China Mobile, Spirent Complete NFVi Automated Performance Test System for 5G C-RAN Project

20 October 2017
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China Mobile, Spirent Complete NFVi Automated Performance Test System for 5G C-RAN Project Image Credit: Spirent

China Mobile and Spirent Communications have recently successfully completed NFVi automated performance test system developed by Spirent, as part of the first phase of the 5G C-RAN project.

In this project, the cloud architecture of the radio access network is viewed as the basis for carrying various future 5G applications. The cloud-enabled radio access network not only needs to ensure the coverage and capacity of basic voice communication services, but also the bandwidth demands of fast-growing extreme Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services, as well as the IoT and Cargo Network applications that offer large connectivity, low latency and high reliability with high network quality requirements.

Due to the technical characteristics of the 5G C-RAN, testing requirements for the underlying cloud architecture are different from those of other NFVs and public clouds. The test system can no longer use the traditional black box test method. It must adapt to work with multiple components such as VNFs, VIM,  NFVi and SDN controllers and then must be able to validate various NFVi network acceleration and system real-time technologies, referred to as test refactoring.

Test refactoring at its core utilizes continuous debugging and optimization with a proven methodology, repeatable tests, and centralized analysis on test data, to achieve a compromise between various optimization parameters for the cloud platform and simultaneously find acceptable performance levels.

The NFVi automated performance test system used in the tests, included Spirent TestCenter hardware and Spirent TestCenter Virtual for traffic generation. These were used to simulate and analyze data traffic on the cloud platform under test and to evaluate the vSwitch forwarding performance of independent computing nodes or multi-node systems supporting DPDK technology on 10G/25G/40G interface speeds.

Spirent CloudStress was also used to emulate the VNF workloads and automation of test scenarios and spinning up of VMs was orchestrated using Spirent’s iTest platform.

Jacky Wu, Business Development Director, Spirent Communications
It is the first automated performance testing system in the industry specifically designed for 5G C-RAN covering performance tests for cloud platforms using both SR-IOV and DPDK network acceleration technologies.

Abhitesh Kastuar, Spirent's General Manager for Cloud and IP 
By automating NFVi performance testing frameworks, tests that used to take several weeks or even months can now be completed in a few days, thus, greatly increasing test efficiency.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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