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Cobham Wireless Debuts NFV Test Bed for Service Providers

By Tara Seals June 17, 2015

As service providers continue to roll out limited network function virtualization (NFV) trials, testing and proofs of concept (PoC) are a critical piece of the process—to ensure that everything works together and as expected, before putting live traffic on the topography. After all, for now, there is no clear definition of “carrier-grade” in the NFV world.

To smooth the process, Cobham Wireless has launched the TeraVM elastic test bed, which allows network function vendors and service providers to share lab assets between facilities.

The idea is to enable engineers to create virtual test pods to “stress test” network functions, reducing ownership costs by eliminating the need for multiple labs using proprietary hardware.

Network vendors, service providers and enterprises with global operations traditionally have very low utilization of test assets, typically around 20 percent, the company said. Using the TeraVM elastic test bed, this can be brought up to 80-90 percent, as traffic generation resources can be dynamically reallocated to where they’re needed.

"The ability to dynamically scale and reallocate test capacity, is addressing a pressing demand from operators to align testing with the overall NFV vision, while providing major cost-savings when compared with the traditional fixed lab environment," said Robert Winters, TeraVM director at Cobham Wireless. "The flexibility of the TeraVM elastic test bed allows service providers to adopt a 'follow the sun' pooled resource model, significantly increasing the utilization rates of their testing assets and improving productivity as a result."

Image via Shutterstock

The elastic test bed dovetails with TeraVM, Cobham Wireless' IP traffic emulation tool, by enabling test pods which can scale to terabits per second of application traffic. It allows vendors to load, analyze and validate the performance of next generation firewalls by measuring individual quality of service in conjunction with the effectiveness of cybersecurity threat detection and isolation.

"Cobham Wireless is committed to bringing innovative and unique products to market to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers,” said Ian Langley, SVP at Cobham Wireless. “This latest enhancement to the TeraVM platform demonstrates to our global customer-base that we are committed to ensuring service providers and network vendors can take full advantage of network function virtualization for both networking and network performance validation."

The TeraVM elastic test bed is already deployed for functional verification in hundreds of discrete test beds which, when pooled together, create a single terabit test bed, which is equivalent to 40 million stateful subscribers consuming video, data and voice traffic. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Contributing Writer

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