New software platform supports open control and management architecture for access virtualization

LAS VEGAS – October 27, 2015 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX), the world leader in gigabit fiber deployments, today announced AXOS, or Access eXtensible Operating System, a Linux-based network operating system and software platform built for the specific needs of the access network. Completely hardware independent, AXOS allows for “software defined access,” where all software functions in the access network can be developed and run without relying on the underlying hardware and associated silicon chipsets. With an always-on architecture and consistent provisioning services, AXOS accelerates time-to-revenue, eliminates service disruptions, and reduces operational complexity for service providers.

Three core principles define the AXOS platform:

  • Fast – Modular, reusable software components with the ability to run on technologically diverse hardware without modification, reducing software qualification time, increasing new service velocity, and mitigating upgrade risks.
  • Always On – In-service upgrade capabilities and built-in logic that eliminate service disruptions, constrain and automatically recover from faults, and prevent side effects caused by new software functions or human error.
  • Simple – Open, standards-based, fully programmable management and control APIs that reduce operational complexity, enable automated workflows, and provide compatibility with SDN-aligned operational support systems for maximum interoperability.

“The same SDN and NFV concepts that are enabling improved economics, scale, velocity and agility in the data center apply to the access network. Both environments seek to rapidly deliver new services, meet customer demand 24/7 and contain operational costs,” said Julie Kunstler, principal analyst at Ovum. “The application of SDN and NFV in access requires the replacement of monolithic software architectures with virtualized, componentized, extensible and optimally distributed systems that support access networks from subscriber premises all the way to the access edge of the data center. Major service providers have been upfront about their respective plans to pursue this direction. This evolution is becoming a key competitive advantage and AXOS supports this evolution.”

Within AXOS, containerized software components ride on top of a unique hardware abstraction layer that preserves software independence from the underlying hardware. Independent, fine-grained software components can be inserted unmodified into any access network location in an efficient, consistent, and cost effective manner – no re-testing, no re-certification. AXOS software components also support virtualized operation of management and control functions, giving service providers maximum flexibility in network design and deployment models. The result: Accelerated service delivery, minimized software qualification time, and lower operational expense.

AXOS software components run in separate processes so any fault is isolated and contained, delivering the highest levels of network reliability and availability in an era of shrinking “maintenance windows.” The platform’s “stateful” operation maintains all computing state information separately from system processes, providing powerful self-auditing and automated self-healing capabilities, including the ability for individual processes to be upgraded “on the fly” without impacting the system, the network, or subscriber services. The result: Elimination of costly service disruptions and time-consuming software re-certifications.

All components and operational functions within AXOS use standard NETCONF protocol and YANG data models that enable AXOS powered systems to readily fit into any open SDN orchestration and control framework. Open, published APIs also allow customers to directly program unique network applications and services. The result: Significantly reduced operational complexity.

“For over a decade now, Calix has been in pursuit of a unified access infrastructure that would seamlessly connect the device-enabled subscriber to the applications and content in the cloud,” said Michel Langlois, senior vice president of systems products at Calix. “With AXOS, we now have a single software platform that places the communication service provider in the unique position to distribute services and intelligence across the entire access network with a distributed architecture. Thus, each service provider armed with the AXOS platform can choose between a wide spectrum of system form factors and merchant silicon capabilities, a key advantage and critical success factor in building service velocity and creating competitive advantage.”

AXOS and its software defined access paradigm were first demonstrated to Calix customers at the twelfth annual Calix User Group Conference this week in Las Vegas. AXOS was also shown running on the company’s industry-leading solutions that were on display last week at the Broadband World Forum in London. In addition to solutions, AXOS is also currently supported on the Calix E5-520, E5-308, and E5-306 MEF CE 2.0-certified systems, and Calix plans to expand AXOS support to other E-Series systems in the future.