Blueprint for All-IP Cable Networks

Paving the way for a new end-to-end multiservice delivery system.

The connected world is moving to an all-IP model, and cable networks are in line to follow this evolution. At Juniper, we believe the future of cable networks lies in IP/MPLS technologies. We’re building a path for cable multiservice operators (MSOs) that leads to a service-rich experience, with end-to-end multiservice delivery over a single consolidated system for advanced cable applications and services.

The new cable network will deliver any service that a cable provider might want to offer its customers over a high-speed, self-driving network. This converged IP packet-optical architecture, which we refer to as our Cable Metro IP Transit Architecture, uses a single end-to-end approach for both core and metro locations. The use of IP/MPLS enables huge scale, efficiency, elasticity, and programmability to provide the high-quality experience that today’s cable subscribers expect.

In our vision, the IP-powered cable network extends from the core into the access network. Juniper engineers are developing a modern version of the cable last mile, featuring an all-IP, all-DOCSIS, multigigabit access infrastructure for both commercial and residential services. We call this system the Ethernet Mid-Mile architecture. Combined with an all-IP/MPLS core and metro network, the Ethernet Mid-Mile access architecture will give MSOs a progressive, highly flexible, and ultra-efficient network system.

Why do we need a new architecture?

The massive growth of high-bandwidth, narrowcast traffic—such as video-on-demand and high-speed data—has led to furiously escalating capacity requirements. At the same time, factors such as a migration to IP video delivery and the need for more rapid service delivery are straining traditional cable business models. Today’s legacy architectures are hindering the rollout of new service offerings, slowing deployment velocity, and limiting revenue potential. They also impact MSOs’ CapEx budgets, placing huge demands on their facilities in terms of power, cooling, and space.

The changing role of the DOCSIS standard also adds to MSOs’ challenges. Previously used only for high-speed data, DOCSIS is now moving into place as a foundation for all services delivered to homes and businesses. This transformation is forcing cable operators to evaluate new ways to provide an emerging set of DOCSIS-based services while taking advantage of the latest computing and networking trends.

Get ready for the service-rich experience.

In Juniper’s Metro IP Transit architecture, we integrate the optical layer into IP routers and switches to create a single, collapsed network layer that is fluid, elastic, and dynamic. This programmable layer adapts to the changing and growing business demands of cable networks.

Using the latest technology in integrated 100-Gbps transponders, advanced silicon switching, and SDN, we can build a single, converged network capable of carrying any of the services that cable operators offer their residential and commercial customers. The simplified architecture includes common management, analytics, and traffic-engineering processes.

In our Ethernet Mid-Mile architecture, we leverage the statistical multiplexing benefits of Ethernet switching to help cable operators aggregate their distributed access networks cost effectively for both residential and commercial customers. The Ethernet Mid-Mile architecture enables cable operators to get more out of their existing HFC network investment, allowing them to scale the network’s capacity and the services it supports well into the future.

We draw upon the best of three worlds: the any-to-any benefits of IP, the cost efficiency of Ethernet, and the predictability and manageability of optical transport. MPLS provides the necessary tools to tie the Ethernet Mid-Mile with the Metro IP Transit network. By applying the services framework provided by MPLS and MPLS traffic engineering to the latest optical, silicon, and SDN technologies, we can create a truly differentiated IP/MPLS network for modern cable networks.

Together, the Metro IP Transit and Ethernet Mid-Mile architectures fit into Juniper’s larger architectural vision for all service providers, a vision that comprises an all-IP/MPLS, end-to-end multiservice delivery platform for advanced services and applications.