The Path to Successful SDN
Software-defined networking (SDN) is the most transformational and profound paradigm shift the networking industry faces today. Modern networks must become easier to deploy and manage to respond to rapid-changing business demand. Since the initial inception of OpenFlow, SDN has evolved with advanced technology innovation to provide separate control and forwarding functions, centralized control, and well-defined interfaces to achieve network programmability. It promises huge leaps in efficiency, agility, and flexibility in operating and scaling networks — if it is deployed correctly.
We offer solutions that help you validate various SDN use cases and deployment scenarios in carrier, data center, and enterprise SDN networks. Our network test and emulation applications generate realistic workloads at realistic scales to validate cutting-edge technologies and accelerate proof of concept (PoC) and lab validation.
Validation is the Key to Realizing the Promise of SDN
Test at Every Stage of the Network Lifecycle
The SDN paradigm shift brings a lot of unknowns and requires extensive testing and validation to ensure that it delivers the benefits promised by SDN. Validation at every step along the migration path not only speeds adoption by discovering and removing blind spots, it also minimizes the risk of deployment failure.
Keysight offers reliability and scale testing designed for the specific challenges of SDN technologies at every stage of network life cycle — from network design and vendor selection to lab trial and live deployment. IxNetwork® and IxNetwork VE emulate carrier-scale, multi-service complex SDN topologies with thousands of devices to stress devices under test (DUTs) or end-to-end networks under dynamic conditions. IxChariot® assesses SDN networks to ensure optimal performance and scale, before and after SDN rollout.
SDN in Carrier Networks
The promise of SDN agility and flexibility has big potential for carriers to transform networks to better support application-driven and fast service delivery, optimize network resource usage, as well as reduce Capex/Opex. A winning strategy for SDN migration includes careful planning, gradual deployment, and carrier-grade performance — allowing organizations to realize SDN benefits step by step.
Keysight offers a rich validation feature-set for technologies that enable carrier-grade SDN including network infrastructure simplification with Segment Routing, network topology and traffic engineering discovery with BGP-LS, and centralized and dynamic path provision with PCEP or BGP. With this highly scalable solution, realistic network emulation, and flexible control and troubleshooting, IxNetwork enables service providers to plan their migration and deployment with confidence. Our SDN in Carrier Networks video series shows you how.
SDN in Data Center Networks
Technology innovation has enabled adoption and deployment of SDN to revolutionize modern data centers, reducing network provision time from weeks to days — or even minutes. It dynamically delivers uninterrupted services based on demand and availability of resources, prioritizes routing based on real-time network feedback, and simplifies management of spine and leaf fabrics.
Keysight IxNetwork offers a scalable solution to validate various network overlay technologies and overlay network provisioning, including VXLAN, BGP EVPN, OVSDB. It tests the entire cycle of building a scaled data center network from validating architecture design, to vendor selection and lab trial, all the way through production.
OpenFlow changes how the underlay network is built, separating control and forwarding paths. It is best suited to green-field deployment due to its fork-lift requirement. OpenFlow deployment requires a new approach in validating network design and performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as loss, latency, jitter, and convergence time, are impacted not only by the switch forwarding capability but also by effective interaction between controller and switch.
Keysight offers industry-leading solutions to validate OpenFlow controller and switch implementations with realistic topology emulation, comprehensive feature sets, and canned benchmark suites. It helps users validate with confidence to ensure smooth deployment.
Software-defined WAN (SDWAN) has been one of the most discussed SDN applications of 2016. The existing WANs were designed using dedicated MPLS links. Evolution of SDN provides programmability to the WAN, but the biggest business rationale to introduce SDWAN is to make use of Internet bandwidth in place of dedicated MPLS links to bring down cost. Internet bandwidth cost is only 2% of traditional MPLS bandwidth cost. This gives birth to a concept of Hybrid WAN, which integrates dedicated MPLS, broadband, and 4G into corporate networks.
Keysight's IxNetwork is the most popular solution in the networking industry for measuring QoS characteristics of WAN traffic at line rate. It can generate various application traffic profiles with different packet sizes and rates to stress the gateway. At the receiving side, IxNetwork can provide accurate measurement of latency of the WAN traffic.
Orchestration and Programmability
Orchestration is a key component of SDN architectures for service agility. It requires SDN controllers to program the network with a common and open API. This is done through automation, with minimum human intervention, to provide fast service delivery down to minutes.
IxNetwork offers end-to-end automation with REST, Python, and other APIs (TCL, Perl, Ruby) to integrate test configuration and initiation into overall system orchestration. Along with the support of both hardware platform and virtual platform (IxNetwork VE), user can easily deploy the test to validate both physical and virtual infrastructures. This enables continuous validation before rolling out new products and services.