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Vishnu Goel
Vishnu Goel,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/31/2013 | 5:09:49 AM
SDN testing challenges are similar,not identical.
The challenges to test the SDN based elements in the network remain the same: To effectively and efficiently manage the different layers,and also ensure Quality at different phases of Rollout.When the scenario becomes dynamic,the demand on T&M companies becomes more.Also there is increasingly felt if we can have a more "malleable" platform where IP and RF related functions could merge it may aid SDN testing even more.This decade the realignment & repositioning of T&M companies is happening and we are sure innovation will lead to exciting development.Vishnu Goel T&M +919810101238

User Rank: Light Beer
11/14/2013 | 12:14:54 PM
Software Defined Testing?
Hi Carol,

Great article and report!

It's definitely exciting time in the "test and measurement" industry. The whole SDN and "Everything Virtualized" trend brings many challenges and I think huge opportunities to the testing industry.

With everyting virtualized, PREDICTABILITY is a real issue. An end-to-end Service Chain crosses many technology and vendor boundaries, from virtual compute, storage, to virtualized network functions, to overlay/underlay.  It is a long and complex chain of factors, any of which can significantly impact end-to-end SLA.

We are seeing that even minor changes in one part of the chain could have unexpected impact of the whole chain. "Virtual" performance tuning is complex and not well understood. Moreover, when virtual services are dynamically provisioned and reprovisioned continuously - being able to predict how changes or addition of new services impact of the overall SLA is of paramount importance.

At the same time, I can see the same "Software Defined" concept applies to the test industry, where test tools and test methodologies can plug-in to higher orchestration framework - kind of like "Testing as a Virtual Network Function".  This allows not just traditional pre-deployment testing, but basically continuous validating of performance and scale as these virtualized services / service chains are dynamically provisioned and changed.  I think PREDICTABILITY will be a key enabler for AGILITY.

Another interesting opportunity for Software Defined Testing is also software QA & regression testing, as mentioned by @jhodgesk1s. When virtualized test tools and functions can be orchestrated with software QA & regression test systems to automate testing, it has been shown to signifiantly improve software engineering efficiency and time-to-market. We do this in our own development shop and we are seeing 10X improvement in QA cycles.

It's exciting time and we're definitely enjoying the ride!

Paul To

Director, SDN & Cloud

Spirent Communications
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/14/2013 | 11:03:38 AM
Re: Isn't testing always a requirement?
Carol, one of the new testing requirements I anticipate is the need to perform regression testing of new virtualized applications with non-virtualized telecom network functions.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
11/13/2013 | 2:55:01 PM
Isn't testing always a requirement?
New technology deployments always require rigorous testing - I wonder what new challenges SDN and virtualized netweorks and network functions are going to pose. 

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