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Cisco to Open Source Service Provider Routing Software

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At The Cable Show 2014 in Los Angeles Cisco (CSCO) announced that it will make its service provider customer premise equipment (CPE) routing software available in open-source format, and highlighted the extension of Cisco’s Service Provider architecture for cable operators to deliver more bandwidth, higher service tiers and greater agility in deploying new applications.

In addition to new optical networking capabilities, Cisco is applying the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualization technologies recently introduced in the Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP) to virtualize, integrate and automate cable operators’ access architecture. Key elements of Cisco’s advanced access architecture including the cBR-8, a next-generation terabit converged access platform (CCAP), are now in trials with five MSO customers worldwide.

“When we launched the Cisco Service Provider architecture, our vision was to transform the network from simply supporting business and meeting bandwidth demands, to driving new service revenue opportunities for operators,” said Joe Cozzolino, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Service Provider Video Infrastructure at Cisco. “By extending this vision to cable, Cisco is the first company to blueprint an actionable, five-year plan that addresses key challenges facing MSOs and outlines a clear roadmap for realizing existing and future capabilities.”

Open Source Framework for Broadband Services

Cisco also announced that its service provider CPE routing software will be available in open source format. Cisco’s proven service provider home routing technology will help to expand the use of open-source software by service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and system on a chip (SoC) vendors, and enable them to deliver new, next-generation IP-based services to subscriber homes. Cisco’s contribution is a key component of future RDK-based broadband products, building upon open-source components by adding a flexible control plane enabling a modular component-based framework. The RDK is a pre-integrated software bundle that provides a common framework for powering CPE from TV service providers.

“The RDK was created to provide greater transparency and standardization of customer-premises equipment, in order to accelerate the pace of new service introductions,” said Steve Heeb, President and General Manager of RDK Management, LLC. “To date, most of the RDK development has been focused on set-top boxes and gateway devices. Cisco’s open-source contribution of routing software is an important step to help bring the RDK to a new class of broadband devices.”

We applaud Cisco for materially advancing the progress of shared and open-source CPE into consumers’ homes,” said Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Communications Data and Mobility Services for Comcast. “This generous technology contribution, just like the RDK for video devices, will enable a shared innovation platform for broadband devices in the home.  We anticipate this will be a cornerstone in giving broadband service providers like Comcast and others the ability to innovate with product development, hosted navigation and cloud-based services.”

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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