Delta Electronics, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions, has announced a networking collaboration with RtBrick to create the world’s first disaggregated OpenBNG (Broadband Network Gateway) platform. Acting as the link between subscribers and the Internet, the OpenBNG hardware offers telecom providers increased agility – which is missing from today’s monolithic, vendor-locked BNG hardware – when responding to growing demand from subscribers. Delta’s OpenBNG platform is based upon Broadcom’s Qumran2c open networking hardware ASIC and complemented by a modular software concept delivered by RtBrick. Furthermore, it reflects the changing role of BNGs in some network configurations which also sees them handling authentication, authorisation, accounting (AAA), security policies, subscriber access and management, along with Quality of Service (QoS) functions.
“I am most proud of the simple and clean-cut design Delta’s networking R&D team has applied to the Qumran2c (Q2C) platform. They’ve managed to integrate all the foreseeable BNG capabilities, especially those related to timing and deep-buffering. This Q2C platform completes the necessary groundwork for delivering the robust OpenBNG equipment that telecom providers are looking for,” said Winnie Lin, Hardware Director for Delta Networks Infrastructure Business Unit.
“Running RtBrick’s BNG software on Delta’s new Q2C platform is an important step forward because it is the first time carriers are able to take advantage of this powerful new chipset to deliver broadband services,” added Hannes Gredler, CTO at RtBrick. “Operators are looking for more choices and flexibility. This is a great example of how operators can pick and choose the best software and hardware independently of each other to build their networks.”
Reconstructing telecom networks
Today’s telecom providers rely on large, monolithic platforms from their suppliers to implement carrier network infrastructure. Such legacy equipment has increasingly proven to be too costly in recent years and lacks the flexibility needed to respond to rapidly growing subscriber and bandwidth demands. OpenBNG, as defined by the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), aims to devise a common open platform which leverages open APIs and Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) to enable external components to interact with the devices.
The proposed disaggregated approach leverages modular software running on open hardware. As a result, telecom operators avoid vendor lock-in, thereby benefiting from a vibrant hardware and software supplier market in an open eco-system. In turn, they will be able to respond rapidly to market needs, deploying or upgrading BNGs according to changing demand. Through its participation in TIP, Delta is able to collect first-hand feedback from tier-1 telecom operators in order to develop an optimised hardware platform that fulfills their various requirements
Positioning features and services where they are needed
RtBrick’s approach to OpenBNG software delivers the same type of flexibility that has benefited sizable cloud-native platforms, allowing the complexity of the BNG to be segmented into discrete microservices running in a software container. The management and configuration of the services can be automated through open APIs, while increasing the number of processing cores that can add more processing power. The combination of RtBrick software and Delta’s configurable hardware, using commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) components, delivers on the original promises of software-defined networks (SDN). Furthermore, this approach will provide both lower capital expenditure (CAPEX), thanks to a competitive hardware and software market, and reduced operating expenditure (OPEX) due to its flexible, scalable architecture.