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C-COR Adds Bandwidth QoS Capabilities

C-COR today unveiled its "Bandwidth Quality of Service Network Appliance." The solution leverages C-COR's CableEdge and Policy Service Manager software to track and allocate cable access bandwidth dynamically.

C-COR's approach differs from service control switching solutions offered by the likes of Ellacoya and Sandvine. Unlike service control boxes, which operate at the IP layer and above, C-COR's CableEdge platform monitors traffic utilization at the DOCSIS layer of the network. When a congestion threshold is hit, CableEdge signals the Policy Service Manager. Using PacketCable Multimedia signaling (PCMM), it coordinates quality-of-service (QoS) policies through the DOCSIS CMTS.

On the upside, C-COR's approach is potentially less costly to implement than full-blown service control solutions for basic bandwidth rebalancing functions. Plus, because it is tracking traffic at the DOCSIS layer, it seems QoS policies could be implemented on a per-CMTS-port basis (a very targeted approach to managing a congested link) as well as on a per-subscriber basis.

Unlike service control switches, C-COR's solution won't provide deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities through Layer 6. However, if QoS policies for services are primarily set and implemented by the MSO through PCMM application managers and policy servers, full DPI capabilities may not prove necessary in the near term.

C-COR says its MSO customers are using its CableEdge Assurance solution (which the vendor picked up through its acquisition of software startup Stargus in 2004) to manage 10 million DOCSIS devices throughout 12 countries. That footprint provides a sizable upsell opportunity for its new QOS offering.

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