The world’s leading service providers are quickly virtualizing key network components to capitalize on opportunities in 5G and Wi-Fi 6 as well as high-bandwidth, cloud-native, and video-driven applications.
The headend represents one of the largest legacy investments in an HFC network and one of the leading candidates for virtualization. A virtualized headend can yield significant performance gains, cost savings, and service agility.
Benefits of Virtualization
CommScope’s new Virtual Headend portfolio offers a complete range of solutions to virtualize a network’s management plane, video delivery infrastructure, and CMTS core. By using software functions to replace hardware in these elements of the physical network, this functionality can be relocated to operator private cloud environments, reducing operational expenditures and taking advantage of elastic, 3D scaling and a highly-dense footprint.
Our virtualized software can operate on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) x86 server platforms. It can also be isolated and operated within a Virtual Machine (VM) environment and within container-based environments. This not only improves cost structures but offers service providers a new level of service agility. For example, features that historically were defined by manual device configurations and even the way boxes were wired (think RF combining network) can now be modified via a simple API call.
Additionally, service providers can leverage both horizontal and vertical processor scaling techniques to expand network capacity with new servers and benefit from performance advances in server platforms.
Finally, the analytics and automation capabilities possible with virtualized networks will facilitate a new era of software-defined networking that improves QoE for subscribers and opens the door to full headend automation in the future.
Road to Virtualization
Virtualization solves many of the scalability challenges facing operators today but navigating the transition from traditional HFC networks remains one of the largest barriers to entry.
CommScope Professional Services provides a unique service in this regard. Our team has end-to-end expertise in the design, implementation, integration, and management of networks of all sizes, all over the world. Beyond offering an incredible range of virtualized solutions, we’re able to customize each deployment to help individual providers navigate their unique path to virtualization.
Our global expertise in HFC networks, including DAA, FTTx, DOCSIS, and IP video allows us to guide our customers in prioritizing which parts of their network to virtualize first. We maximize existing investments with pay-as-you-go planning, and we work with each customer to customize software and interoperate with network components from all vendors.
From day one, our customers take advantage of our 20 years of field-hardened code and vast installed base, ensuring the highest level of reliability in transitioning to virtualized components. Our platform is made specifically for broadband and video service delivery, and our portfolio offers a range of starting points for virtualization.