Networking Investigate

Do You Need a Broad Band Remote Access Server?

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Executive Summary

The BSR (Broadband Service Router) has evolved over time to provide a myriad of capabilities targeted at improving the service provider's ability to control what each subscriber is doing based upon the service they have signed up for, as well as simplifying overall network operations. There are several functions that must be performed to successfully support broadband traffic. This paper describes the key functions that may need to be implemented by the smart edge device, either the MSAN (Multiservice Access Node) or the BSR. The most important motivator for deploying a BSR has nothing to do with technology, but rather with minimizing the total cost. Using a BSR provides three key benefits, Namely Single point for change control: If a network change needs to occur, it is simpler to make the change at a single BSR than at dozens, hundreds or even thousands of devices. This is a critical reason why virtually every large broadband operator has BSR's in the network. Common access-agnostic operational model: Each MSAN has its own configuration tools, language and capabilities, driving up costs as technicians need to learn different products. This also limits the ability to move to newer products from different vendors, including migrating to a higher speed solution. MSAN independence: Finally, adding intelligence into the MSAN drives up the cost of every MSAN in the network. Paying "A Little Bit More" for each MSAN often ends up costing more in the long run than deploying a BSR.

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