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Arris C4c/C4 vs. Cisco 10k?

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Arris C4c/C4 vs. Cisco 10k?

Hi. We are going to switch from ubr7225, 2xMC88 to a bigger platform (we don't want to run on 2 or 3 devices). Compact size is preffered due to lack of rack space. Casa C3200 is IMHO too small (max 48/48 or 64/32), c40G is too expensive :)
We are choosing beetween Arris C4c 64/48 (2x32D and 2x24U, max 96D/72D) and Cisco ubr10k 40D/40U (max 160/160 with 20x20 cards). Either refurb.and factory new). Bundle from Arris is a bit more expensive but is more compact.
About 2k customers.
Now question: Which is better?

You will probably get as many

You will probably get as many answers, to which is better, as you get responses. For what it is worth, We have made the jump from UBR7225 with MC88v blades to a UBR10k with MC20x20, it is by no means seamless, i.e. different cabling, port densities etc... but the config is fairly consistent. Disclaimer I haven't used Arris or Casa CMTSes.

The 10k also has the ability to go M-CMTS as well and get up to 1152 downstreams out of one chassis, obviously there is significant cost to do so but you will have an upgrade path from your initial offering of 40 downstreams to 160 downstreams in I-CMTS and if you outgrow that you can move to M-CMTS and go all the way from 72 downstreams to 1152 downstreams. This all without changing your CMTS chassis out.

In our similar sized system (1700 subs) we have grown from an 7225 vxr with MC88V blades to a Ubr 10k with 2 MC20x20 blades and we are in the process of adding a third MC20x20 card, the initial change to the 10k was a bit of work (mostly wiring) but the upgrade from 1 to three MC20x20 blades has been pretty easy, just combining network changes.

I like the fact there is tons

I like the fact there is tons of Cisco doco around

And also plenty of Cisco parts available in the 2nd hand market

It is good for us smaller players when the big ISPs jump from eg previously from 5x20 to 20x20, then 20x20 to 3g60, and now 10k to cBR8/E6000 for D3.1

We can exist quite happily on gear that is 1 or 2 generations behind. And buy it used at big discounts.

I guess the same applies for Arris and Casa, but it seems to me there is a lot more 10k stuff available.

Arris seem to be making very big inroads with the E6000 though. Really giving cBR8 some stiff competition !

Another vote for the 10K

I just went through this myself and I chose the 10K. Either one will get the job done but the 10K will get it done for less and has more room to grow. To be fair, the only Arris CMTS I actually have any experience with is the C3. The majority of our network gear is Cisco so the familiarity plays a factor and makes my opinion somewhat biased. Having said that, the familiarity is an advantage itself. An Arris CMTS is kind of a stand alone product. The cli is close enough to Cisco that it's not that big of a deal but whatever the rest of your network gear is, it isn't Arris. Now, here are the non biased reasons.

Documentation. Cisco has tons of it and most is freely available.
Parts. Abundant and cheap (comparatively).
Cost. If you shop around and don't mind spending some time a 10K is significantly cheaper than a C4.
Unofficial community support. There is a lot more community familiarity with the 10K. Lots of ideas, examples and help available outside of the manufacturer.
Port Density. Not a concern now but in the future it could be.

10K Cons: The wiring sucks. External Rf switch, mcx connectors. It would take some real effort to make something a bigger mess than the 10K. There is a special place in hell reserved for whoever is responsible for that disaster of a design.

Size. Extra Large

This is speculation but hopefully not too far fetched. In the next couple of years I expect the M-CMTS architecture to become much more affordable as more and more of the big players deploy Docsis 3.1 and abandon the 3.0 M-CMTS. Those of us who don't need the latest and greatest should see the 3g cards, e-qams and timing servers come down significantly in price which can greatly increase the port density and bandwidth of the 10K.


We had the Arris C3's and then we went to the 7225 with 2 MC88v's, and now we're back on an Arris C4c. I'll have to say I don't see how the 10k is cheaper, (at least it wasn't at the time we bought) we spent a significant amount of time going back and forth between the two camps when we were looking to move on from the 7225. We did our purchase through the NCTC, and Arris gave us a big competitive discount. When all was said and done, the Arris C4c had better expand-ability and was significantly less expensive. I will have to say though, that this was a couple years ago, so the market was probably a bit different then.

Now, the Arris is good gear, we've had no problems with it, and the commands are similar, but the configuration is a night-and-day difference. Having said that, their manual is pretty thorough and I had no problems turning it up on my own following the manual, but it is quite a bit more lengthy than the Cisco I think, part of that is because of all the additional ports, part of it is because there is a lot more lines to it. Since we bought this unit, the bigger C4 has come down in price to be pretty comparable to what we paid, and you can swap the cards from the C4c to the C4 in most cases. Also, Arris's technical support is night-and-day better than Cisco's. They are much easier to talk to and their people are really, really good. Cisco was so difficult to talk to in comparison.

Now, being more familiar with Cisco equipment, I'd rather work in a 10k, but the Arris has been so good, that I can overlook the configuration differences.

In any case, I think you should look at both very closely and determine what you feel will be best for your budget and your future growth. I think they're both very good CMTS's and both have their pro's and con's. I don't think you'll regret going with either one.

Watch out for subtle differences though, like if you are doing L2VPN (BSoD) in the cisco today, Arris's implementation is different, and you'll have to revisit all those customers.

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