ETSI put NFV platform interoperability challenges to the test earlier this year at the organization's first NFV Plugtests event, and released a report this week highlighting a nearly 100% success rate of interoperability tests for network service onboarding, setup and termination, according to ETSI's announcement on Wednesday.
"That was a concern a year ago, everybody's concern including ETSI and OPNFV, but we've seemed to have moved on, we're doing really well in that area and we're ready to tackle the bigger issues now like auto-scaling and updating network services and things like that, that's getting really complex," said Pierre Lynch, lead technologist for Ixia Product Management, and vice chairman of the ETSI NFV Testing, Implementation and Open Source working group, in an interview with Telco Transformation.
In testing features like network service onboarding, instantiation and termination, 98% of the interoperability tests succeeded, and more complex operations such as scaling and network service updates were also tested and yielded "very encouraging initial results," according to the press release.
The inaugural Plugtests Event was hosted by 5TONIC Laboratory, an interoperability lab, with support from Telefónica, in Leganes, near Madrid, Spain over a two-week period from January 23 to February 3. Over 160 engineers, 80 of which who were on site, represented 35 organizations that tested their commercial and open source implementations for "interoperability, including 15 virtual network functions (VNFs,) nine management and orchestration solutions and 11 NFV platforms," according to the release. Much of the software was loaded on site, but some platforms and software were at remote locations. ETSI OSM, Open Baton, OPEN-O and OPNFV were among the open source projects tested, in addition to commercial implementations from vendors.
"It was mainly early testing of what we call stage two specifications from SDN/NFV," said Lynch. "Stage two is where data modeling and the interfaces or reference points are specified. What that means is the specs aren't done yet, there's still a stage three where the information modeling needs to be done but the goal here was to prove that everyone's going toward the same end goal of interoperability, of course, but we couldn't go down to say conformance level on the protocols because the protocols aren't fully specified yet."
ETSI's Center for Testing and Interoperability developed the test plan for the Plugtests to perform early testing of stage two specifications from SDN/NFV. Participants tested the "ETSI NFV Release 2 end-to-end capabilities including management of descriptors and software images, as well as life cycle management of network services and virtual network functions," said the release. The test plan included 26 test cases arranged into five groups such as onboarding and instantiation, network services updates and scaling, and terminate and teardown operations.
"The ultimate goal was feedback back into ETSI NFV specs, the ISG specs themselves to see if this makes sense, are we going in the right direction?" said Lynch. "Early feedback -- and I stress this is an early Plugtest -- is critical because they're going into stage three specs right now, they're working on it right now. So getting feedback from the industry -- from 35 implementations -- is fantastic at this stage in time."
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Testing began with a warm-up session to set the testing schedule for the day, and test sessions were organized into parallel tracks to enable continuous testing. Each day three functions -- a VNF, a MANO stack and a VIM and NFVi platform -- were tested in ten different combinations, with up to four VNFs
tested on each. By the end of the Plugtests, participants had tested 160 different combinations of VNF, MANO and VIM and NFVi for interoperability -- culminating in more than 1,500 individual test results.
In order to prepare for the Plugtests, ETSI hosted extensive pre-tests connecting each of the participant's labs via ETSI's HIVE VPN, in November of last year. Twenty-nine labs connected to the ETSI Plugtests network to verify correct configurations and data exchange of the different VNFs, Management and Orchestration (MANO) solutions and NFV platforms to be tested in the 2017 Plugtests.
The results of the Plugtests, as well as lessons learned, and the test plan will be applied back to ETSI NFV ISG.
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, editor, Upskill U