and eight T1/E1s. The T1/E1s can be provisioned as time-division multiplexing (TDM) or pseudowire 3 (PWE3) circuits compliant to Metro Ethernet Forum-8 (MEF-8) specifications for TDM over Ethernet.

The 760GX ONTs feature the Calix auto-detect technology supporting both GPON and point-to-point GE services. A follow-on software release will bring Ethernet OAM to the 760GX ONTs for point-to-point GE deployments.

“Ethernet OAM support has become an essential requirement for communications service providers engaged in ‘Fiber Forward’ initiatives that will include local businesses, mobile backhaul, or economic development aspirations,” says Kevin Pope, vice president of product development at Calix. “With embedded Ethernet test heads in our fiber access solutions, we are able to lower the cost of operations for our customers by allowing them to remotely enable and retrieve Ethernet circuit performance data, and pinpoint faults remotely based on MEF standards. Hundreds of our customers today offer mobile backhaul transport services over Ethernet to wireless operators, and Ethernet OAM tools have become the de facto standard for turn-up and testing. Our Ethernet service assurance support over GPON gives our customers the edge they need in an increasingly competitive market.”

Calix Unified Access portfolio support for Ethernet OAM service assurance was introduced at the 2011 NTCA Annual Meeting and Expo in Dallas, Texas.

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