By Jay Herbert (Systems Engineer, Cisco)
Last week's SCTE conference was a great experience. Our Workshop “Trim the Network Fat - A Healthy Recipe for Understanding and Improving Your Cable Ecosystem,” was well attended and well received. Seasoned vets, managers, executives and engineers were all present. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces. The third part of the workshop introduced the audience to how routing protocols are used in current cable architectures. The study was not to speculate on the far future but rather understand the basics, e.g which protocols are used today and how are they used. Routing protocol usage and network architecture details were collected from the top 12 American MSOs. Their plan of record was used to generate protocol trending information. The routing trends were likely more interesting to those already familiar with how their company's network uses routing protocols . Some of the questions the audience hopefully asked themselves during the session: How does my company use routing protocols?; Where is my company on this list?; Is my company executing towards or against the protocol trends identified?
During the Q&A we touched on some subjective topics like why certain protocols have gained favor over others. A suggestion to include more IPv6 trending information was recommended. During the after session Q&A I realized I had made a mistake after responding to some additional questions on the usage of MPLS on the CMTS. The collection of MSO data was from the top 12 American MSOs not North American MSOs i.e. there are no Canadian operators included in the study. If included their data would increase the total percentage of MPLS usage on the CMTS due to the third party access rules in Canada that differ from those in the US. These regulations make MPLS service enablement via VPNs a popular solution in Canadian Cable networks.
The SCTE session “Trim the Network Fat - A Healthy Recipe for Understanding and Improving Your Cable Ecosystem" was a collection of three white papers and presentations. The last section Routing the cable Network can accessed via a recorded SCTE live learning session here. This is archived and accessible to anyone who is an SCTE member. The white paper and presentation can be found on the SCTE website. It is only accessible to those with an Expo Full Conference Badge.
Above: Watch Cisco at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2013 in Atlanta