Cable Access SDN Orchestration
Alright, we're on the air happy, Friday everyone today, is, Friday. February, 16th. And this is episode 36. Of get your Tech on all things DOCSIS, I'm Brady volt founder, of the vote firm and nimble. This with. Us today is John. Downey the. Prognosticator. Of cable. He's. Also cmts. Technical, lead of Cisco Systems, John, welcome, and thanks, for being back with us. John. Say hello I can't, believe. It's. Like I'm like a puppet right satellite. Connection. That I saw that you're sitting on there's a lot of delay I'm like a mignonette just my, arms. Get. Them going. Also. Be back also. With us is tal, offer a ravenclaw, and also, director. Manager. At air Estelle thanks. Thanks so much for being back with us this month sure. Thanks, Brady thanks for having me and I resent that I'm a Gryffindor, can't you see that Oh. Indeed. So. Um, today. We're, going to be covering. Well. Let me let me get that what we're going to be covering a. Topic, that is close, to 2 tallis topic. Or actually, one that you picked out it is. Cable, access, Sdn, orchestration. And so. You know define its Software Defined Networking, Sdn. Orchestration. And we're going to get in that topic in just a minute I want to cover just a couple of things in the news, so. Cable apps just. Release. The mac phi standard. 4. So. We've been talking a lot about our v this is the mac 5 standard. That came out. But. I want, to see if there was any any, discussion. So we talked about that a little last week at any any thoughts on that. No, we. Can we can scare no. No, III can, start. Ready so yeah, it's, exciting times right - we have know so many different options we can offer to the operators, and we have the ability to suggest. The integrated. CCAP remote spa your, most magnified and you know going into pond later on so all of them are you know part of the distributed, access architecture. Trend that is growing. Our industry, the, remote. Magnify, is another, level of pushing, down the functionality. Closer, to the subscriber, it's. Got a lot of benefits of course so you know can't wait to see that materialize, the, spec is still under works so, it's important to mention that there are Eris's, you. Know it's actively a part, of that as as. A Cisco of course and we're. Very. You. Know copy ously working on the details of that expect, to make it available to, make it's ready for for deployment for the operators, I think, that's gonna be a very interesting property, you know offer and, value. Proposition when, it becomes ready it's going to change some of the existing networks, as we see them today, so. Also, in a new from oh go ahead Johnny let me I, say, from our side, you know we've pushed remote PHY begin with for the simplicity you, know they keep it simple stupid kiss, principle, by. Keeping the file owned very simplistic, fine it doesn't really change what's, the spec is done you, keep that out in the field not much to do with it it's very sturdy the mean time between a. Long time you, put the complexity, more a centralized, location, I think. It's funny that it'll, tie in really good with what we're talking about today with orchestration, and automation if, we do Mac 5 which we will also because we want to be technology agnostic, and, support. The customer the best we can. It's. More complexity, will be in a node which, means if you need to update bug, fixes, iOS, whatever, firmware. That's. Gonna be highly automated it's, gonna have to be right we're, gonna end up with thousands, of little, cmts, is out in the field right. You know that the Mac has a lot of functionality that.
Software Driven so, that's gonna have to have updates and things like that so I think it's this is a good same way. Nope. Great. So. The other thing CableLabs, is, doing, is they just pushed, out. FDX. An, AK layer. So, first they came out with the FBX RFI. Now, they've come out with the FDX mac so that's continuing. To push FDX, further. Along line so again. We talked about that last week there last month now, we're just continuing to see FDX, mature. Though, again. We'll. See how FDX continues, to roll out so. Open. That up you guys want to. Mean. That ties it my ties in just like what we said for the orchestration, again because when we do FDX for. This echo cancellation, idea, that's, gonna have to have some quick automation. To keep updating. The equalizer like equalizer coefficients, the. Echo. Cancellation. So. That when one modem transmits, another. Modem, doesn't get interference from that transmission so your upstream downstream now, is going to be full duplex meaning, I could, transfer in the upstream at 500 megahertz another, modem could be receiving, at 500, megahertz you know the same exact frequency, but. Hopefully you know they're not interfering, with each other depending, on their separation their isolation, and. This echo cancellation. As well but, that information has to be updated, it's, got some, type of automation, has to do that updating, and, how. Really. Does that update. Yeah. I couldn't, agree more John, that's that's, a great opportunity again, for for, the automation and orchestration, that, we've been talking about the. FD. Expec relies on certain. Clustering, of cable modems to make, sure that we, transmit in different, areas and spectrum such that modems will not interfere with each other and to, some extent, that's gonna be down inside the you, know the node or the you, know inside the remote firewall so Mac and fine note but, it will also be done in you know the Sdn Orchestrator of the network to some extent so, it, will definitely, tie, into to the topic, that we have today, the, FDX is you, know is a great opportunity for. Adding. More upstream. To our cable, operators, right so many of them are seeing the challenges today dealing.
With The telco offering, going to high numbers, on the upstream direction, so. A lot of our customers are definitely, looking into. Looking. Into how they increase this upstream capacity, and FDX. Is though you know is a great segue it's a great tool to be doing that it's. Going to be very interesting to see how it's materializes. Again because it, requires no 2+0 type of architecture right, that brings so and it's you. Know with, it with its some challenges, on the. Segmentation. Of the network but how do you actually get the nodes closer to the subscriber to end +0 chronic, condition, so yeah, that's that's, gonna happen but it's gonna take a little bit longer right we don't we see a lot of demo there's a lot of talk about it but until it really becomes you, know a real proof a real a deployable, solution. It's gonna be a little bit more you. Know until we get there. Awesome. So, so the last topic is is you know CableLabs has been busy but SpaceX. Has also been busy Elon Musk this comes from science News has. That. Just got permission. From, the US communications, regulation, to start putting, satellites. In space, specifically. For, communication. Broadband, camere communication. For, people who live in really, rural, areas, like John, Downey who. Are. Who. Are stuck without you know good communications. And and. So this is you, know I saw, this and of course I thought of John and his poor, poor. Video and, poor audio that we all have to do and. I just I'd like this well, that says the FCC Chairman. A jet pipe reposed, the approval. Of an application by SpaceX, to provide broadband, services, using satellites, in the United States and worldwide, so, nice. Thing that SpaceX, is doing hopefully they. Put a satellite right over your house John very soon. Did. They say it's a real alert, low-earth. Orbiting. You. Know. See. If they say, I don't, want to take up too much time looking at it but now, III don't know I don't know for short but I'll. Get I. Can send you later. We, heard that Google was doing that a few years back in rural areas and kind, of developing countries, right words which. Was really hard to get with actual infrastructure, to those remote areas they, were doing that with balloons, at some point right hi, orbiting, balloons so you, know those satellites, is kind of the next gen evolution, of that one I think yeah. Yeah, yeah I know I do remember the balloons and also planes they were gonna do these these slow flying lyre planes that we're gonna suppose, yeah. Broadband. Access drone, yeah, like drones. Moving. That's moving too fast. Okay. So so, tell you. Have lots. Of experience with cable, access, Sdn, orchestration. And I have, to say this is something that I have not been on top. Of a, lot so I'm looking. Forward to this this episode specifically, to learn more about this and I would like to start off with saying you know what does this mean to. The average cable. Operator, yeah. Oh my. God this could mean a lot right, so I can mean there's little or as much as they would like it to mean but, I think that's you know if you look at enough analogies, from other industries there, is already some, Sdn, orchestration. And more basically, automation. Let's make it simple, right let's not talk about the Sdn and Vee kind, of big acronyms, let's just talk about how. Do you automate, processes, right, and how do you actually orchestrate. Processes, which means when you want to manage two types of equipments, how do you make them work together how, do you make them talk. To one another or have the same configuration so, that they will not you, know you, know overlap. Each other or interfere, with each other so think, about this in. A kind, of more, simpler terms of how do we make the network management, more, more efficient, and, we've. Been seeing that happened already in in, the telco. Tank. Telco, business AT&T. Has. Been, doing some steps, in that direction British. Telecom, has been kind, of fostering, an incubator for, for. Sdn. Type of development. Or you know a lot of different specs that are starting to come out for. The last few years like Meno and onap and you, know lots of acronyms, are not going to get into but, the.
Point Is that the whole idea of the Sdn orchestration. Is to make the cable access networks, simpler, to manage and more automated, and reduce. The costs that it takes to actually operate, that cable access network, so, do, things, like automate procedures, that currently require a technician to be doing that and, create. More, intelligence. In the network management that some when, it comes to potentially, potential, use of artificial, intelligence, machine learning protocols. That, we'll all be able to leverage you, know we will all be able to leverage those to make the access network more, sophisticated. More intelligent. More self-healing. And more, autonomous. And its operation, without the needs to have a technician sitting, there and clicking a mouse or typing CLI commands all the time so it's all about again, autonomous. Operation. Automation. And orchestration. Ok. So that's that, kind of sounds like the 50,000. Foot view of all right right. So. How does it how, does it start to to, trickle down from, the 50,000, foot view actually. Into equipment I know last month, we talked about, provisioning. Our fi devices, and stuff like that does it actually get into that, level of detail where we're provisioning, equipment, or, where. Does it start to actually impact. Let's save, maybe a technician, or, someone. In the. That's, operating, in the in the headend or like, where do we actually start to feel this. Yeah. So what you mentioned about the discussion. From last month about remote, PHY device. Orchestration. Or management that's, a very good example for, the start of this whole process right, so once, we have the distributed, access architecture. Going into the field we certainly. Have so many different active components, sitting, in the field out there and need to be managed you need to be managed automatically, right because you don't want to go and physically, change the configuration, on each one of them and remote. Y devices are going to be the first type of, distributed, access architecture. Devices, that are going to be deployed out there so, what, we talked about last month I'm gonna be kind of repeating that as a reminder that we, were talking about an application, and a manager, that basically on boards, those remote PHY devices, when they're in the field you know make them work out of the box just like you have. A modem that starts to work when you put it out of the box and connect that to the network you want to make the remote PHY devices, work out of the box immediately, if input into the network and we want to allow the operator, the, cable operator, to manage that in an efficient, way such.
That They will remember, exactly, where each node is located what. Software version is on it what configuration it, has, it. Can monitor it States it can change its parameters like, power levels, etc remotely. And in an automated, way so, this has kind of a very good example for the first step right today we manage C MTS's or C caps using CLI. Potentially. Sometimes, we have SNMP, nibs as the, management, tool when, we go to distributed. Access architecture, we suddenly need something, bigger than that something. That will be the overarching, manager. For all those smaller devices, out there and will. Basically be the first step into the Sdn, orchestration. Type. Of product. Brady. Let, me give you an, interesting example that. I've heard where things you could, go a different direction for, capacity, planning it's. Almost like load balancing is there load balancing between balance rooms and up streams we're load balancing, between actual, RPGs. Before. You, know the kid webisodes, and Q operators, with se-ra my node hit 85 percent, utilization over, a, certain, time frame so, I need to do a node split I either, do a physical notes wit or I add. More frequencies, and do load balancing I, call, it you know virtual. Splitting, versus. Physical splitting. Now. If the RPGs, are off a digital, network there. You, don't physically have to combine and. Separate. RF connectors, you. Can have an automation process, that looks at all our PDS and say alright this, our PD is underutilized. Because their work, Oh area, tele five customers this RPD is over utilized because it's a couple college kids, maybe. I can combine those two to kind of share resources and they're in the same service group I see, some RPGs. Clustering. RPGs are oversubscribed. I could, either assign more license, to it or more capacity somehow, its physical frequencies. Turned on or I could. Maybe. Separate. That RPD from the other five it's combined with and just put it on its own service group so. I can, reassign, resources. And. Do capacity planning on the fly I think, that's kind of going to be a cool you, know way to. You. Know quickly, change, capacity. Anywhere. As we do today. Yeah. I mean it sounds a lot like the. Use, case that you're talking about John it sounds, like what what, is done a lot in in IP networks, with like load balancing where. You, do you don't know how. Much traffic something's, going to get at different times but you know that it Peaks out so you put a load balancer in, front and when a lot of traffic hits at that load balancer, naturally, just distributes. That the yet, the traffic, evenly, to the different devices behind, it so is is. That I mean that's kind of what I'm understanding you're describing. Yeah. I mean that I think that's the power of going to. Distributed. Access, architecture, with, digital. Links now instead of you know analog, optical, links getting rid of all the analog now. Every hour PDS are off the digital links it, could be over Metro Ethernet, so. I mean yeah you can reassign resources. On the fly I thought. Another cool, applique, on our the. CTS is today are pretty, resilient. For, DOCSIS. Three one profile, management, you, know it's, it's not crude, but it's it, gets the job, done but. If we want to take that step from other where you. Know you're, doing 4,000. Subcarriers. Maybe 8,000, sub care houses three one block to a cable modem, and you want to monitor the MOR of all those sub carriers, of every, single modem every. 30 seconds, or maybe 20 minutes or every 30 minutes you, need some type of orchestration. Or application, external, to yes to, monitor, the information, and assign profile, many profiles, that, are different the. Same TS can manually. Statically. Create four or five of them and the Cape modem can hold on to what is it nvram holds on to fine I think but, what if I want to support 10, different. 3-1, profiles, because. Maybe you have a little bit of roll-off. Maybe Tao has, you. Know some problems at the low end of the frequency maybe. I have a problem a, suck out right at 585, minutes, maybe someone else has LTE. Interference. At 713. Makers so, you know I could have this orchestration, just automatically, give profiles. Left, there's no right all over the place and then change. Them if the, frequency changes, later on no you understand I'm saying. Yeah. YouTube channel, that does the owner look balancing, could also be done on between the Mac and defy right so for example if we have a certain, Mac core that has got too many remote PHY devices, Hank hanging, out of off of it we can potentially use, orchestration.
To Load balance, those are pd's to different neck cores part. Of the strengths of remote PHY architecture, is that the, math, cores are centralized, potentially, in data centers or centralized location, and you. Are reusing those resources, all across her network right no matter how far they are so, the load balancing, act in this kind of context, could also be moving remote PHY notes between mac. Cores that are overloaded. As an example and that's the you're providing, congestion. Preventing, you, know kind, of limitations, on the network that, it can come from a, static configuration. So. To speak and, in. Another example John I really agree on the profile, management side and I think this is potentially something, dear to to Brady's, heart the. The. PNM capabilities. And the abilities. We're getting from the doctors we talked to on specs are ones. That we could potentially leverage with additional, level, of orchestration, as. You said the you, know the the profiles, that can be used on the network can, be really you know can really change, on the fly if we want them to and if. The network is seeing different types of SNR's, different, type of noise in. Different. Areas of the spectrum and different, times a day and this can really change throughout the day because the temperature, changes, for example right there are certain devices that produce, more noise if they're if it's hotter if it's colder so, potentially, changing, those profiles, on the fly even throughout a day will. Allow, the operators. To get more bandwidth, out of their existing plant, right getting more bits per Hertz based, on the just, exactly you know existing, architecture, and existing infrastructure, the fibers and the coax as they have you know dug. Deep they can just get more bits out of that existing. Network which is you know it's priceless it's an it's an amazing, development to be able to do that so. If, I'm a field tech this. Orchestration. Is basically like dynamically, doing node splits for me when on-demand, when I need it if I'm, a DOCSIS engineer, it's basically. Dynamically. Adding. And deleting cmts. Is on demand as I need it that's managing my my, my, modulation, profiles, for OFDM, as I as I need it dynamically. Of, course if I'm me and I'm a PNM guru, it's it's also, helping, me be, much more intelligent about the way that I'm managing. That, okay. So I'm. Starting. To get pretty excited about this orchestration. So. Now so let me let me take that a step further right you know if we have the ability to move, to virtualization, as well right we talked about that last time and I'm, sure it's gonna be discussed in the future as well if. You have virtualized, Mac core then you're orchestration. Network can basically spin, up new Mac course on demand if you, see that you don't you, need more Mac, processing, capability, out of your network and your, Sdn, controller can basically just spin up a new virtual machine, right. With the instance. Of that virtual, Mac core connects. That to a new Naruto. To existing, set of RPGs, potentially, as part of the load balancing, mechanism, and boom, you've got a new cmts, basically. And you got a new type of access, architecture, on the fly, and completely automated, isn't that you know magnificent. As their as an option. So. It can it can spin, it up I yeah. That okay let's get it's getting pretty late. Yeah. So, yeah you can just dynamically. Create it and add it in if you have a licensing, of course but. Probably. Later, where. Does. Okay. Yeah go ahead John I'm sorry. My. Second. Delay on my satellite I had, to start my I said are, you even say anything. The. You're. Excited, about it but what about the field tech that looks like he's losing his job.
There's. No RF. In. The head end it's, all digital, they. There's. No. Notes would argue that that might be part of the job that the text hates because the notes but they have to do from twelve o'clock at night so 5:00 in the morning you. Know so that might be a good thing it goes away. So. I think, when. We look at you know supporting, a cable network there's. Enough. Work to be done that even this automation, stuff is just going to, alleviate. Or relieve some pressure so, they can get the other stuff done that they usually would do you, know the optics don't need to be done it out in the field. Ron. Radek would still argue to still sweep you, know a node, plus zero I. Would. Say that we could use full bandwidth capture in lieu of actual, sweeping but. Maybe there's still a case to use you know frequency, domain reflectometry. To find suck outs and reflections, but. We could still use PNM for that stuff as well. So it's definitely, there's going to be a lot of work that's still there for the field text the RF Tech's the, head end text might, transition. From a typical heading, RF, guy to really, an IP guy or a digital guy optics. Guy you, know you still have optical levels. That need to be maintained. It's. Not this stuff doesn't this. Is not Skynet, yet you know this, is not Cyberdyne, networks. No. And a lot of the functionality, is going to be basically decision. Supporting, systems right not necessarily, ones. That will do and execute the change in the network for, the operator but just recommend, what they should do right potentially. We would create optimization. Systems that would say okay this note split should be considered, for splitting right not, necessarily executed. That immediately, and in, the end it's going to be a man there that will, have - or a woman yeah, that will have to decide. You, know when is a good time to actually be doing this this, kind of activity and they, will have to kind of harmonize, that with the rest of the things that that operator, is planning on doing right so it's. Going to be a lot of you, know decision, support, systems. Does. Orchestration, also, get involved, in configurations. Is a lot of a lot of the equipment now is has the automated, attenuators. Automated, equalizers. Does orchestration, get involved in that so, you know as far as like, changing. Configuration of, the equipment itself. Yeah. I think I think so I mean I am pretty, positive that's, gonna go in that direction the, change puts figuration, is something that should. Have been long automated, let's put it this way right I mean the fact that we're still using CLI, in 2018. These days it's kind of ridiculous, a lot of the other industries that, that, are parallel, to ours have gone to to the automation. Direction. Then we must go there ourselves, otherwise we'll lose you. Know we're loose for. Our market, to some extent the. Actual. Automation, requires us to change configuration. For C MTS's for amplifiers, for nodes on an, on-the-fly, basis, we needs to be able to react, fast to, changing, environment, to noises. On the to. Noises on the, network. And to, potential. Changes in the service that we have to do rights for example an. Operator, a cable operator needs to be able to very quickly spin.
Up A new VPN, network for a new business as a customer, they, need to automate that because the customer, the the new business, customer will not wait for two weeks until they spin up their new VPN or MPLS, network right they, need to be automated, so that the operators, can can, offer a more flexible and, a faster, reaction to, the market demands, sure. So really you saw our demo, at, the STX row with the item the. Inode got, away from pluggable. Eq's. Pads, they're all internal, all automated. I first. See that being you know I set, up my inode, according, to your specs your RF output levels your kilt in. The magnifier in the warehouse and. Then I give it to the. Subcontractor. The contract, the RF tech. Field. And you know install it. But. It's a pre setup and. Then maybe they use a QR reader or something to scan it in and tie it to the lat/long. GIS. Location. But. It would be all automated, pads any cues you, know we had for, many years very crude and we still have it a AGC. An ALC, automatic, level control based. On a single pilot which, you, know that single pilot if it goes down you're screwed for all the other frequencies so. It's like we, need something that could monitor, you know the RF output it maybe every single RF channel and. Then change, everything. To be exactly, the levels you need I, would. Say that the upstream is going to be more of a problem if, we go 85, mega Hertz because the temperature fluctuations, there's no ADC in the upstream the, only AGC we have in the upstream is the fibre or the cable modems, in the cmts negotiating. Their levels so, I mean 85, merits you could have a big swing at 85 makers now, we're talking two or four megahertz, now we're talking FDX up to 500, 600 megahertz in the upstream you know coax, is a killer and, temperature. Alone coax is a killer so, if we limit our coax we're much better, you. Know if we control the temperature and I'd be great but we. Go down that route we could talk about temperature change. I. Guess. That's where I was going with my question, about does. Does, this orchestration, have the ability, to make, those changes in the, amplifiers, and you, know normally we would say that would be a bad practice we, why, would we you know once we set up and sweep the plant why, would we ever change the pads or the equalizers, well I mean, one. One concept, would be if we, had something. Bad happen to the cable plant where we have degraded. Cable, and we, have modems, start to go offline this, this this is kind of like the concept of a pre equaliser in a cable modem where that pre equaliser compensates. For something. That's bad happened, to the coax or. Maybe. It's in a subscribe, home the pre equalizer in a cable modem is. Changing. The, way, that cable, modem is transmitting, it may cause the cable modems transmit at a higher power so it can compensate, the. Same thing might be happening in the amplifiers, where, we. With. The orchestration, we can see that suddenly. All the, cable modems have a drop in receive, power in the downstream, right. We don't know why and on a certain leg but maybe there's damage the squirrel was chewing on the coax cables so now, we have the ability through orchestration.
To Increase, the transmit, power on the, amplifiers, temporarily, well. So, we can get those motors back online and set-top boxes until we can go out and find and repair, that damage cable. So I mean that's, something that's possible, you, know if you think about that Brady is because. The if we're doing an RPD remote, PHY device the. RF is being generated, right there at the node we. Have control, of individual, RF channels not. Like changing, a pad across the spectrum or an EQ to the tilt we. Could control, each individual, RF output so. If we notice that maybe. And, this could be hypothetical, like once, we hit 50, or 70% of the motors all reporting, the same RF channel bad maybe. The other 30% art but, maybe that's enough for me to justify turning it up at the carpeting it. Might be hitting hot on the other 30%. But the 70% are now getting proper levels you, understand like maybe. Yeah. You're gonna have some criteria, and this is where I think that you know the machine learning or the intelligence, that Murrow mentioned, that's in the orchestration, would come into place it's a if, if this happens, then. We can come in and make some adjustments to get her subscribers back online until we can get a tech out to find out where the problem is fix the problem yeah. Exactly that's that's, what integration. Of different, data sets comes in right so we should have data, points from the amplifiers, from the notes from the transceivers. Inside the head ends from the edge qualms from the cmts if you combine all that those data points together this is where the real synergy, comes, in this is where you start really benefiting, from, all the data that you have collected because. You can cross those data points, they know exactly what's wrong so for example if you see that a specific TV. Channel is showing. Some some problems, you can really track that down up until the head ends and see whether the problem is with them look Sarah with the transmitter, with the actual, amplifier. Right, this is a squirrel. Let's shoot, it up and you basically can look, at every point down the chain and see, the power levels, potentially, for the you. Know the signal that is carrying that channel and potentially. Getting to even higher level, of accuracy on your. Troubleshooting. And even self-healing, system, right you can automate, that just imagine that you, get some reports from a few set-top boxes in the same neighborhood, and you know where they are right because you know where everybody is located, and you see that everybody got a sudden drop in power because something. Happened to the actual cable you, can create, an automatic, reaction, for. The network a self-healing, network, that, will automatically. Just bump up the power just, automatically. And a couple of DBS and see if that fixes the issue just imagine, how how great would that be, that. Is kind of the idea of the self-healing, system, that is also coming with with orchestration. And how, to tell anybody that it's not that, far from reality. Because we're. Seeing some first, of all when we moved to not, plus node plus zero architecture, there are less amplifiers, down there right so less of less of those amplifiers. To manage but, it's gonna be a while until we reach to not plus zero all over the world obviously and up. Until then we see that some you know there are products in the markets that are actually offering amplifiers. With, cable modems and sound inside, them try transponders. Inside the, amplifiers, which basically, make them a communicating. Device for every every purpose right you can go and configure them just like John mentions remotely, you could change the settings remotely, and you can again fix problems, in your network through that very.
Cool Very, cool so. Where. Does orchestration. Reside, like where does the intelligence, for orchestration. Reside, in the, cable network. So. It resides, in you know new products, potentially. That will be the managers. Of that, network right the Grandmaster Orchestrator or. A specific purpose. Type of Orchestrator that, would be sitting inside the the head end to centralized, I guess management's, network off the operator, and. All, probability, is going to be a virtualized, product right we're going to the virtualization direction. So it's going to be, some. Kind of an intelligent, manager, sitting on a docker. Container, potentially, a virtual, machine sitting. In off the shelf so you know off the shelf type of server. Or Hardware potentially. That can can host it and we can also scale. It you, know very fast if it's completely. Virtualized, you can spin up more instances. Of that manager, if you have if, it is completely, completely, virtualized. But. You know some of those functions already, exists, in our cmts, and seek apps today if you think about it right some, of the load balancing, mechanisms, that we all implemented, in our see caps and CMT SS are already, party, partially, as the, N type of functionality because we're load balancing. Physical, network elements. Such as modems or you, know or nodes. Etc and, we're changing, the way they are configured, we're changing the way they are being set up so. You know if we think about it in a more philosophical way, it's all over, right it's already existing, and it's in all of the existing products but, the ones we're talking, about now are more specialized, and even more intelligent and will be sitting higher up in the RF hierarchy, of the cable, operator. So. John. If if you, so we have load balancing, in the cmts right now would, you envision some, day a lot, of the functionalities. That we you, know we would expect in the CNCs, or C CAP to, be just. Just take load balancing, as tile just mentioned with. That with, that functionality eventually, move to work in it orchestration. And maybe, some of the the. Intelligence. That we typically have in a cmts, that, just be migrated. Into orchestration. And see MTS's see house would become us, intelligent. It's. Not if it's when I, mean. That has to occur honey it, has to I mean, I'm. Not afraid of losing my job. Best. Practices. So. The. Unique situation I'm in is I'm kind of like it liaison, right, I go around all these different systems throughout the world then go back to our own engineers, and say hey this is what we're seeing with Comcast. And charter and net in Brazil and Rogers, in Canada or whoever and. Say you, know we need there, are some default settings on the cmts, this, will get you by you always keep it simple you keep it the low-hanging. Fruit I use, all these metaphors for no reason. They. Don't even apply right just throw them out there and. So. We we have these defaults, but then when you get in real life real-world situations, we're, like you know be better to. Maybe change your parameters, to, be self-healing. But, you always have pros and cons you got to tell the customer here's. What we could do now, here's the trade-off there's a little bit more overhead and less cmts there, might be a little bit more overhead on your Alex. Trains or your capacity, drops a little bit because you're going more station maintenance or more monitoring, more information, transmitted, back and forth but. It'll give you maybe self-healing, it's, kind of like you can buy insurance for anything but. You know how much insurance do you really want so, you have to have the best of both world you you've gotta balance it off compromise, so. If. I, do. All these best practices, over the years. Maybe. I, don't have to do that next year when automation. Does it for me you, know it's gonna monitor the health of the plant, now. I might have some best practices, of what, I would recommend is thresholds.
That You put into that automation, because, the automation you. Have to have some type of thresholds, that you configure. To. Say when I should, change, my capacity. When, I should change my RF levels you, know we talk about quality of service but really that, was that's been changing right we call it quality of experience, qoe. You. Know I don't care what the capacity is. Saying on a fiber node because I don't, know if that 85 percent utilization is, 85%, on a five-minute. Rolling window or, an instantaneous. 85, seconds at a Laker herd 4.5. Seconds are you understand I'm saying like, how can is it really can, when, I used to turn on power boost. You. Would freeze it I can have my scent you keep everything good but, no one's no one's complaining so. There's. A case where quality, of experience was great, but, it. Would indicate I needed us a note split but. That's not true you know so I need, to test, quality of experience don't. Really worry about what capacity is, because everyone might be happy anyway, but. Then I might say alright with quality experience I'm seeing some congestion some, now I'm, sure suggestions, easy to track down some suggestions, a little bit more difficult, but, you could monitor. Information. SNP mids and noise and then say alright when I hit a certain threshold. Of, cues. That are backing up add more. Capacity I, offered. A doc to three one speed I'm more concerned about peak rates and instead. Of trying, to offer an aggregate pipe that's 2 X of that peak rate may, be fully one customers, asking for that peak rate I can, get away with. 192. Megahertz, of OFDM. Block. That'll. Give me one cake service. But. I would never really want to offer that to for customer, sharing that that. Block but. It's only one customer so I can, afford to only turn on one block but, then with three more customer sign up I have, to now quickly, turn into two blocks, so those four customers, can share the two blocks and be better, statistical. Multiplexing, better probability less you know collisions, and all that I mean, that's the case where, automation. Which they are when, can ice you, talking about spinning, up no Mack buys it stuff like that I'm spinning up more capacity by, just telling the RPD to turn on more Ora frequencies, RF. Frequencies, that's redundant. RFC. Hopefully. Ross I gotta, correct myself. Dan, okay. So. I so, I don't you actually think that's the app load balancing, punch, in itself will move when. You talk about a little balancing Kevin, what it's inside a service group I don't think it's gonna move you know to the, orchestrator, as we talk about it right now because it is kind of part of the function that is the stamp, gas or C cap or, VC. Cap type of functionality and it's important, to also keep you know though, functions. Inside. There the right place where they can bring the value but what I think is going to be orchestrated are, the level. Of quality of service side, for example service, classes, and the actual tiers of service that, can be orchestrated, from the top thus, providing, the input to some of that load balancing, right so potentially, we have a bunch of customers who want to change their SLA, is right we want to be able to change the, the quality of service, they're getting or we're, seeing that a bunch of customers aren't seeing a bad quality of experience right we don't necessarily you see the congestion. But. We know that the quality of experience at, the endpoint like the TV that they're watching on Netflix is, not good then, we know that we need to fix something potentially.
In Their service tiers and, we can go in and orchestrate. Different, parameters, inside the sea caps and the course that, there are in the network to, optimize, you know the service and quality of experience for those customers that's. Where the, actual the. Actual benefit is going to come from from integrating, that level of information from from the top I. Agree. I. Kind. Of tiptoe around there I think the question to begin with but, yeah, the load balance, itself to low modems single, channel tuners they got a load balance I think, orchestration. As the end all this allows. Us to optimize, the. Plant so less, load balancing, is needed, and. A case in point would be also, today. Into. Paying eros or Cisco. What. If a modem. Is an, 8-channel capable. Modem and there's 24 downstream channels so it has three, groups of eight to load balance between DOCSIS 3 or load balance what. If the. Modem moves to, a higher set of eight frequencies, and that house. Has. Roll-off, in high-end. Sdn. And orchestration, could, keep track of that, modems. Signature. And say, you know what I will allow you to load balanced but never to that last group of 8 because, I know that house has problems at the high in frequency I'll. Allow you to hello bounce between the two groups of 8 on the lower end but. Exclude. Yourself from the last group of 8 today. A, lot of that, is not smart. The. Same test might say all right you can move oh but, now you have, a cm status message that said you have a problem so I'm gonna put you in partial mode so. Now that modem, went to seven channel bonding instead, of just staying a channel bunny on lower frequencies, yeah. Or or it would even be it. Into the failure list because. It tried to move it and it would just be a failure. Correct. So I have to fail three to five times before it actually gets excluded from load balance yeah and then once it gets excluded, from load balance it might not load balance routine the two other groups of me it's, stuck it's stuck on ask on its group because, I have, seems that exact scenario happen. Don't. Orchestration. To keep track of all that and say I know, it's, house MAC. Address cafe. Whatever. The MAC address is that's, a joke by the way in a beef cafe. So, that when that MAC address I know his, signature, for, his house and I could make his own group. Or load-balanced group just for him. Yeah. That would actually be seemingly. A much more intelligent way of handling, it. So. Who, is driving. Orchestration. Is this being done specifically. By vendors, is it being done is it a standard being done by cable labs what, who's. Making these specific, decisions, of Oh, we'll, handle load balancing, in in orchestration. Or will handle load balancing, in in the, cmts, or oh we're, going to start handling cable. Or us node. And amplifier, transmission. Increases, when modems go offline like those are really really, complex. And critical decisions, for a network so it. Who's. Making these decisions so. So. First of all I do think that's the driver. Is just emerging, from the need of cable operators to simplify their network right to automate, as many, procedures, as possible. And to make it easier to use. They, just need you know help with managing their network as I said earlier, the distributed, access architecture, devices, out there are, just becoming too many to efficiently. Manage without automation. And orchestration tools, so, in order to really make use of the new technologies, that that. Were coming up with on the exercise, it, really must come with another you know set of tools on the orchestration, and network management level, to, really be able to benefit, from from from, that new technology, so, you know, customers, operators.
You. Know all over the world are asking for, additional. Tools to do things more or more. Intelligently, and, there. Are no cable, apps specs, per se in terms of the orchestration. Of the network right when we talk about network orchestration, then, it becomes a much you. Know kind of excess agnostic, type of question, you need to manage a network whether it's deer cell it's excess, cable, access it's, you know it's pond you, need to be able to manage a complete network and for, that there are some specs, that are mentioned, earlier, the. The own app that man oh the oh noes type of your, products, out there so, a lot of different specs, that exist, to, try to define, at, least the protocols, and the interfaces, between the different machines in that you, know and that domain. So, it's starting to come up with that you know starting, to rise as aspects, but in our cable, industry, it's, -, it's still, far from that because every, device, is speaking another language right we all part, of we're, John. And I are part of the vendors that are basically. Doing, that right - creating boxes that speak their own proprietary language, to some extent some, of us you know some of the box of stuffs you know speak the DOCSIS mips according, to the cable up spec which is really good and it's a good start but, there's still a lot of proprietary interfaces. Out there so, there's still not you, know not standardization. Not about standardization. Out there that we can use to make orchestration. Work so, every. Orchestration, solution, that is being built by one. Of the CCAP. Vendors, or by other companies needs. To be able to talk to a series of different devices with, their own proprietary, interfaces. Which, you know brings in one, of the bigger challenges of actually, orchestrating. The network right you need to be able to speak, to ten, types of devices each one of those picking the different type, of protocol, or MIPS. Or CLI, commands so hence you know one of the challenges for. An efficient, solution in that in, that area. Do. Either you see, this being something, that MSOs. Will drive to be standardized, to become, like a orchestration. Spec i. If. I were an Emma song I would do that years ago because I think there's a lot of value, for you. Know standardizing. The interfaces. To different boxes right net, conf and yank models, have been discussed, in a where originally, part of the C CAP spec if you remember that the C map C CAP Caesar. Whatever. Name you call each one of them had and. Had. A chapter. That, prefers to this net comp yang, type, of model to talk to a C CAP that, never really happened, right we. Vendors. Didn't really implement that because it was not needed it was not high on our priority list. To. Do that but, eventually if we really want to be able to orchestrate the, network in the unified way there was going to have to be some kind of standardization. Or, at, least a common ground you know for all of us to be talking to similar language, I. Mean. I agree I mean you, talked about who's. Driving this pretty MSO. So I mean it's an open market. Supply. Demand demand, comes from the msot EMA so today we would like this ends. Up showing up an RFQ. And. Then, we all been against each other for the business, who. Can support what and maybe some of us proprietary. But. You know. It would be nice if there was real.
Interoperability. You, know the joke. Is that's, a great thing about what. There's. So many standards, but they're not really standard so I guess. It's not see more on at that point yeah. Nick, and I support, a standard. Ya. Know kid and. I thought it's kind of funny I heard I think one episode went to cable ad said hey can, we standardize, amplifier. Housings. And endnote' housings, I'm like late. To the game and that. 50. Years. Thank. You for that. Yeah. And we're going to note plus zero so you, know maybe they, want to standardize the note itself you know fit form factor, and all that I know we're all the standard. For power is their meaning. They're trying to push for what less than 160, watts per fiber note so, it's trying to get a lot into a smaller that's, the big thing about you know the remote max by if we, put the Mac in the, node let's. Give it what's gonna happen with the power of Armagh yeah. That's, that's gonna be concerning. So. So. Where do you what, what is the the. Big. Lat so, I can't I can't think of the analogy there. The. Crystal ball thanks John you're you are the man with the analogy, what. Does the crystal ball say the future is. Magic. 8-ball. So. What's, the future now I mean there's a lot of cool things here you guys have talked about with orchestration, what does the future say, like, you guys said can. You can you can you kind of project, what what. Are even more cool things with orchestration. Have you. Yeah. I think, that we're gonna start seeing that more and more you, know starting, this, year already with. Different set of functions there's not gonna be you, know when, Ben thank you man type of solution, it's here I'm gonna put it in and it's gonna manage my entire network no it's not the way it's gonna work right it's. Going to be a type of a growing solution, a type of evolution we will add more functions, that will orchestrate different. Types of pieces. In the network right different, segments, of functionality. So, the example, for management of RPGs right remote PHY devices, out there is going to be a good start. We will add you know profile, management for DOCSIS 3.1 oh those are you, know certain pieces of the puzzle, that will add more and more orchestration.
So We gradually, are going to see more, automation, and more orchestration, introduced. Into the network and you, know becoming. More and more more and more intelligent and. As I said earlier the more data points. We have from the network the more collection. Points we have the, better synergy, it will be and the better type, of value that we will get from those types of orchestrators, when as as much as they can pull more, points in, the network so I think it's going to be you know an enable an evolution, not as much a revolution. So it's going to be incrementally, growing. In terms of the the usages, of, the. Orchestration, solutions, until we get to a point where it's really more and more automated, and almost you know self-healing, self-managing. Type of system which, is kind of further, into the future right it's, more of an Elan, mask kind, of fishing. I would say. Ela. Would be happy yeah I I. Agree. I, mean you're. Not gonna rip out an existing, Asian of steel plants especially. If you're a publicly, traded company, on, Wall Street you. Know it's gonna cost way too much money and, then your stocks are. So. You're, going to almost. Cherry-pick and some people would argue well, I can cherry-pick cheap on any pond and some people have right you cherry pick a customer, who wants to do business from their home and you do any pond solution. If you have the back office for it and everything else maybe, you do doctors over a pond I don't know, but. You. Can offer very, fast. Doctors 3-1 speeds and, compete, against Jeep on and look, at the price points you already have an HST plant maybe you only upgrade one. Leg of a node maybe, you only upgrade one, node to RPD, and. That, gives you the capability to do higher modulation. For 3:1 higher. Speeds just for that section of your cable plant and then you just keep upgrading, as, you go so. That would be you, know evolving, your network pay, pay as you go okay. Pay to play see. Metaphors, just throwing about. Hey. You grow, whatever, it is so, I, should, do that but you know talking about the, crystal, ball the, magic, 8-ball whatever, the. Internet. Of Things Internet, of Things is like everything, is connected in your home and people have talked about this years, ago about you know 20, over in the garage the. Car automatically. Connects to your network the, car downloads, the latest songs, the. Into your car maybe. Maps updates. To the car itself, your. Dog gets, updates. With. Updates, might be you know just the, tags and stuff and uh who. He's been around, I don't. Know but. You get the idea is there's a lot more devices, that are connected to the network and. So we have to make sure the network is automated, enough to find provide, capacity and. Ipv6. And. Everything. Else from. From a security standpoint I can see huge opportunities. There where you could start pushing, all the latest security updates, to every device that's connected to the DOCSIS network that, would be huge. Firmware. Updates to millions all the things that were that. We're struggling with now. Yeah. You're talking about security of devices, like. Attacks. On your device and cyberattacks but a security, of your past home, security, home, automation especially. When you bring up and that could be the cool rap yeah, I mean bringing up IOT, but even just down to the cable modem see where, yeah if we could orchestrate that, for, operators. To make sure that you. Know when Aris, or when Cisco releases, the the, next security, update that that's that's quickly, pushed out and and ensured that it's also, very well tested yep. That. Type of orchestration. And and if it's not if there's a problem when it's pushed out that it's immediately rolled, back those. Are those are the types of things that they could be I see be very well orchestrated. Because. Right now we you know we know that there's Security's device, there's many, devices out there that have, holes in them and. People. Are worried about pushing firmware. Updates out because we have issues so, right, so. Imagine that you do that so for cable modems today to, some extent you know you're limited on that on that front you, would be able to do that for remote PHY devices remote magnify devices right download, the software upgrade, that will prevent the security, hole that you may have or run, another level of validation on, those cable modems to prevent this latest, attack right the, ability to configure things, download, software versions, to those devices is, a very, powerful thing we're, all benefit, from, yes. Absolutely. So. Any any, final thoughts on on. Orchestration. I. Think. We used up our analogies. But just. Again to emphasize at the point it's definitely. Not you. Know it's it's not a revolution it's going to be an evolution so. Operators. And, vendors, are going to be have to having, to pick and choose which automation, functions, and which, orchestration.
Functions, Will provide the most value in, the short term and apply, them already you know this year next year and later, on grow on based on those on. Those in kind. Of automation. Functions, that are already introduced into the network all the infrastructure, of those automation, functions. And collect. More information make, it more and more intelligence, up to a point where it's you know a really intelligent network, manager. John. Maybe from your side. You. Know you're talking about analogies, and metaphors and, all that and you and I both worked at you know Secor Electronics way back in the day and there, was an engineer, one time that says you know John if. We make everything idiot-proof, you, have more idiots that work on it so. My. Concern, is. When. We make things all automated, and then, we forget, what's. Really happening in the background we. Lose sight, of you. Know the basics and. This is why Ron will have a job forever teaching. A basic, enough stuff from. Soup, to nuts you know going, through it all and. Explaining. What's really going on, because, if everything is automated, and you don't understand, that that automation, has, the wrong parameters, in it you, might not question, it you know we've had cases where people would do an FCC proof and, say oh this, note came out with a 60, DB, CNR. It's. Perfect, it passes I'm like wait away if it's too good to be true then. You should be questioning why it's 60 when a fiber node with a 10 DB optical, link budget should only get like a 48, or 50 you, know according to the spec so, how is it getting a 60 obviously you did it wrong but, they don't question it right because they got the good numbers so, we need people to understand, how, things still work and not, just throw people at it once it gets automated. So. We still need the expertise, we still any education, this. Is not going to be a blurb for s CTE but ICT has their continuing, credits and all the courses and all that and most of that stuff is automated. Its. Online anyway. So people can stay up to date with what's, going on with some of the technology, and. Backtrack. To the basics. Yep. Good, point it's everyone, still needs to be shown where the power button is so. Behind. The curtain, that's right. If. Operators, want to learn more or find out more information on orchestration. Is it, just they go to your. Company's website to, Cisco to heiresses, website is that the best place to go right now or there or there is, there any public places that you can learn more about orchestration. Yeah. It's a good question I don't I. Don't have a good recommendation. And that's one there are a lot of I guess articles. In the cable. Cable. Industry. News about, the different types of approaches, to that we, do have some you know some material on our website, and Ericom some. White, papers some presentations, but. It is kind of in the in, the early phases of this orchestration, so it's a lot of OCT, o type, of talk and kind, of ideas. For for the great rate. Of good I'm gonna be able to provide, with this network but not as many, products. So I can't really give you your daily sheets just yet as far from this kind of product. Okay. I would say bring it out the basket on line one it's not Google. All. Right, well, Cal and John thank, you so much this was really, really fascinating and I'm a great topic, I'm gonna look forward to see how this emerges. Our. Next, episode next month, is going to be all things, spectrum, analysis, with Larry wilcott, from Comcast, so tune, in next month we, do our very best to, bring you some good technical, content, every month if, you like watching this episode please, click on the subscribe button or, follow. Us on your favorite podcaster. For our audio only episode. Again. Thanks for tuning in, Tao John thanks, for joining us really appreciate your. Subject, matter expertise. On the topic and so. Everyone, have, a great weekend we'll see you later bye all. Pleasures. Usual.