EANTC: Passing the Interoperability Test

 

As a software integration specialist for the industry’s leading open source network control company, I have had a front row seat to this industry transformation. Our role in multiple tier-1 transformation projects as well as leadership positions in several Open Source communities gives us a unique vantage point to the journey. I’ve watched for over a decade as Service Providers traverse the technological and operational options to bring more flexibility to their multi-vendor networks. At the foundation of it all—interoperability.

Service Providers have been looking to standards to enable interoperability in their complex environments. We are often brought to the table to help drive standards alignment with our customers and proprietary vendors. Needless to say, I’m used to sitting across the table from companies reluctant to engage. Recently, however, this tone has changed. The industry must have gotten the memo, as vendors seem to be adopting and embracing interoperability protocols and standards.

We noticed the industry understood the value open control could bring to interoperability testing and we were welcomed to the EANTC Interoperability Testing table.

Our Open Source tools provide the flexibility to abstract, normalize and control any 

EANTC Interoperability Infographic

network element - a capability which clearly contributes enormous value to multi-vendor, multi-domain environments. Lumina’s involvement in the tests this year enabled simplified and accelerated unification of the resources where we were involved. With Lumina onboard, heterogeneous just got real. 

Let’s take a quick look at the successful tests Lumina participated in.

 

Lumina-Tested Elements Demonstrated:

Lumina SDN Controller Suite:

  • Lumina SDN Controller (LSC - ODL): Lumina’s SDN controller based on OpenDaylight  
  • Lumina Network Resource Manager (LNRM - ODL Application): Collection of applications that enable better utilization of the network by intelligently managing slices, creating paths through these slices and mapping services to the paths
  • Lumina Extension & Adaptation Platform (LEAP): Lumina’s  extensible software framework for automation of fabric devices interactions using model-driven frameworks, in a microservices architecture
        • Workflow Abstraction Layer (WAL - ODL JSONRPC)
        • Workflow Engine (WFE - Camunda) - Lumina’s Camunda powered BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) engine to run workflows and scripts
        • Lumina Service Mapper (ODL Plastic) - Lumina’s translation engine, uses json & groovy scripts to parse input and generate translated output

Test Case Summary:

SDN: Path Computation Element Protocol

Lumina’s SDN Controller, based on OpenDaylight, with the additional Lumina Network Resource Manager application were deployed in support of this test case. The controller auto-discovered network topology using BGP-LS and provided LSP programming using PCEP connected as the PCE to two PCC devices (Juniper and Huawei). LNRM provides a GUI for topology plus path visualization as well as displaying operational data.

Test highlights:

  • LNRM discovered the topology through BGPLS and a domain/IGP-area agnostic view of topology was created.
  • Discovered TED information was fed to LNRM PCE.
  • LNRM PCE Computed and programmed LSP using specified constraints (lowest IGP cost)
    • Stateful pce/lsp-instantiation/lsp-update capabilities were verified.
    • Successful end to end traffic flow across LSP was tested and verified.
  • Network link costs changed causing Lumina PCE to automatically calculate a new route and reprogram the LSP
    Successfully deleted the LSP.

SDN: Multi-Domain + Multi-Vendor Controller

The culmination of this test case demonstrated a broad set of vendor interoperability.  Cisco played the role of orchestrator sending service requests to the two domain controllers (Lumina and Cisco) that in turn managed NETCONF interactions to configure four southbound devices from three different vendors (Metaswitch, Nokia and Juniper).

Lumina’s Extension & Adaptation Platform provided the means of auto deploying a northbound EVPN service YANG that triggered a workflow process to decompose the request and perform the appropriate vendor specific NETCONF commands.

Test highlights:

  • Lumina Workflow Abstraction Layer used to deploy the service YANG models and auto generate RESTCONF for northbound requests
  • Lumina processed and validated RESTCONF - GET, PUT and DELETE requests from Orchestrator
  • Lumina workflow engine using the model translator:
    • Decomposed service request, determined southbound vendor for each end point
    • Translated service input data into vendor specific NETCONF payload (including default and calculated values)
    • Sent southbound requests
    • Translated responses as necessary for northbound final response
  • Successfully created the service and demonstrating traffic flow end to end
  • Successfully removed the service from all devices.

SDN: EVPN Service Creation Using NETCONF

This test case is actually a subset of the Multi-Domain case above. Here, Lumina sent the rest requests using PostMan in place of the orchestration system. Lumina demonstrated service deployment using a simple EVPN service YANG model to deploy an EPVN on Juniper and Nokia routers via NETCONF.

Test highlights:

  • Lumina Workflow Abstraction Layer used to deploy the service YANG models and auto generate RESTCONF for northbound requests
  • Lumina processed and validated RESTCONF - GET, PUT and DELETE requests from PostMan
  • Lumina workflow engine using the model translator:
    • Decomposed service request, determined southbound vendor for each end point
    • Translated service input data into vendor specific NETCONF payload (including default and calculated values)
    • Sent southbound requests
    • Translated responses as necessary for northbound final response
  • Successfully created the service and demonstrating traffic flow end to end
  • Successfully removed the service from all devices.

SDN: Network Automation Using NETCONF

Lumina has performed NETCONF validation and compliance testing on behalf of our customers and their deployed vendors for many years. The test cases here proved the value of NETCONF as a standard that makes network automation simple (easy button catch phrase) and possible at large scale. Lumina was able to achieve successful NETCONF mounting for Juniper, Nokia and Metaswitch in a short period of time.

The test case demonstrated the following for each of the three vendors:

  • Mounting the device - show negotiated capabilities
  • Retrieve the full device configuration
  • Perform configuration change - enable an interface
  • Get the configured interface operational state - show up
  • Perform configuration change - disable the interface
  • Get the interface operational state - show down

 

Summary:

As I mentioned, the tests were a success! Sure we completed the technical tests, but the real success here is the community's commitment to enabling multi-vendor environments. After years of vendor pushback, the creation of quasi-standards, and slow-moving multi-vendor projects, could it be that we’re getting "there"?

Read the full EANTC report to learn more and contact us to discuss your multi-vendor network.

If you are actively working on Network and Service Automation projects, check out some of these online resources:

EANTC: Multi-Vendor Interoperability Test 

Additional Resources:

Intent-Based Service Automation

Lumina Network Resource Manager

Lumina SDN Controller