Ixia announced the industry's first OpenFlow test solution. The company's IxNetwork and IxANVL test solutions now allow OpenFlow protocol simulation using integrated network traffic and provide a set of OpenFlow protocol conformance tests. The OpenFlow communication protocol simplifies the network by centralizing access to the switch and router forwarding plane. Ixia's test solutions enable network equipment manufacturers, service providers, and enterprises to use this promising new technology to verify protocol consistency and adjust network designs before deployment. The solution was publicly demonstrated at Ixia's booth No. 1262 at Interop Las Vegas from May 8 to 10, and Ixia participated in the InteropNetOpenFlow experiment.
The OpenFlow network shows the possibility of multiple developments through software-defined networking (SDN) in this network, where the network control panel can be accessed through an application programming interface (API). Because large companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo seek to enable vendor-independent network programmability through deregulation and data planes, the field will gain a lot of momentum.
Ixia's OpenFlow testing capabilities include OpenFlow simulation in IxNetwork and OpenFlow conformance test suite in IxANVL. With hardware-based traffic and new control plane capabilities, IxNetwork can now simulate OpenFlow controllers to modify traffic entries and generate traffic to test forwarding. For testing switch protocol conformance, IxANVL will use a new set of OpenFlowv1.0 tests, which include test cases for Open Network Foundation (ONF) certification according to the OF-Test1.0 specification now being completed. Protocol consistency is not only important for ensuring compatibility in a multi-vendor environment, but also for obtaining ONF certification.
The development of the OpenFlow standard is managed by ONF. The OpenFlow protocol is already compatible with many vendors' Ethernet routers, switches, virtual switches, and access points, and continues to develop under the guidance of ONF.
Ixia is the leader of the Interop Test Working Group, which is responsible for planning and managing the first ONF interoperability event conducted at the IxiaiSimCity laboratory in Santa Clara, California last month. The event is open to all ONF member companies and focuses on the v1.0 standard. White papers and technical documents are available on the ONFopennetworking.org website.
"Testing tools are critical to help ensure protocol consistency and optimal performance," said Dan Pitt, ONF's executive director.
"ONF member companies are constantly striving to ensure that their customers are able to obtain products that keep pace with innovative new technologies and standards."
"By ensuring a high level of consistency with OpenFlow, Ixia's commitment to open standards will help accelerate the adoption of SDN and the development of innovative solutions," said IsabelleGuis, vice president of export marketing at BigSwitchNetworks. "This is part of BigSwitchNetworks' open SDN structure, and we are pleased to be able to participate in the demonstration of enabling OpenFlow technology at the IxiaInterop booth."
"OpenFlow is an exciting new underlying technology that enables software-defined networking and dramatically changes the way networks are controlled," said Michael Haugh, senior product line manager at Ixia. "When operators execute OpenFlow, they will need a test tool similar to Ixia used to verify their hybrid network to ensure a smooth transition to SDN."
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