FTTH is not like any other network

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Fri, 01/25/2019 - 13:34

If you are working in network engineering, hands-on with the routers and switches in the network, you probably have seen your fair share of network problems. However well you build it there is always some intermittent issue, some complaining user, some application that doesn’t get the throughput, some website that is unreachable.

It’s part of the everyday chaos of running a network to deal with big and small issues.

Fibre to the home networks are no different. Except that your network equipment isn’t just three stories down in the basement IT room, but spread out throughout the city and your users aren’t Maggie on 5th floor that can’t print or Harold on 3rd that can’t e-mail. Instead your users are Mr. Schmidt way over in Hauptdorf that gets a crappy TV-picture in the evening and Mrs. Wendt on Faststrasse who has problems with accessing her Internet bank.

Image removed.

Your Fibre to the home users aren’t your colleagues but your customers and they aren’t in your building where you can walk over to their computer and have a look yourself but have jobs of their own away from home, making troubleshooting during your working hours a real pain.

Troubleshooting becomes much more complex when the network becomes widespread and intermittent problems are the worst of them all. Add the non tech-savvy user to that and it can be frustrating at times.

Building the network is the easy part, running it is where it gets complicated and expensive. The more help your network can give you to find and resolve issues faster, the better. That is why easy operation is one of the key objectives we at Waystream have with every product we develop and every new release of our software that we let out to our customers. If we can make the switches a little bit smarter and save you a bunch of time then you can be more productive and your users more happy with your services.

Do you agree? What would be the smart feature you'd like to see to make your network operation even easier?

Blog posts

Turn on automation of your FTTH network

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:08

The distributed nature of a fiber to the home network means that you will have equipment spread out and you might not always do the on-site installation yourself. If every switch has to pass your desk for pre-configuration port before getting deployed into the field you will need to deal with the logistics of getting the units from your warehouse via your desk, packing and unpacking, and clearly marking them so that the right unit goes into the right location.

SDN and NFV in FTTH

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Thu, 03/21/2019 - 09:51

I love acronyms. You got three of them in the title of this post.

In recent years we got Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). Many of the large telcos have invested millions into research of these subjects and are pushing the industry in this direction. Telefonica has expressed high ambitions to move to a completely SDN/NFV enabled network in record time. All the big ones are involved.

Keeping product lines around

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:50

Building fibre to the home networks are different from any traditional enterprise or telecommunications network. One of the main differences is the time it takes to complete the network. You make a plan, design a an architecture with VLANs and redundancy and imagine how this will scale as the number of connected customers increase. But then the years go by, because building a fibre network to connect every home in the community can take decades.

Save the planet - work from home

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:30

In my last post i revealed how dirty a fiber network can be depending on the source of electricity powering the network. I showed how a typcial 24-port access switch might contribute anything between 23kg to 485kg of carbon dioxide per year to the atmosphere depending on the electricity mix and how that can be reduced with lowpower optical modules.

How do you troubleshoot IoT devices?

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:00

Continuing on the subject of troubleshooting the network. Troubleshooting MPEG video has the benefit of a user that can tell you if it doesn't work and you can simply ask that user if the problem persists once you have fixed it. But what if there isn't any obvious way to determine if things are working, for example is that trashcan really signalling that its' full or does the temperature device really update the building climate control properly?

How to see what your users see

Submitted by fredrik.nyman on Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:21

Live broadcast TV is one of the most popular services in fibre networks. You can get high quality pictures because there is enough bandwidth to send video uncompressed. But the nature of broadcast media is that it is very sensitive to packet loss or jitter. There is no retransmission of packets because it is live – you can’t hold the stream to get a lost packet back.