Network functions virtualization (NFV) is transforming today’s marketplace. Instead of relying on purpose-built, proprietary hardware, NFV allows users to opt for a more cost-efficient option in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), server-based platforms. With this approach offers an opportunity to not only save money, but also create networks that work more efficiently and quickly. This also provides flexibility not often associated with the more traditional methods. Still, in order to realize the full benefits of NFV, its pitfalls must be identified and countered.
The first stop in that journey is for network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) to develop virtual network functions (VNFs) that can seamlessly run on COTS hardware. As they look to virtualize their offerings, service providers must direct their attention to finding services that can run on virtual devices.
In a proof of concept with customer ALTEN Calsoft Labs, Ixia is fulfilling comprehensive testing of key VNFs. This testing makes it possible to gauge performance of ALTEN Calsoft Labs’ products and services in virtual environments. Ixia and ALTEN Calsoft Labs have a storied history of collaborating for strategic solutions, including past work on IxNetwork, IxLoad, and IxAutomate.
In its testing, ALTEN Calsoft Labs uses Ixia products to help create and deploy virtual customer premises (vCPE) solutions for one of the first commercial NFV deployments. This use case is crucial for the small-to-medium business (SMB) space, and is also one of the top applications that NFV providers are looking to implement.
The case study shows ALTEN Calsoft Labs attempting to validate its vCPE service in a KVM environment as well as a Linux container. ALTEN Calsoft Labs and Ixia discovered that early deployments align well with a KVM approach, but Linux containers are increasingly attractive for high VNF scale and can be more effective for use cases such as vCPE. The case study also found that in order to determine performance, test data packet forwarding rates are critical for NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and VNF testing.
With ALTEN Calsoft Labs focusing on the vCPE use case, Ixia’s products help deliver on the promise to meet carrier grade expectations. Ixia test products run the gamut of functionality, offering real-world, stateful traffic generation, as well as multi-protocol testing. The test results lend insight to the ALTEN Calsoft Labs vCPE solution for SMBs. To learn more about how ALTEN Calsoft Labs and Ixia worked together to ensure stability and viability of this vCPE solution, read the case study from Ixia now.