Vecima, Bluepeak launch cloud-based DAA controller on AWS

Feb. 10, 2022
The partners say the move represents the first proof-of-concept to demonstrate the viability of controlling Remote MACPHY nodes from a public cloud.

Vecima Networks this week announced that Bluepeak, an internet provider with operations throughout South Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, has successfully deployed a Vecima Entra SC-2D R-MACPHY node managed and controlled by an Entra Access Controller operating on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

The partners contend that "this proof-of-concept demonstration brings the scale, security, and reliability of modern cloud computing directly to progressive broadband networks."

As noted by a Vecima statement:

Hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks are being overwhelmed by an explosion in IP video traffic, high-speed data services, and business applications that currently drive enormous annual rates of growth. To cope with these escalating bandwidth demands, cable operators are turning to software-driven, all-IP Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) that help to increase the capacity of existing networks to both reduce operating costs and improve last mile signal quality. DAA architectures are becoming essential for cable operators looking to rapidly deploy new services and cost-effectively upgrade their networks.

Vecima’s Entra DAA solution enables operators, like Bluepeak, to increase the capacity of existing HFC infrastructure and eliminate most cable-specific, facilities-based network hardware to reduce overall space and power requirements. Leveraging modern software constructs, the Vecima on AWS proof-of-concept optimizes critical infrastructure – placing the DOCSIS Media Access Control (MAC) in the node, and the control and management plane in the cloud. This permits operators to expand network capacity through the deployment of simple, standards-based IP and Ethernet equipment in their facilities.

The partners contend the placement of the Vecima Entra Access Controller onto Amazon’s EC2 environment represents "the first step in a journey to a cloud-driven, intelligent, and cost-effective set of cloud services for access networks. Cable operators immediately benefit from AWS scale, security, and reliability without having to build and manage on-premises compute and cloud environments – accelerating time to deploy DAA and lowering overall costs," added the statement.

At the same time, the companies say vast suite of AWS services, such as data lakes, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services, and data and analytics creation all become native add-ons to this progressive architecture. The partners notes that many cable operators are exploring convergence strategies for fixed and mobile services, and the flexibility of AWS means current and future Broadband Network Gateway (BNG), Wi-Fi, and 5G network workloads can seamlessly become part of the cable operator’s service offerings.

“AWS is excited to work with both Vecima and Bluepeak on this innovative project,” said Sameer Vuyyuru, director and head of Worldwide Telecommunications Business Development at AWS. “Migrating critical elements of modern cable access networks onto AWS enables cable operators to securely and confidently scale their converged networks at a high velocity, with lower costs. This proof-of-concept sets the stage for further innovation in cable, leveraging AWS Outposts, AWS AI and ML, data lakes, IoT and broadband management technologies.”

“Vecima’s ‘DAA in the cloud’ proof-of-concept with Bluepeak on AWS illustrates the enormous flexibility that DAA introduces to the network,” asserts Jeff Heynen, VP of Broadband Access & Home Networking at the Dell’Oro Group. “Space, power, and signal quality are the short-term benefits, but the long-term benefits will be innovations built around virtualization and the cloud, whether the operators own cloud or a third-party cloud.”

“Bluepeak’s objective is to apply innovative solutions to allow us to deliver the best service to our customers while growing our business in the most efficient way possible,” said Cash Hagan, Chief Operating Officer at Bluepeak. “We are always looking for ways to improve our time to market and reduce costs, and we are excited to work with Vecima and AWS to prove out this cloud-based approach.”

“We are proud to work with Bluepeak and AWS on this ground-breaking project,” concluded Clay McCreery, Chief Operating Officer at Vecima. “Our cable and fiber access solutions are ideal for cloud-based architectures. Unlike other cable access approaches, Remote MACPHY distributes all cable-specific functions to the edge of the network in the node. As a result, latency-sensitive and data-intensive functions stay within the network, and only the control is placed in the cloud. Cloud-based DAA virtually eliminates hub space requirements, enabling hub collapses and reducing real estate expenses.”