• Preprovisioning: Devices are assigned to subscribers and recorded in advance in the provisioning application. When subscribers plug them in, Cisco BAC automatically assigns the appropriate service level and activates them.
• Autoprovisioning: When subscribers self-register for service, subscriber devices are captured and recorded in the provisioning application. Subscribers are required to register for service before Cisco BAC configures the device and activates the service.
• Reliability: Cisco BAC provides high reliability and high availability, supporting autonomous headends, multiple distributed device provisioning engines (DPEs), each of which includes its own data-caching repository, a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server, and a time-of-day (ToD) server. During central server outages or communication problems, Cisco BAC provides continued service to existing registered subscribers.
• Scalability and performance: Cisco BAC can support tens of millions of devices in distributed deployments. Cisco BAC uses multiple distributed device management and caching engines to balance processing of device requests. A single DPE can support as many as 1 million devices. These DPEs can be combined in groups to provide redundancy and load sharing. Cisco BAC includes a central component called a regional distribution unit (RDU) to manage service requests and modifications. A single RDU server in conjunction with the appropriate number of DPE groups can support as many as 35 million devices with a sustained rate of hundreds of thousands of new devices a day.
• Integration with current systems: Cisco BAC integrates with existing service provider systems, such as billing systems, operations support systems (OSSs), and other customer management systems, through a Java provisioning API. It can also notify interested applications of certain events within the system through an event-notification registration procedure.
• Extendable technology support: Cisco BAC supports DOCSIS cable modems and set-top boxes for high-speed data provisioning, PacketCable voice provisioning of media termination adapters (MTAs), DOCSIS cable modems, CableHome devices, SIP ATAs, and SIP voice gateways. It also can be extended to support other Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)-based devices, including non-DOCSIS cable modems.
Key Features and Benefits
Table 1. Cisco Broadband Access Center Features and Benefits
• Provisioning API: A flow-through provisioning interface used to integrate the Cisco BAC system with service providers' client programs, such as workflow applications and billing systems. Integration is implemented through a Java client library that service providers' client programs use to drive tiered-service selection and to trigger device activation on their networks. The client library reduces the need to develop integration code and facilitates integration with Web-based user interfaces.
• RDU: The primary server in the Cisco BAC system. It performs the following functions:
– Manages the generation of all configurations
– Maintains the authoritative database
– Represents the central point through which all API requests must pass
– Supports external clients, OSSs, and other provisioning functions through the provisioning API
• DPE: The Cisco DPE server that manages device configurations and that also contains TFTP and ToD servers. The Cisco DPE manages the following:
– Last-step, device-configuration, file handling
– Communication of the configuration files through an embedded TFTP server
– Embedded ToD server
– Integration with Cisco CNS Network Registrar®
– Cached-device configuration and provisioning information
• Cisco CNS Network Registrar-A software product that includes the protocol servers to provide IP addresses, configuration parameters, and Domain Name System (DNS) names to devices, based on network and service policies. Cisco BAC relies upon the Cisco CNS Network Registrar DHCP server for IP address assignment, DNS, device detection, and load distribution among Cisco DPE servers.
Figure 1. Cisco BAC Architecture
Platform Support and System Requirements
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