China Unicom Selects Spirent to test NFV infrastructure

0

Spirent Communications has been selected by China Unicom to test NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) infrastructure using Spirent TestCenter and Spirent CloudStress.

Chosen as the preferred test vendor, Spirent executed a series of functional and performance tests jointly with China Unicom to address specific requirements of NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and middleware using Spirent TestCenter network performance testing instrument and Spirent CloudStress, a web-based infrastructure validation application.

The tests comply with current industry standards and utilize advanced, proven testing methodologies that are considered best practice. Spirent’s combined solution enables network equipment manufacturers, cloud and service providers to consolidate and scale test lab operations, modernize test labs for employees or customers as a cloud-based service, or streamline continuous deployment when testing hybrid virtual network functions.

To address the special requirements of NFV on virtualized middleware, China Unicom Network Research Institute joined hands with many vendors including Spirent to perform a series of tests and verification in a lab setting. Tests were conducted on the functions, basic performance and network performance of virtualized middleware.

The functional tests included support for virtual machine affinity and anti-affinity, control node failure recovery, high availability of virtual machines, virtual machine hot porting, and northbound transmission of failure alarms. The basic performance tests included four scenarios – CPU testing, memory testing, storage testing and virtual machine interference testing. Network performance tests were mainly designed to verify DPDK-based software virtual switching technology (vSwitch). Meanwhile, tests were performed on data of the PCI-PassThrough technology for a group of NICs as a reference in comparing with DPDK performance results. The network performance tests were completed with a Spirent TestCenter chassis and the MX family 10G interface test modules.

As the only hardware testing tool in the tests, Spirent TestCenter was used to evaluate the network performance metrics of vSwitch (DPDK 2.0), PCI-PassThrough and SR-IOV with different vCPU count configurations for a total of 8 configuration modes with 6 testing scenarios in each mode.

Middleware and NFVi CPU, memory and storage tests were mainly made possible with Spirent CloudStress. CloudStress is a synthetic workload generator and analysis solution to measure the true performance of virtualized infrastructure. By emulating 4 metrics for CPU, memory, storage and network I/O, it can be used to measure the performance of virtualized middleware and NFVi.

The Director of the SDN/NFV Innovation Center of China Unicom Network Research Institute notes, “With Internet+ promoted and implemented as a national strategy, traditional industries are facing opportunities and challenges to converge with Internet. In an effort to promote the transformation of traditional industries toward the age of industrial Internet to relentlessly create brand-new operational patterns and economic values, China Unicom launches the Industrial Internet Development Strategy, joining hands with our partners to provide industrial customers with complete solutions and technological services. China Unicom has been working with Spirent for a long time and successfully completed the series of tests on technologies related to NFV virtualized middleware. The satisfying testing methodologies and results of the tests are offering illuminations and envisions to China Unicom and participating vendors for NFV virtualized middleware technologies, and these tests will be the model to follow in NFV practices and deployments.”

“China Unicom has been very instrumental in the evolution and rollout of Internet; from constructing fiber optical landline broadband networks and mobile broadband networks to creating a new breed of information infrastructure and providing integrated solutions and services. The role of China Unicom is transforming from being an early innovator of the Internet to shaping the Internet of tomorrow,” says Peter Tan, Spirent’s General Manager for Greater China and Northeast Asia. “Spirent has been working with leading innovators around the world, helping and supporting operators, network equipment and communication service providers, manufacturers and large enterprises to construct next generation networks.”

According to Abhitesh Kastuar, General Manager of Cloud and IP, “Spirent is very committed to working with China Unicom in the testing of NFV virtualized middleware technologies to further advance this technology that will ultimately accelerate the deployment of NFV in telecom.”