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Your feelings on Rack-Mounted/Internal DOCSIS hardware?

Wouldn't use either. Bad idea.
4 (33.3%)
Would use Rack-Mount with SFP.
1 (8.3%)
Would use Internal PCI Express Card.
0 (0%)
Wouldn't use either. Good idea.
0 (0%)
Would use both!
7 (58.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card  (Read 3658 times)

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Offline kklouzal

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DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:37:07 pm »
10 pages deep on google and all I can find is an old Zoom 5001 PCI DOCSIS 1.0 card.
http://www.zoomtel.com/techsupport/cable/pci5001.shtml

Does anyone know of or heard about anything relating to the topic?


We're trying to eliminate as much latency as possible. The only other alternative I can think of is to use SFP 1000Base-T to RJ45 transceiver between firewall and cable modem to shave a few microseconds off the latency.

Offline dennypage

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 09:41:27 pm »
We're trying to eliminate as much latency as possible. The only other alternative I can think of is to use SFP 1000Base-T to RJ45 transceiver between firewall and cable modem to shave a few microseconds off the latency.

Just curious... why?

Offline kklouzal

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 06:38:23 am »
We host a few servers and want to eliminate as much as possible on our end, even if it is sub-millisecond. I know it sounds like a fruitless effort for such a small amount but it feels like a challenge and I like challenges.

Offline virgiliomi

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 06:59:28 am »
The most recent internal card for a DOCSIS cable modem that I've seen is a DOCSIS 2.0 HWIC card for Cisco routers. That doesn't help for a PC, but it appears that no one has made such an internal card for DOCSIS 3.0, and with 3.1 starting deployment on some networks (i.e. Comcast in the US), I don't think a D3.0 card will ever see the light of day.

Offline BlueKobold

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 08:04:35 am »
Might be the VigorNIC 132/132F - VDSL/ADSL - Modem/Router PCI-e card a unit to go with?
Greetings from Germany
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Offline jalyst

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 08:06:26 am »
Yeah, someone linked it in a recent thread...
http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/business/vigornic-132

Offline dennypage

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2016, 12:55:24 pm »
We host a few servers and want to eliminate as much as possible on our end, even if it is sub-millisecond. I know it sounds like a fruitless effort for such a small amount but it feels like a challenge and I like challenges.

Well, at least you have a good reason. :)

Offline W4RH34D

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 01:32:54 pm »
Nope this is a huge mistake, don't do it.

Cable modem is the one vector for a surge to come through.
Did you really check your cables?

Offline BlueKobold

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 02:16:15 pm »
Nope this is a huge mistake, don't do it.

Cable modem is the one vector for a surge to come through.
Go for a APC ProtectNet standalone surge protector for 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet lines(PNET1GB) and all will be fine!
Greetings from Germany
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Offline dennypage

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 03:41:38 pm »
He's talking about having the modem as a card inside the box, so it would need to be a coax surge protector. But this introduces an interference issue.

Offline W4RH34D

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2016, 04:31:13 pm »
if there's a way to protect coax im all ears.  Been a thorn in my side for far too long.

The only thing i've come up with is a fiber media box converter where you covert to fiber and back.  But the modem still gets toasted in that scenario.
Did you really check your cables?

Offline kklouzal

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 03:32:00 am »
It's been over a year since my original post here. Still no new items in the market for internal DOCSIS PCI Express cards.

The want/need/itch is still there to find a solution for my original issue however, in light of nobody manufacturing anything with even remotely current technology, lets direct our focus towards a middle ground.

(hopefully enough posts like mine crop up around the internet to get some company producing this type of hardware)

Instead of an internal PCI card we can add in directly to our PfSense Routers, how about a rack mounted modem with a SFP or even SFP+ port. Then we can use a direct attach cable to our router and this would be the next best thing to having the modem built into the router.

Now does anyone know of a DOCSIS modem with an SFP port? rack mounted or not.


Some reading material:
https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=32981.0
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r28180942-Other-They-make-DOCSIS-3-0-internal-cable-modems
https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1322377
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r30776462-Do-Consumer-Modems-with-SFP-ports-exist
https://community.ubnt.com/t5/The-Lounge/Rack-Mount-Cable-Modem/td-p/1604963
https://www.reddit.com/r/networking/comments/3prylh/why_dont_we_see_docsis_3031_pcie_cable_modems/
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/102768-Has-anyone-here-ever-used-a-PCI-docsis-cable-modem
https://www.quora.com/Is-there-any-internal-PCI-Express-DOCSIS-3-0-Cable-Modem
https://ipcamtalk.com/threads/rack-mounted-cable-modem.10408/
https://www.reddit.com/r/networking/comments/5lsgak/cable_modem_with_fiber_lan/

The general consensus is:
The demand isn't there. - I think this is false.
There isn't a good reason to do this. - Maximum performance for enthusiasts!
It's not possible for X or Y technical reason, or this is a security issue because your ISP can't control the modem configuration anymore, or, you'll be able to edit things you shouldnt. - Well a DOCSIS 1.0 PCI modem still exists, but this is OLD SLOW technology..
Some people end up taking apart a modem and hiding it inside a computer chassis. - That just defeats the entire purpose, but hey, I guess they just want to minimize the amount of external equipment.

Share this! Let's have people chime in and see just how many people would use such hardware if it was manufactured!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:57:02 am by kklouzal »

Offline belt9

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 09:10:35 am »
I'd be interested in it, maybe.

But I do agree that the market isn't there - in terms of a manufacturer being appropriately motivated to produce this.

The #1 buyer for cable modems = cable companies. There aren't any cable companies out there that are trying to find ways to give their power users more options  ;).
So there goes that option for revenue.

That leaves consumers - and consumers that are interested in an internal modem card is a niche market even within the confines of this forum.


So, I don't think you'll ever see this product. My bet is that the only way this is ever happening is if it comes out in some open source networking OS. But then you're going from doing everything in hardware to software.


But hey, if it does come out, I'll certainly be curious!

Offline belt9

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 09:17:47 am »
Here you go, rack mount software modem - shoot them an e-mail for a quote!  ;)

http://www.amergint.com/digital-if-software-defined-modems/

http://www.amergint.com/modem-baseband-unit-datasheet/

Offline johnkeates

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Re: DOCSIS 3 Internal PCI-Express Cable Modem Card
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 09:07:45 pm »
It won't help or matter, just like with DSL or G.PON. pfSense cannot directly deal with the transmission on those lines, there will always be an ASIC and a MCU/CPU with an RTOS on it to do the physical processing. Where that is physically locates does not matter, inside the case, outside the case, in the same rack, in a rack 10 meters away, it doesn't change anything.

What does help is having a modem with true bridge mode, where as little is done as possible. For example, in case of DSL you'll benefit from a modem that is a PPPoE to PPPoA adapter and nothing more. For DOCSIS it's a different story since the modem has much more to do, it's a RF-based mess with multiple parameters being required form the CMTS before a full connection can be established and maintained. Often this means the ASIC and RTOS pipe into an embedded OS that bridges between ethernet and the DOCSIS connection and basically embeds ethernet frames in DOCSIS frames. So you put ethernet frames in, and it shoves it into the DOCSIS streams. The CMTS might unpack them/strip DOCSIS headers and then use fiber and switched networking from there on, but that's not relevant in this case.

The only point where pfSense comes in is where the connection turns into ethernet, 802.11 or serial. What happens between the pfSense side and the modem doesn't really matter as long as it's high quality cables and not too long.

By the way, a DSL modem or DOCSIS modem on a PCIe card doesn't do anything different vs. an external modem, ethernet cable and ethernet port on pfSense. This is because those PCIe modems are nothing more than a combination of an ethernet card and a traditional modem. The F-connector or telephone jack on the PCIe face plate connects to the modem part on the PCIe card, which contains the same parts as an external modem. That internal modem then on the PCB of the PCIe card connects to an ethernet chip, which then connects to the PCIe interface. This is not faster than an external modem, cable and ethernet card. In theory it could save sub-millisecond delays, but with the variations inherent to DOCSIS and DSL this would not matter since those are far greater.

If only for saving space, I'd suggest the following:

- DSL and/or Coaxial cables rarely enter a building in a server room or server rack room, so terminate the incoming cable where it actually gets in, and run ethernet to the rack

- If for some reason you have the DSL or Coax cable directly to the rack:still use a normal modem, but get one small enough to fit inside the pfSense case

The 2nd option might seem counter-intuitive vs. a PCIe modem, but the big difference is that PCIe cards are fairly uncommon, not well supported by ISP's, firewall vendors or service/helpdesks. Getting a 'normal' modem will save you from lots of weird issues with administrative and other non-technical staff as they will not understand 'integrated' modems.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 09:12:12 pm by johnkeates »