Hot on the heels of Nokia's announcement that it's launching a virtualized CCAP platform, Casa Systems says it too is bringing a virtual CCAP solution to market.
At the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo show this week, Casa Systems Inc. will demonstrate its Axyom software architecture for distributed access networks. The architecture already supports Casa's virtualized cellular and WiFi products. The company now, however, is adding on a software-driven solution for virtualizing the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP). The new Virtual CCAP product moves MAC layer data processing as well as control and management functions into software. It works with Casa's existing Remote PHY nodes, and can be used as an alternative in the future to the company's chassis-based integrated CCAP product. (See Casa's D3.1 CCAP Delivers 400 Mbits/s Upstream and Don't Give Up on Converged Cable Access Yet.)
Importantly, Casa says the new vCCAP solution shows how cable operators can process video in a distributed access architecture (DAA) alongside data.
"Today we are demonstrating that we can pass video traffic as well as data traffic to our DAA nodes, giving service providers assurance that they can evolve their networks while providing a full menu of services to their subscribers," says a Casa spokesperson.
Different companies are taking different approaches to transporting what is traditionally QAM-based video over a digital fiber link to the network node. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s solution is to convert video coming from an existing Edge QAM device before delivering it to the node in digital format. For a detailed discussion of the video delivery challenges in a distributed cable access architecture, see Nokia Debuts Virtualized Cable Access Platform.
Cable operators are slowly starting to consider how to transition their legacy cable networks to a software-defined infrastructure. Unlike their telecom competitors, however, cable companies have the additional burden of determining how to manage broadcast video, which is not currently delivered over IP. The unique complexities of the cable environment are creating a surge of interest and investment by vendors, many of whom are now hoping to take advantage of a near-term network upgrade cycle that promises to be lucrative. (See Don't Put a Cap on Capex Just Yet.)
Casa has not said specifically when its new vCCAP solution will be available, but there should be more information available soon. With other vendor announcements on the horizon as well, expect more analysis on the changing nature of the cable network from Light Reading in the days and weeks to come. We will also be running a free breakfast forum on this subject at Cable-Tec Expo on Tuesday morning, starting at 6:30 a.m. in Room 120 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading