Battle test your Virtual Network Functions


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Growing needs of virtualizing an infrastructure to cater paradigms of NFV (Network Function Virtualization) calls for divergent test methods. Data Center administrators and service providers are becoming very interested in evaluating and characterizing the performance of the virtual networks before they opt for huge NFVi roll outs. When deploying NFV, some of the important test scenarios are flexibility, scalability and efficiency of provisioning a network service chain along with the VNF performance itself. In addition to such functional and performance tests, impairment tests are a crucial piece of the puzzle to verify resiliency of a network service or the VNFs.

Spirent provides a range of virtualization products and solutions like Spirent TestCenter Virtual and Attero-V which can be used in different combinations along with the physical test solutions to perform a holistic NFV testing. Spirent TestCenter™ Virtual is the industry-leading L2 to L7 converged virtual test solution that optimizes the performance of network services and infrastructure. TestCenter Virtual creates advanced testing topologies emulating both scalable control plane and data plane to stress, both physical and virtualized network functions. Spirent Attero-V is a virtual impairments tool that is used to benchmark and optimize the performance of virtual network functions (VNF) and end-to-end virtualized applications by accurately applying real-world network conditions such as latency and dropped packets. In a very few steps, test methodologies can be created to pump L2 to L7 traffic, verify QoS, dataplane metrics like end to end latency, Frame Loss, Jitter and so on. To mimic real-world failure scenarios bandwidth impairments (packet loss), delay/jitter and bit errors (packet corruption) can be introduced and the impact can be measured.

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A few basic NFV test scenarios as discussed in ETSI GS NFV-TST 001 are shown below:

Diagram: Verify that a newly instantiated Network Service is alive and functional

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Shreya Pandita
Shreya Pandita

Technical Marketing Engineer

Shreya Pandita is a Technical Marketing Engineer at Spirent, focused on building solutions to test SDN, NFV and Cloud scenarios. Shreya has over five years of industry experience in various networking technologies. Prior to joining Spirent, she received a Masters from Purdue University and worked as a researcher at InCNTRE (a SDN interoperability lab) at Indiana University.