The OPNFV project is dedicated to delivering a standard reference architecture for the deployment of carrier-grade Network Function Virtualization (NFV) environments. Testing is critical to the success of the project and to the success of real-world deployments, as evidenced by the many test-related sub-projects of OPNFV. One of those subprojects, VSPERF, is dedicated to benchmarking one of the key NFV components: The virtual switch.
The VSPERF community has developed a test harness that is integrated with several test tools. When deployed, virtual switches can be tested in a stand-alone, bare-metal environment. Standard benchmarking tests, such as RFC2544, are supported today, with more tests in the pipeline.
Running VSPERF for optimum performance and consistency requires dedicated hardware. This is acceptable for running the tests themselves, but it increases the cost of test development. Developers need a lower-cost environment where they can rapidly create and prove the functionality of tests that can then be moved to hardware for final testing. The hardware requirement also poses a problem for product marketing and sales. Those teams need a way to demo VSPERF test capabilities to potential customers without lugging around hardware.
The Ravello Systems environment presents a solution to the problems faced by these two groups. By virtualizing the test environment and taking advantage of Ravello’s Blueprint support, we were able to:
We started with virtual versions of our standard products.
The 10.0.0.0 subnet was created for management. 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 were created for dataplane traffic.
Next we instantiated the VSPERF test harness host, connecting it to the appropriate networks.
All along the way, Ravello’s interface gave us the options we needed to configure.
Overall, Ravello Systems is good value and flexibility for the needs described here.
Brian’s current role is to support the development of NFV test methodologies and to support Spirent’s participation in the OPNFV project.