Active Broadband Networks offers SDN gateway for FTTH

Active Broadband Networks has announced what it asserts is the first “Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway (SD-BNG).” The platform implements software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies that the company says will reduce the cost and complexity of broadband service delivery.

Active Broadband Networks has announced what it asserts is the first “Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway (SD-BNG).” The platform implements software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies that the company says will reduce the cost and complexity of broadband service delivery.

The company says the SDN network gateway will enable operators to streamline orchestration, proactively manage quality of experience (QoE), and rapidly create, deploy, and modify personalized services.

The SD-BNG platform comprises two main elements. The APG/80 Active Programmable Gateway is a software switch for packet processing that Active Broadband Networks says is fully programmable via OpenFlow control. The Active Resource Controller (ARC) is an SDN controller optimized for broadband service orchestration and delivery.

The 1RU APG/80 is the software-based switching element in the SD-BNG that leverages Intel’s I/O optimized Xenon processors. It operates under control of the ARC and is located at the broadband edge behind the operator's access equipment, typically optical line terminals (OLTs) or multiservice access network switches (MSANS). Via programming tools that enable user space network processing, the APG/80 implements patent-pending Future Time Hybrid Queuing to provide high-performance software-based hierarchical queuing mechanisms for ensuring QoS. The unit’s OpenFlow Autonomous Flow Processing is based upon and compatible with standard OpenFlow, but with extensions that the company says address the scaling issues in broadband service delivery by distributing flow management between the APG/80 and the ARC.

The APG/80 supports up to four Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or 10GbE NIC modules for a total system throughput of 80 Gbps. It runs on embedded Linux and is an open platform, which enables additional software-based functionality to be added, updated, and integrated, Active Broadband Networks says.

The ARC broadband edge service controller enables service orchestration using web services programmability. Controlling the APG/80 via OpenFlow, the ARC facilitates autonomous, simplified, traffic-driven service activation. The ARC collects, mediates, and further processes real-time IP flow information provided by the APG/80 to deliver QoE information. The ARC also automates the use of this QoE information to modify customers' services using OpenFlow control of the APG/80.

"Active Broadband's SD-BNG enables our FTTH operation in countries like Barbados to rapidly address subscriber needs by enhancing and modifying our data services. It simplifies providing subscribers with personalized services meeting their unique requirements," said Andre Foster, CIO of Columbus Communications. "This capability to rapidly introduce new service offerings in weeks rather than months offers strong value to our customers and to our business."

"In 2012, we saw the early formation of an SDN and NFV revolution.Our unique IPR and technical competencies enabled us to examine the current and future broadband edge requirements, and leverage new technology and techniques to create dramatically better and lower-cost broadband edge infrastructure," said Adam Dunstan, CEO of Active Broadband Networks. "Our SD-BNG platform refactors the existing monolithic BNG and the potpourri of disparate service management software components to dramatically simplify and streamline orchestration, activation, and ongoing QoE for the broadband services delivered today, along with applications currently being devised by operators leveraging NFV."

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