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SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Pat Romanski, Wai Lam, Cloud Best Practices Network, Elizabeth White

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Active Broadband Networks Announces Availability of Industry's First Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway

Groundbreaking Software-Based Platform for the Broadband Service Edge Leverages SDN and NFV to Slash Costs, Accelerate Service Velocity and Ensure Customer QoE

FRAMINGHAM, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/14 -- Active Broadband Networks, an innovative supplier of software-defined networking (SDN) solutions for broadband service providers, today announced the industry's first Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway (SD-BNG), a platform that implements software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of broadband service delivery. The SD-BNG unlocks the benefits of SDN and NFV for service providers to streamline orchestration, proactively manage Quality-of-Experience (QoE) and develop new services and applications -- allowing them to significantly increase operational efficiencies, slash capital outlays, and rapidly create, deploy and modify personalized services that increase market penetration and improve customer satisfaction.

"Active Broadband's SD-BNG enables our FTTH operation in countries like Barbados to rapidly address subscriber needs by enhancing and modifying our data services. It simplifies providing subscribers with personalized services meeting their unique requirements," said Andre Foster, Chief Information Officer of Columbus Communications. "This capability to rapidly introduce new service offerings in weeks rather than months offers strong value to our customers and to our business."

"In 2012, we saw the early formation of an SDN and NFV revolution. Our unique IPR and technical competencies enabled us to examine the current and future broadband edge requirements, and leverage new technology and techniques to create dramatically better and lower-cost broadband edge infrastructure," said Adam Dunstan, CEO of Active Broadband Networks. "Our SD-BNG platform refactors the existing monolithic BNG and the potpourri of disparate service management software components to dramatically simplify and streamline orchestration, activation and ongoing QoE for the broadband services delivered today, along with applications currently being devised by operators leveraging NFV."

The SD-BNG platform consists of the APG/80 Active Programmable Gateway, a pure software switch for high-performance packet processing that is fully programmable via OpenFlow control, and the Active Resource Controller (ARC), an SDN controller optimized for broadband service orchestration and delivery with real-time, dynamic QoE management.

The APG/80 is the software-based switching element in the SD-BNG. It operates under control of the ARC and is located at the broadband edge behind the operator's high-speed, access equipment, typically OLTs or MSANS. The APG/80 is a compact 1U design that implements a unique "soft white-box switch" using Intel's latest I/O-optimized Xeon processors. Taking advantage of new programming tools that enable high-performance user space network processing, the APG/80 implements patent-pending Future Time Hybrid Queuing to provide high-performance software-based hierarchical queuing mechanisms for ensuring QoS. OpenFlow Autonomous Flow Processing is based upon and compatible with industry-standard OpenFlow, but the APG/80 has extended that capability to address the scaling issues in broadband service delivery by distributing flow management between the APG/80 and the ARC. The APG/80 supports up to four 1GbE or 10GbE NIC modules for a total system throughput of 80 Gbps. It runs on embedded Linux and is an open platform, allowing additional software-based functionality to be easily added, updated and integrated.

The Active Resource Controller (ARC) is an intelligent broadband edge service controller that enables service orchestration using simplified web services programmability. Controlling the APG/80 with OpenFlow, the ARC facilitates autonomous, simplified, traffic-driven service activation. The ARC gains its intelligence by collecting, mediating and further processing real-time IP flow information provided by the APG/80 -- delivering usable, actionable QoE information to enable customers' service expectations to be met. The ARC also automates the use of QoE information, dynamically modifying customers' services using OpenFlow control of the APG/80. Based on Big Data technology, the ARC computes and displays experience metrics that provide both operators and their customers with visibility into service utilization and network conditions, as well as application usage. The ARC's Big Data technology provides a platform for data scientists to either directly analyze broadband service information or to integrate broadband service information into a larger analysis platform. The ARC leverages technology developed for legacy OSS-based service management, and is a proven, robust platform that can be deployed as a virtual appliance or as software components on operator-managed physical or virtual platforms.

About Active Broadband Networks
Active Broadband Networks is the leader in software-defined networking and network function virtualization for broadband service providers, allowing operators to leverage these emerging technologies today to streamline operations, introduce new services and applications, and manage and meet customers' QoE needs while addressing capital and operating costs. Founded in 2005, Active Broadband has the unique blend of core competencies, intellectual property and proven experience necessary to reduce the cost and complexity of the existing broadband service delivery infrastructure. Active Broadband's products have been successfully deployed in networks supporting millions of customers by broadband providers in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

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