Ixia has announced that its IxLoad test solution now runs as a virtualised system to help mobile operators maximise the success of strategic NFV deployments. Ixia enables mobile operators to determine what to virtualise, how to go about it, and how to measure success by showing which cloud-based functions match the performance achieved by existing physical devices.
With mobile usage, user expectations and competitive threats all on the rise, the risks to operators’ brands and bottom line are too great to leave NFV deployments to chance. IxLoad emulates the behaviour of mobile subscribers and virtualised network functions (VNFs) to allow operators to speed the introduction of compelling new services with proven quality and performance.
Delivering both traditional and newly virtualised test capabilities, IxLoad delivers the high scale and realistic traffic loads needed to validate critical elements of virtualised wireless network performance, quality and elasticity. Through and beyond deployment, Ixia’s visibility architecture and Phantom virtualised monitoring Taps (vTaps) address new performance and security challenges created by migration.
While mobile operators agree on the need and vision for NFV, many struggle to fully understand the practical migration steps, quantify the benefits and measure success.
By offering the extended IxLoad solution with virtual network function features, Ixia enables mobile operators to accelerate NFV within their networks to speed new service introduction, increase network and service agility, simplify network management and optimisation and improve the economics of service delivery.
Additional benefits include:
• Optimising virtual networks with a repeatable, large-scale validation approach that accurately mirrors real-world environments to helps ensure network resiliency and performance.
• Scaling to simulate millions of subscribers in order to assess Quality of Service (QoS) and policy control with the highest load-test capacity (hundreds of gigabits of fully stateful traffic).
• Assigning critical Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics for voice, video, web and data applications. Actionable measurements including throughput, capacity, packet loss, latency, jitter, handovers, connection rates, and MOS scores for voice/video quality.
In conjunction with the new product announcement, virtualisation test experts at Ixia have published a first-of-its-kind ebook, Demystifying NFV: A Definitive Guide to Successful Migrations. This new resource draws on Ixia’s rich history of enabling mobile operators to validate next-generation wireless networks, and features strategies and test cases that help carriers validate that goals for mobile network virtualisation are both achievable and ultimately realised.
• Roadmaps for replacing current network architectures and moving from purpose-built physical devices to a virtualised, software-controlled network.
• Metrics for knowing with certainty that migrations were successful and investments in virtualisation justified.
• Test cases for ensuring the virtualised network delivers the performance, resiliency, security, elasticity and QoE needed to satisfy mobile customers.
“There is very strong interest in NFV from telecom network operators that want to build more flexible networks that are easier to configure and faster to evolve,” said Gabriel Brown, senior analyst at Heavy Reading.
“However, operators need the tools to accurately model, trouble-shoot, and test the behavior of virtualised network functions across the life-cycle of a service or deployment. The availability and maturity of these tools is critical to the broad adoption of NFV.”
“Virtualisation won’t happen with the flip of a switch, it’s a major challenge for operators. Blended networks, consisting of both physical and virtual components, will exist for some time to come,” said Joe Zeto, senior director, product marketing at Ixia.
“In displacing vital network functions — putting user satisfaction at risk — the practical steps and impact must be fully understood each step of the way. A mix of physical and virtual assessment capabilities are required and a key ingredient to fully validate success.”