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August 25, 2017 by Evan Parker

Catching up with CORD

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It has been a few months since we last discussed CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter), so an update seemed appropriate. Much has transpired since April when we introduced the AXOS Open Flow Connector (OFx) for the CORD vOLT-HA (Virtual OLT – Hardware Abstraction) project and conducted our first lab trial.

CORD is an open source project with the ambitious goal to rearchitect the central office, creating a reference design that accelerates service delivery and reduces the cost of operations, while remaining vendor independent.

The vOLT-HA is central to achieving this architecture, speeding system integration by providing a uniform northbound interface (NBI) for both management and SDN control.

  • Uniform management means you integrate vOLT-HA into your OSS systems once, adding new access technologies and vendors via vOLT-HA plugins like OFx.
  • Uniform control means there is one control plane instantiated as a collection of ONOS tenant applications that eliminates the problem of having to integrate different control plane behaviors across different vendors or technologies.

In April, we enabled residential triple play services. Since then, a small group of companies, Calix included, has dedicated engineering support to advance the vOLT-HA, with a focus on operational details that make an OLT a carrier-grade solution. We have made huge strides, which include advancements in:

  • High availability – Docker swarm clustering and graceful restart
  • NBI options – new NETCONF/YANG and web GUI management interfaces, in addition to the CLI
  • PM, alarms, events, and configuration status – PON operations data made available on a Kafka message bus
  • ONOS tenant application robust operation – 802.1x network authentication server, DHCP relay, and IGMP proxy applications
  • ONT and OLT software management – Software upgrades managed by vOLT-HA
  • ONT auto discovery – FSAN serial number as matching key for automated deployment

I’m particularly proud of the large Calix contributions to the last two items. Calix is preparing for trials with the AXOS E9-2 and vOLT-HA later this year. It is an exciting time and I look forward to providing more updates in the coming months.