Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA), the leading global provider of converged IP and wireless network test solutions, announced today the industry's first off-the-shelf, standards-based OpenFlow test solution. The company's IxNetwork and IxANVL test solutions now enable OpenFlow protocol emulation with integrated network traffic and offer a suite of OpenFlow compliance tests. The OpenFlow communications protocol brings network simplification by centralizing access to switch and router forwarding planes. Ixia's test solutions enable network equipment manufacturers, service providers, and enterprises implementing this promising new technology to verify protocol conformance and tune network designs before deployment. The solution will be demonstrated publically May 8-10 at Interop Las Vegas in Ixia's booth #1262 and Ixia will participate in the InteropNet OpenFlow Lab.
OpenFlow-enabled networks open up many possibilities for development through software defined networking (SDN), where the network control plane is accessible through an application programming interface (API). This area is gaining a lot of momentum as large enterprise such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo seek the vendor-neutral network programmability enabled by decoupling their control- and data-planes.
Ixia's OpenFlow test capabilities include OpenFlow emulation in IxNetwork and an OpenFlow conformance test suite in IxANVL. Leveraging its hardware-based traffic generation with new control-plane capability, IxNetwork can now emulate an OpenFlow controller to modify flow table entries and then generate traffic to test the forwarding. For testing switch protocol conformance, IxANVL will have a new suite of OpenFlow v1.0 testing that includes testing cases for Open Networking Foundation (ONF) certification in alignment with the OF-Test 1.0 specification that is currently being finalized. Protocol conformance is important to not only ensure compatibility in a multi-vendor environment, but to pursue ONF certification.
Development of the OpenFlow standard is managed by the ONF. The OpenFlow protocol has found its way into many vendors' physical Ethernet routers and switches, virtual switches, and access points and continues to evolve under the guidance of the ONF.
Ixia is the Chair for the Testing-Interop Working Group, which planned and managed the first ever ONF interoperability event last month at Ixia's iSimCity lab in Santa Clara, CA. This event was open to all ONF member companies and focused on the v1.0 standard. The white paper and technical document will be available on the ONF opennetworking.org website.
"Testing tools are critical to helping to ensure protocol conformance and optimal performance," said Dan Pitt Executive Director at ONF. "ONF member companies continually strive to ensure that their customers have access to products that keep pace with innovative new technologies and standards."
"Ixia's commitment to open standards will help accelerate the adoption of SDN and creation of innovative solutions by ensuring high conformance to the OpenFlow protocol," said Isabelle Guis, Vice President of Outbound Marketing at Big Switch Networks. "This is part of Big Switch Networks' open SDN architecture and we are excited to participate in a demonstration of OpenFlow-enabled technology in Ixia's Interop booth."
"OpenFlow is an exciting new lower-layer technology that enables software-defined networking and will cause significant change the way networks are controlled," said Michael Haugh, Senior Product Line Manager, at Ixia. "As operators implement OpenFlow, they'll need test tools like Ixia's to validate their hybrid networks, ensuring a smooth transition to SDN."
See an OpenFlow demonstration at Interop 2012, Las Vegas in Ixia's booth #1262 and at the InteropNet OpenFlow Lab
Further information on OpenFlow: https://www.opennetworking.org/standards/open-flow
Ixia blog article "OpenFlow - a common thread among competing switches and routers": http://blogs.ixiacom.com/ixia-blog/openflow-%E2%80%93-common-thread-among-competing-switches-and-routers
Video "ONF OpenFlow Interoperability Test Event at iSimCity": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rPa41CAisk
Ixia enterprise data center web page: http://www.ixiacom.com/solutions/enterprise/data_center/index.php