In This Case Study

Challenge

Service provider  Chariton Valley is committed to delivering fast and reliable internet, phone and video services to rural communities. For the past six years, the company has operated much of its network via the Cyan Z Series DWDM/ROADM and packet platform.

The platform has allowed Chariton Valley to offer its triple-play services with the resiliency, redundancy and scale that align with the company's organizational missions and goals. 

But no matter the benefits, every system falls victim to time. With the Cyan Z Series nearing end-of-life, Chariton Valley needed to assess options for a new platform that could provide enough bandwidth to meet the demands of the company's ever-growing customer base.

Chariton Valley was seeking a high-bitrate solution built on an infrastructure that allows services to bypass locations and adapt to network changes (e.g., fiber cuts, power outages, jitter, latency and guaranteed services).

Moreover, Chariton Valley wanted a solution that could scale to match its unprecedented network growth. Specifically, the solution needed to include site degree (direction) capabilities, WDM multiplexing technologies to add network bandwidth without service disruption, and the ability to add capacity to an existing location or extend the network footprint to unforeseen areas not yet realized.

The company turned to WWT for guidance.

Solution

WWT held a Converged Optical and Packet Networking Workshop with Chariton Valley stakeholders. Using a vendor-neutral approach, our subject matter experts delved into the pros and cons of the latest technologies and strategies.

After the workshop, and through multiple subsequent strategy sessions, Chariton Valley and WWT landed on a Cisco NCS converged optical and packet solution to address all of Chariton Valley's migration needs.

The ZR/ZR+ family of Digital Coherent Optics (DCO), built with QSFP-DD form factor, sits at the heart of the solution. These pluggable optics offer 400 Gbps throughput capability via point-to-point wavelength technology and can reach distances of up to ~120km between nodes using a simple mux/demux and amplifier line system, such as the NCS 1001.

The ZR/ZR+ family of Digital Coherent Optics (DCO) built with QSFP-DD form factor is at the heart of the solution.
The ZR/ZR+ family of Digital Coherent Optics (DCO), built with QSFP-DD form factor, sits at the heart of the solution.

The 400G ZR/ZR+ optics are plugged directly into QSFP-DD ports on Cisco's NCS-57C3, the next-generation router chosen to best fit Chariton Valley's bandwidth and port density needs.

The NCS-57C3 provides 48 SFP fixed ports capable of 1/10/25 Gbps, 8 QSFP fixed ports capable of 100 Gbps, and up to three Modular Port Adaptors (MPA) that can be used to add additional port density, to provide up to five QSFP-DD ports operating at 400 Gbps, or a mixture of both.

This solution gives Chariton Valley a high amount of flexibility and scalability in terms of core network bandwidth and customer handoff capabilities. The icing on the cake is that the NCS-57C3 system is designed with redundant control plane supervisors, ensuring a high degree of network resiliency.

After a workshop and multiple strategy sessions, WWT and Chariton Valley decided a Cisco NCS converged optical and packet solution would address all of Chariton Valley's migration needs.
After a workshop and multiple strategy sessions, WWT and Chariton Valley decided a Cisco NCS converged optical and packet solution would address all of the service provider's migration needs.

Results

Chariton Valley's investment in the NCS-57C3-based converged optical and packet solution gives them immense flexibility to provide Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Layer-2 and Layer-3 VPN services at every site with a wide range of handoff speeds and service types.

In addition to providing these services on day one, Chariton Valley can seamlessly grow into more advanced routing capabilities like traffic engineering and segment routing to further optimize the network's function. Management of the Chariton Valley network is greatly simplified because the NCS-57C3 router and NCS 1001 line system both use Cisco's carrier-grade IOS-XR operating system.

The network migration from Cyan Z Series to Cisco Routed Optical Network (RON) provides Chariton Valley with a modernized, highly resilient, well-scaled and flexible network.

All of these features align with the company's organizational mission of "Keeping You Connected" while establishing its core values of being customer-focused, influential and innovative while offering the highest levels of integrity and quality possible.