By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect
As he outlined, HTS satellite architectures oftentimes drive a higher concentration of hub equipment at the central gateway site. Higher throughputs on HTS drive larger scale and service complexities resulting in massive networks with thousands of remotes managed by fewer gateways. Scaling many more networks and customers from fewer gateway locations introduces a greater need for network resiliency, and more specifically, teleport and gateway reliability.
Protecting the network from service degradation, service interruptions or even catastrophic events is key to ensuring a very high availability and reliability of the HTS network. And since quite a few HTS constellation leverage Ka-Band, where its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band, maintaining consistent network availability under all weather conditions requires special features.
The Reliability of the Network and its Components
At iDirect, we have designed our platform to have built-in high availability on all aspects of the hub infrastructure ranging from superior line card availability and hub component redundancy, to rain diversity and all the way to complete gateway redundancy.
Let’s look at them one by one:
- High link availability. The iDirect platform leverages adaptive modulation techniques, such as Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA to achieve the maximum data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions in a highly bandwidth efficient way.
- Hub component redundancy. We have developed our iDirect Velocity® product line with high reliability on all networking architecture levels and nodes. For example the hub protocol processors and bandwidth servers are deployed in a minimum three node cluster system. This special configuration allows for an automatic failover and load sharing between nodes within each cluster resulting in very high hub availability.
- Rain diversity. Rain diversity is a form of switchover to a geographically diverse location the moment weather conditions deteriorate. It does not necessarily involve a secondary hub, rather a switchover from the primary teleport to a second teleport or RF chain located at a reasonable distance. The second teleport is connected through terrestrial means to the same hub and line cards. When conditions improve the rain diversity architecture automatically shifts back to the prime teleport location. iDirect Velocity® enables the teleport switchover to be done with no noticeable interruption in service to the end-users. Terminals stay in the network following the switchover and usually do not need to get re-acquired.
- Complete geographic redundancy. This protects the network from a loss of service for an extended period of time in the event of a catastrophic failure at the primary teleport and gateway. This requires access to not just a second teleport but rather a fully equipped failover hub system in a geographically different location. iDirect Velocity enables a complete, ultra-fast switchover at the IP interface level from one teleport and hub system to a another redundant gateway architecture.
Managing Scale and Complexities Efficiently
One aspect is clear, with any of these redundancy options for large network, the operational systems behind them all need to be up to the task to managing more equipment, more nodes, more redundancy schemes and to handle the traffic load balancing and switchovers between these sites and it needs to be fully automated too. It underlines what Denis referred to as the need for efficient Network Operations and Integration. Larger HTS networks drive higher complexity in operations and the need for back-office systems to be more seamlessly integrated. This helps to manage the larger customer base most effectively.
That’s where our next-gen network management system (NMS), iDirect Pulse® comes in. It is engineered from the ground-up to configure, monitor and manage massively complex and large-scale networks. iDirect Pulse has been designed to enable the operator to perform at an accelerated pace, while heightening visibility, control and responsiveness.
iDirect Pulse manages scale very efficiently as well. Larger networks and more bandwidth, result in many more sites which all need to be managed. Operations thus requires greater focus and better tools to ensure Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met, operational costs are minimized and customer satisfaction is high.
iDirect Pulse enables Operators to seamlessly interface between network and business operations. An open, yet secure Web Service API technology plays a key role here. It enables the NMS to connect with other Operation Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS), further streamlining NOC operations by synchronizing multiple independent systems.
At iDirect we believe that ground infrastructure capabilities have a direct impact on an operator’s ability to capture market opportunity, fulfill customer expectations and manage complex network operations, we help #BringHTStoMarket in the most effective way.
Join in the discussion using the hashtag #BringHTStoMarket.