Spirent and Luxoft Ease OpenFlow Testing

Joint vendor solution aims to provide more efficient OpenFlow 1.3 compliance and certification testing for faster SDN development.

By Jude Chao | Posted Nov 7, 2013
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Network, device, and services testing vendor Spirent Communications and software development solutions and services provider Luxoft yesterday announced their joint OpenFlow compliance testing solution, which the companies are marketing to organizations preparing for Open Networking Foundation (ONF) certification and at software engineers seeking more efficient OpenFlow software development. The solution aims to speed software defined networking (SDN) development by easing compliance and certification processes.

Broadly, the Spirent and Luxoft OpenFlow compliance testing suite helps automate the QA and regression testing of OpenFlow products, according to a Spirent statement. With Spirent GUI and test case development tools on the front end and Luxoft technology on the back end, the Spirent iTest OpenFlow Compliance Test Solution Pack enables distributed and parallel OpenFlow 1.3 and 1.4 compliance testing. An OFTest Solution Pack automates the installation, configuration, and execution of the ONF's open source OFTest certification testing tool. iTest also enables the easy building or extension of automated test cases for fast replication, defect resolution, and regression testing. Additionally, Spirent and Luxoft partner to provide custom professional services like conformance coaching and QA.

This solution is a necessary one, according to Paul To, Spirent's director of SDN and Cloud. The ONF has standardized the OpenFlow protocol up to version 1.3, he said, but "OFTest only supports OpenFlow 1.0." This is problematic for many vendors, he explained, since they now "primarily use proprietary test methodology, such as manual unit and function tests, to verify OpenFlow 1.3.1 specification compliance."

"These methods, although necessary, aren't sufficient. Also, manual testing of 400+ test scenarios to comply with OpenFlow 1.3 test specifications could be error-prone and laborious," To said.

And compliance testing is vital, particularly given the interoperability issues that can arise in SDN deployments. The Spirent and Luxoft testing solution is vendor-neutral, To said, and therefore able to quickly identify interoperability issues, helping "speed up development cycles of switch or controller software."

Standardization and interoperability look likely to be key for SDN's future success. To sees the Spirent and Luxoft solution as playing an important role.

"Our joint solution will help customers with OpenFlow 1.3 standards-based SDN adoption by assisting them in qualifying OpenFlow 1.3 compliance and interoperability in multi-vendor deployments. By leveraging the automation, test case authoring, and continuous integration capabilities of this solution, customers should be able to efficiently manage their quality assurance processes," To said.

Jude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.

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