Better Broadband: CableLabs Showcases 10G, The Cable Connection of The Future

There’s something in the air in Louisville, Colorado or more specifically, in the wires. Humming along miles of networking cabling, zipping through signal repeaters: It’s the future of the Internet.

On Thursday morning at the home of CableLabs — which bills itself as “the leading innovation and R&D lab for the cable industry” — network engineers and representatives from some of the country’s top internet providers came together to showcase some of the fastest speeds they’ve ever transmitted: 8Gbps downloads and 5Gpbs uploads, using the world’s only DOCSIS 4.0 modem and a series of networking technologies that CableLabs calls 10G.

“Besides the people in the labs, nobody has seen this,” said Curtis Knittle, CableLabs vice president of wired technology.

In a closed showroom before a handful of people, engineers and tech experts showed off a demo seemingly worthy of a high-school AV club: gobs of networking cable linking a unique, handmade modem via a series of amplifiers and repeaters. It was a showcase for 10G, the next great leap for broadband internet access, and the blazing, 10-fold increase in speeds promised to homes across America.

Crucially, 10G promises dramatically faster speeds across existing hardware. While you probably subscribe to a 300Mbps or 600Mbps service through your cable provider, your modem can do better – but only so far. Existing connections max out at a theoretical 1.5Gbps. 10G tech will amp it up, and engineers won’t need to dig up the street near you to boost your broadband.

In theory, anyway, although the cable companies themselves will need to install an updated amplifier or two along the way to your house and you may need a new modem.

“We’re super excited about what’s coming,” said Stephanie Michko-Beale, EVP and Chief Technology Officer for Charter Communications. “This suite of technologies is transformational.”

“We’re certainly very enthusiastic about what we’ve seen,” said Len Barlik, EVP and Chief Technology Officer for Cox Communications. “From a customer experience perspective, we know there’s a lot of demand for this moving forward.”

In a press release announcing the tests, Elad Nafshi, EVP & Chief Network Officer at Comcast Cable, echoed their comments and touted the advancements. “These 10G technologies represent the fastest, most efficient path to deliver multigigabit symmetrical speeds at scale everywhere, not just in select neighborhoods or towns.”

“The pace of 10G innovation is only accelerating, and Internet users around the world will reap the benefits.”

When asked, none of the company representatives were willing to state a timeline for release of new DOCSIS 4.0 modems or the 10G service, but that’s to be expected: The tech was being shown off for the first time. It’s likely years down the road. So what is it exactly?

Knittle from CableLabs called 10G a “holistic umbrella” — more than just a new modem or better coax cable. There’s DOCSIS 4.0, a new standard for the cable modem. DOCSIS 3 and its 3.1 evolution have been growing and changing for over a decade; TechRadar wrote about its promise back in 2010. DOCSIS 4.0 or full-duplex DOCSIS was officially released in 2017, but good luck finding a modem or a carrier to support it yet.

The 4.0 spec brings those blazing speeds, most notably the upload. You’ve probably noticed that your upload speeds are dramatically slower than your download speeds, and it’s not just your computer. 4.0 doesn’t quite bring parity, but it will significantly increase the theoretical maximums to 6Gbps, by sending uploads and downloads along the same spectrum within the fiber optic cables.

10G technology also brings new technologies to boost reliability and security, CableLabs says, and decreases the latency in connections, which should facilitate gaming, interactive AR (that metaverse thing everyone’s talking about), and other internet activities that rely on precision.

Jeremy Kaplan

By: Jeremy Kaplan

After 25 years covering the technology industry, Jeremy Kaplan is a familiar face in the media world. As Content Director for TechRadar, he oversees product development and quality. He was formerly Editor in Chief of Digital Trends, where he transformed a niche publisher into one of the fastest growing properties in digital media. Before that, he spent half a decade at one of the largest news agencies in the world, and cut his teeth in magazine business, long before the birth of the iPhone. In 2019, he was named to the FOLIO: 100, which honors publishing professionals making an industry-wide impact.

Source: Better broadband: CableLabs showcases 10G, the cable connection of the future | TechRadar

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How to Overcome Your Most Pressing Network Challenges

Today’s IT networks must change. As businesses adopt more modern, cloud-native apps and support a fast-growing remote workforce, they can no longer rely on traditional network architectures that use legacy hardware and bolted-on security. They need flexible, high-performance networks that can connect and protect applications across a multi-cloud environment.

Adopting a software-defined networking approach will be key for transforming networks. By using software as the primary means of directing and optimising network traffic and managing security, organisations can support modern applications and empower a remote workforce—all while streamlining management and cutting costs.

Though network transformation is essential, organisations do not have to launch a single all-or-nothing project. No enterprise would be willing to rip and replace a network that reaches from the data centre to the cloud and the edge. The cost to the business would be too high if anything goes wrong, and the investment in time and resources could be enormous.

Instead, organisations can start by addressing what matters most. They might be focused on delivering applications to employees and customers from multiple clouds. Perhaps they must support a suddenly larger remote workforce, providing high-performance connectivity to employees working from home. Maybe they’ve been shaken by a perimeter breach and need to implement Zero Trust security within the data centre immediately. Or they might want to accelerate provisioning of network services and gain more of a public cloud experience in the private data centre.

The VMware NSX® family of networking products helps organisations address these and other critical priorities. By drawing from modular NSX products, organisations can overcome immediate challenges while beginning to build a flexible, scalable and secure modern network that can handle evolving business requirements.

Deliver applications consistently across multiple clouds

IT groups must deliver apps consistently to employees and customers—no matter where those apps are running and how users are accessing them. Maintaining high performance is critical even as demand and usage patterns change. Employees should be productive whether they are remotely accessing a cloud-native app or using a workstation at headquarters to access an enterprise app running in the data centre. And customers should experience responsive apps even during peak usage periods.

VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer™ is a software-based multi-cloud application delivery service that helps organisations maintain high performance. It provides fast, scalable and secure application experiences, whether applications are delivered from the cloud or from on-premises data centres.

Empower remote workers with a secure, high-performance network

The traditional branch office is a thing of the past. While physical workplaces will never disappear, the virtual office is here to stay. Organizations need to empower employees to work from anywhere—providing performance comparable to headquarters, even if employees are working from their living room couch. At the same time, organisations must enhance security so that remote workers do not put the enterprise at risk by using unsecured networks.

VMware NSX SD-WAN™ delivers reliable, high-performance access to cloud services; private, public and hybrid data centres; and software-as-a-service (SaaS)–based enterprise applications. To strengthen security at the edge, VMware also offers a comprehensive secure access service edge (SASE) solution, which integrates NSX SD-WAN with Zero Trust network access capabilities, a secure web gateway and an AI-driven intelligence, all delivered through a SaaS model. The VMware SASE Platform™ provides next-level security and peace of mind for supporting distributed workforces.

Secure the data centre from the inside out

As businesses expand their networks and run apps in new cloud environments, they must also fortify security. IT groups need ways to secure traffic for virtual, physical, containerised and cloud workloads, safeguarding against lateral movement of malware and ensuring ongoing compliance with strict regulations.

VMware NSX products help establish intrinsic, built-in security to protect apps and data wherever they reside. For example, the VMware NSX Service-defined Firewall™ is a distributed scale-out internal firewall purpose-built to protect east-west traffic across virtual, physical, containerised and cloud workloads. This solution architecture enables a fundamental shift in network security by placing a software-delivered firewall inside the data centre, close to apps, instead of using a traditional perimeter firewall at the data centre edge. IT groups can now thwart lateral movement of malware through advanced threat prevention while controlling costs and complexity.

Gain public cloud agility across all clouds, public and private

To keep up with new business imperatives, many organisations are looking to speed provisioning of networking services and security capabilities. They want the same level of agility they experience with public cloud environments, even as they bring together private clouds, public clouds and edge clouds in a single, integrated network.

VMware NSX products can accelerate delivery of consistent, multi-cloud networking and security capabilities by providing the foundation for software-defined networking. For example, VMware NSX Data Center is a complete layer 2 through layer 7 platform that reproduces the entire network model in software. IT groups can create and provision any network topology—from simple to complex—in seconds. They can consistently manage networking and security policies across data centres and cloud environments from a single console.

Start your network transformation now

As businesses adopt new apps and support new ways of working, they need to transform their networks. Deploying a software-defined network enhances agility for continued change. VMware NSX products enable businesses to create a modern network—built for the cloud, delivered as software and services. As modular offerings, NSX products allow businesses to select the best starting point now and incorporate new products within a unified framework as their network transformation continues.

By VMware

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Why 5G Is Going to Transform Our Approach to Data Processing

1

It’s easy to forget what communications life was like before 4G. Since its introduction around 2010, mobile subscribers using 4G have enjoyed excellent connectivity. They can stream music, videos and movies, even while conducting video chats.

But over the next few years, the rollout of 5G networks around the world will usher in exciting capabilities that are much more advanced and promise to boost commerce. In its report entitled “Study on Socio-Economic Benefits of 5G Services Provided in mmWave Bands,” the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, predicts that “by 2034, 5G can be expected to generate US$2 trillion in GDP globally and US$588 billion in tax revenue.” All industries—agriculture, mining, financial services, public services, manufacturing and more—are expected to benefit.

Advanced capabilities

Due to 5G’s higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as its lower latency, this next-generation network is expected to enable innovative software for a range of advanced applications. The GSMA identifies several key use cases, including:

  • Remote object manipulation, which lets surgeons perform microscopic surgery from remote locations
  • Industrial automation, which allows artificial intelligence (AI)- and machine learning (ML)-enabled robots to collaborate to improve production line efficiency using data analytics
  • Virtual and augmented reality, which enables workers to learn how to operate new equipment using holograms rather than physical equipment
  • Next-generation transport connectivity, which can lead to improved commute times and reduced pollution through use of streaming and real-time data to optimize travel routes

Software-defined infrastructure drives 5G

These services won’t appear overnight. Communications service providers (CSPs) will continue to support existing networks while they invest in new infrastructure to support 5G.

In a recent blog, Jean-Pierre Brulard, VMware senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), writes: “For CSPs, it is a major undertaking, which is why it is likely that rather than a pure 5G network, the majority of people will see a blended approach, where 4G is available to deliver basic services, and 5G introduced for specific tasks. It is therefore critical [for CSPs] to have what’s known as the telco cloud. This is software-defined technology that supports both current 4G and lays the groundwork for 5G.”

The telco cloud uses a common architecture that simplifies a CSP’s infrastructure so it can be a foundation for deploying new services. CSPs use the telco cloud to connect their existing environments with private, edge and public networks.

The telco cloud is based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which streamlines the design and deployment of networking services and automates their operation. VMware helps CSPs like Vodafone create new revenue streams, open new industry opportunities, drive down costs and improve overall customer satisfaction by enabling them to become nimbler and more responsive.

VMware provides an optimal infrastructure for all telco applications and services: custom built, packaged, virtualized, cloud native and software as a service (SaaS). With this infrastructure, CSPs can deliver those applications securely to any endpoint across a telco-distributed cloud, including private and public cloud, branch/edge, micro data center, gateway or end user.

5G creates new possibilities for enterprises

Becoming 5G-ready isn’t an opportunity only for CSPs. 5G provides huge possibilities for businesses to deliver new services and applications, allowing them to reimagine how they engage with customers. Imagine restaurants delivering freshly prepared food via drones, for example.

changelly5According to Brulard: “With 5G, enterprises can access the levels and speeds of connectivity they need to take advantage of the game-changing technologies—such as Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and AI—that are going to shape the next stage of the digital revolution.”

Processing IoT and AI in an accelerated 5G world means computing, storage and networking need to be done closer to the end user, an approach that is poles apart from the traditional data center method of data processing. The voluminous amount of real-time data generated by the IoT and AI makes it inefficient to stream to a cloud or data center for processing.

A more efficient solution is to implement edge computing, which processes data closer to where it is generated. VMware EdgeTM, for example, is a software-defined edge platform that enables providers and IT teams to run applications and analytics anywhere, with consistent infrastructure and operations from edge to cloud. Organizations can remotely manage, monitor and secure thousands of locations and millions of diverse devices. This helps to ensure the rapid delivery of the latest apps, containers and infrastructure updates via granular over-the-air lifecycle management.

Such a robust infrastructure will help CSPs and businesses fulfill 5G’s potential to significantly enhance quality of life. 5G can lead to better, accelerated access to healthcare and education, and people can enjoy safer driving conditions and reduced pollution, among other digitally fueled benefits.

By VMware

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