Interoperability among vendors' virtualized technologies is slowly improving, although the industry has a long way to go before service providers can expect automated self-service NFVi for their infrastructures, according to a new report from the New IP Agency and partner EANTC.
NIA vendor members were invited to participate in any or all of three campaigns held this year. Tests focused on virtualized network functions (VNFs), NFV infrastructure, VNF managers and NFV orchestrators, ultimately identifying at least eight interoperability issues. EANTC worked with vendors to improve products' interoperability capabilities, resolve problems in multi-vendor setups and share findings with other industry groups including OpenStack and ETSI.
Read the entire document "2016 NIA-EANTC NFV Interoperability Test Report"
here on Light Reading.
Within the VNF-NFVi test, 79% of combinations interoperated. When these results are added to tests conducted earlier in the year, the success rate for 2016 totaled 69%, says
European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC)
Those products that failed to interoperate sometimes hit snags due to incompatibilities with the numerous varieties of OpenStack, a key NFV infrastructure component. But problems aren't only due to the version of OpenStack in use; interoperability issues can arise based on how OpenStack was implemented, the report finds. As a result, there is no template, no best practice for EANTC -- or service providers -- to turn to, and the test lab had to address each NFVi separately, the report says.
"The basic problem is that software developers are still in the 'We-are-developing-lots-of-stuff mode' where frequent upgrades are expected, while service providers want to get to the 'Don't-touch-this-important-infrastructure-it's-running-production-services mode,' " EANTC Managing Director Carsten Rossenhövel tells Carol Wilson of Light Reading (See NIA Tests Reveal OpenStack Version Challenges.)
Testing Times for Interoperability
A test bed at EANTC's lab in Berlin.
Even migrating simple VNFs was complicated since the MAC address tables were not automatically updated, thereby sending traffic to the prior compute node. With service providers and their end customers seeking more ways to avoid manual tasks (and the errors and time they generate), it's essential for the industry to resolve this issue -- especially as operators' environments are rarely as simple as EANTC's test lab design, the company says.
Upgrading NFVi remains overly complex; indeed, it is so complicated that today vendors conduct upgrades at their own locations. Operators want automated, self-service NFVi upgrades but that accomplishment is a far-off dream for now -- especially as even mature routing technology has yet to attain this capability, says Rossenhövel.
— Alison Diana, Editor, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.