Virtual Fiber Box proposes to develop and integrate Altice Labs access solutions into a new network architecture that will improve the company competitiveness in the global market, through one new ecosystem that incorporates hardware and software components. The main objectives are, on one hand, to follow the trend of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) and, on the other hand, to evolve access technologies and platforms in terms of technical approach, simplifying hardware, reducing space, reducing consumptions and increasing the available interfaces rates.
This project also aims to track, investigate and contribute to the evolution of optical access networks, through monitoring and intervention in standardization bodies, and also through the development of laboratory prototypes.
On the Hardware component, the project will focus on the development of the SDAN (Software Defined Access Node) concept through the following systems:
- SDAN-OLT1P – 1 optical port OLT with inherent virtualization characteristics in CFP form factor;
- SDAN-OLT16P – 16 port OLT with inherent virtualization characteristics;
- ONT-SFP+ – 10Gbps ONU in SFP+ format with virtualization of control functions. This ONU will enable any client router to be converted into high-speed PON optical termination equipment.
In this way, the hardware will be developed according to its use in a virtualization context, which will simplify the current approaches, since it will not require so much processing resources and memory, among others.
In what concerns the software point of view, this is a very ambitious project and will include several aspects, namely:
- Firmware of OLTs described above;
- Abstraction software that will allow the control and operation of these OLTs, in a standardized way, from “universal” control and virtualization platforms;
- Virtual OLT controller: Control and management virtualization platform that allows much of the functionality and protocols (currently running within the OLTs) to be virtualized and able to operate on off-the-shelf hardware / servers. This platform will correspond to a functional extension of the current management platform AGORA.