December 22, 2020 by Tom Schroer

Plan for the Unexpected by Getting Network Architecture Fundamentals Right


If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. At the beginning of the year, not many of us in the telecom industry could have predicted the arrival of a devastating global pandemic, let alone the disruptive impact it would have on the way broadband subscribers use the internet and communications service providers (CSPs) do business. 

Some would argue that no amount of network planning could have prepared CSPs for the level of strain that the majority of them have experienced in their networks over the past 8 months. And yet the fact is, a properly designed network—one whose architecture takes into account not only technology requirements, but also the full range of business, service and operational objectives—will be much better prepared to weather the storm when the unforeseen occurs. 

It does not matter whether you are building a new network from the ground up or expanding your existing network, you have an opportunity to leverage architectural design options to make sure you get it right. 

A well architected network, first and foremost, gives you the ability to deliver exceptional broadband and other advanced IP-based services to your subscribers. It also helps you reduce operational costs, improve scalability and reliability, and prepare your business to meet future requirements. That includes the ones you know about, as well as those that are nearly impossible to predict, like the one we have all been experiencing over the last few months. 

So, what makes for a well-designed network? Getting the technology right is an obvious requirement, but there is much more to it than that, such as ensuring that you meet the full slate of business, service, and operational objectives. In practice, developing the right network architecture involves a multi-pronged and multi-faceted approach that incorporates requirements from growth forecasts, service availability and network security objectives, and operational automation needs. 

A recent Tech Brief from Calix, “Architectural Fundamentals for a Successful Broadband Network” provides guidance for new and existing CSPs who are at the network planning stage. It identifies and elaborates on several key considerations and best practices that should be top-of-mind when architecting your broadband network architecture for the future. These are:

  • Determining your services monetization strategy
  • Devising a security strategy that protects every layer of the network
  • Extending layer 3 into the access network
  • Collapsing subscriber and network functions into the fewest network components
  • Automating subscriber services provisioning

Even with these insights, identifying the optimal architecture for your access and core networks can be an extremely complex task. If you need more help beyond the insights provided in the Tech Brief, Calix can help. Calix Network Consulting Services can work with your team as a trusted partner to provide you the best practices and guidance needed to architect and deploy networks to meet your business, technical, operational and service delivery goals. Contact your Account Executive and check out the Calix Professional Services web page to find out more how Calix Networking Consulting Services can help you start your network transformation today.