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Industry Players Align for NFV Benchmark Test

By Paula Bernier June 01, 2015

Brocade, Integra, Intel, Overture, and Spirent have joined forces to test network functions virtualization-based service chaining performance in an entirely NFV environment. The test effort demonstrated how the companies’ solutions could provide zero packet loss throughput for 2-gigabit ports carrying line-rate IMIX traffic through multiple virtual network functions.

“To achieve line-rate performance using bi-directional traffic on a 1 Gbit/s port, running through multiple VNFs on a server that costs less than $1,000 is a game changer for this industry,” said Overture CTO Prayson Pate. “A service chain with layer 2 functionality providing this level of performance on this type of machine shows that pure-play NFV can meet even the most demanding carrier-class service provider environments.”

Brocade contributed its Vyatta 5600 vRouter to the effort. Intel offered up its Atom C2000 processor-based servers, which were the VNF hosting platforms. Overture provided the orchestration for the solution with its Ensemble technology. Spirent’s TestCenter Virtual validated the reliability and performance of the NFV infrastructure and VNF service chains prior to deployment.

“Spirent TestCenter Virtual, with its line rate traffic generation capabilities and support for NFV test methodologies, helps vendors and carriers accelerate NFV deployments,” commented Rajesh Rajamani, director of marketing and the cloud and IP business unit at Spirent.

NFV, as Overture explains on its website, is the concept of replacing dedicated network appliances such as routers and firewalls with software running on commercial off-the-shelf servers. SDN, meanwhile, is a framework that allows service providers to be more agile and introduce more automation in an effort to make their networks and service delivery pipeline more dynamic.


The large telcos have actively done trials of NFV and SDN in recent months, and some of them have already come out with commercial services based on these technologies. Enabling customers to provision their own services seems to be a key first use case for SDN, as AT&T, Masergy and NTT Communications have already launched services along these lines.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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