Software Defined Labs (SDL) – Testing and Transforming Today’s IT Reality

May 13, 2020 by James Hopson

Driving innovation by tackling growing infrastructure complexity

Organizations with fully virtualized and automated software testing solutions (supported by products like SDL) benefit from much lower test costs and faster time-to-market – higher profit margins, sooner. An accelerated product pipeline enables early market share for new services.

Network operators can process more products and services via the same labs and staff, leading to new product opportunities and greater customer choice.

True CI/CD with automated software testing services brings rapid deployment and upgrades, higher network integrity and improved security. The customer experience is also improved thanks to being able to retest in deployment networks and to test unique, customer-specific solutions, end-to-end or component-by-component, with very little additional effort.

What a difference SDL makes. Take a look at the following case studies.

Two Real-Life Success Stories

1: EPC Testing

Challenge: A service provider and its network supplier need automated software testing of the components of an EPC from multiple vendors. Solution: Customer needs to evaluate multiple vendors and configurations of the components within an EPC.

  • Configuration to test EPC, PGW, SGW, MME, HSS, RAN, eNodeB
  • Simulate actual UE traffic (individual user sessions and traffic)
  • Traffic Testing:

    • Evaluate multiple traffic-load levels of EPCs from multiple vendors (to determine traffic capacity)
  • Functionality Testing:
    • Evaluate protocol compliance/behavior including redundancy and failover behaviors
  • Existing Tools:
    • Commercial traffic generator (client server)
    • Commercial simulator components including vRAN/HSS and UE

2: NFV DPI Component Engineering Assessment

Challenge: Provide dimensioning/engineering and optimization information for a new VNF, for a wide range of customer deployment uses. Solution: Client created a new VNF based on software from their existing physical appliance product. They found that in deployment, their customers needed to understand capacity maximums and different traffic types for a given configuration. Or, they needed the vendor to recommend an appropriate configuration for a given expected traffic rate.

  • Phase 1:

    • Several dozen configurations of flavor (footprint), NFV configuration and environment
    • 6 packet frame sizes across a minimum of 10 traffic rates
    • Goal seeking to find maximum sustainable rate
  • Phase 2:
    • 4 additional traffic types and 3 flavors added
    • Compare combinations for multiple instances of a flavor with a larger flavor
  • Tools:
    • Commercial traffic generator (client server)

How Does This Help Me with My Current Problems?

Right now, you might be struggling with:

  • Responsibility for more of the customer value chain – cloud computing, edge data centers, security and so on
  • Higher SLAs – higher bandwidth, lower latency, faster recovery and more robustness
  • Staff retention and skill level – outsourcing, offshoring
  • The need for customized, lower-volume, one-off services

But don’t despair. Ultimately, automation of your IT operations will help your business serve customers much more efficiently and effectively, so you can be even more successful in the digital economy.

What Does Luxoft Bring to the Table?

We don’t just offer you a product. As a services organization we can provide any, or all, of the services you need to transform your organization to CI/CD, DevOps automation. For instance:

  • Installation – install SDL and test modules
  • Configuration – NFV, SDL and test environments
  • Integrating and Onboarding:

    • VNFs, containers, PNFs or additional test tools
    • Automating service chain set up/teardown, configuration
  • Test Case Development:
    • New test case development
    • Test suite development – test suites to validate an entire protocol, product or standards compliance
    • Test case migration – from existing systems, physical to virtual, etc.
    • Test case automation – automating existing test cases
    • Test execution – on-site or off-site testing services, remote or local staffing
  • VNF/PNF/Container Component Analysis:
    • Engineering and performance analysis
    • Tuning and optimization
  • Test Solution Customization:
    • Integration to external systems (test management, test results, physical test tools, etc.)
    • ustomer-specific tools or reports
    • Custom software development
    • Agile DevOps toolchain and pipeline implementation
  • Training:
    • SDL operation
    • Test automation development
    • VNF onboarding
    • Testing techniques
    • Agile
    • DevOps

If you’d like to find out more about how Luxoft can help solve your particular network issues, check out my previous blog.

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