NFVi Testing is having a testing time

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Pierre Lynch, Lead Technologist, Keysight Technologies UK

The testing of Network Functions Virtualisation Infrastructure (NFVi) can be problematical because of the new variants that virtualisation introduces to the next generation network. In the NGN, everything runs on a common platform, it is a communal shared resource with virtualisation perched on top, like a cherry on an ice cream sundae. Thus there is much more activity in the network than was the case prior to virtualisation when benchmarking a dedicated hardware box with dedicated software embedded in it was a comparatively simple process. Under those conditions the isolation of network functions was straightforward because there were no additional, extraneous processes in play, thus allowing a panoply of tests to be carried out predictably, quickly, repeatably, reliably and portably.

So, NFVi testing is a challenge for telcos, operators and CSPs for the four reasons listed above and the gap between operational reality and the deluge of marketing hype that the industry has been subject to for the past three or more years is causing anxiety. The NFV ideal that has been remorselessly sold to  vendor's customers is that of a fully automated platform that will allow users simply to pop things into, out of and all over the cloud "in a Lego block kind of a way" (as Pierre Lynch has it) with ease and more or less at whim remains pie in the sky. He says "We're not there yet. We have proven interoperability but not standards-based portability."

Filmed at: SDN NFV World Congress 2018, The Hague, Netherlands


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