Calix has introduced a virtualized network function (VNF) specific to the cable industry. Its AXOS DPx is a connector that cable operators can install today to set themselves up for a transition to software defined networking (SDN) whenever they are ready to embark on the endeavor.
AXOS is Calix’s network operating system and software platform for network management. It helps define Calix’s approach to SDN, which it calls a software-defined architecture. AXOS DPx is a new version of Calix’s Open Link Cable, a Calix spokesperson told SDxCentral.
The vendor has identified the cost to integrate new technologies with existing operations support systems (OSS) as one of the biggest impediments for cable operators as they try to virtualize. What Calix is doing by introducing AXOS DPx is creating a plug-and-play path for its cable customers to follow toward virtualizing.
Cable operators can install the new AXOS DPx DOCSIS-based VNF in their DOCSIS back office systems, enabling them to extend their networks using just about any type of network technology without having to make any other changes in their OSS.
Cable network operators use a set of technologies specific to the cable industry. These include the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, which specifies the delivery of broadband over cable networks. When first implemented in the late 1990s, DOCSIS gave cable operators a clear technological advantage over phone company rivals.
Twenty years ago, the concept of convergence was well-known, but it was impossible to predict what convergence might mean for network technology with any precision. Certainly no one then anticipated the fine points of white boxes, virtualization, SDN, and network functions virtualization (NFV). That included the cable industry, which ended up unintentionally painting itself into a corner with DOCSIS, which remains technologically advanced but for historical reasons provides no clear means to take advantage of current virtualization trends.
Calix’s new VNF is designed to enable cable operators to extend their DOCSIS networks without having to worry about their OSS systems, while paving the way for full SDN later, explained Michael Weening, Calix executive vice president of sales and marketing.
“By connecting DOCSIS to AXOS, cable operators are free to choose the technology that will allow them to deliver the best subscriber experience, at the lowest cost and at the fastest time to market,” said Weening in a statement. “As cable operators move to SDN in the future, AXOS’s native NETCONF interface, standards based YANG models, and pre-integrated partners like Momentum Telecom enable a seamless path to SDN if and when it makes sense for their business.”
Momentum Telecom has integrated the AXOS DPx Connector into its DOCSIS-based BBX Broadband Management platform.