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Intent Based Testing in a Multi-Vendor Environment

Service Providers and Enterprises (SP/E) are facing increasing complexities with multi-user and multi-tenant environments, including utilization of multiple tools to deploy, manage, test and validate systems, network elements and resources. Our industry is focusing on orchestrating the delivery of the services, but as the complexity builds it is apparent that an automated solution is warranted to enable network operators to efficiently and effectively test services.

Summary

A prime example of automation bringing improvement is in inspecting the Physical, Data, Network and Transport protocol layers (Layers 1 through 4). When performing these inspections, operators execute repetitive tasks to validate facilities and elements meet standard service conditions.

Through automation, these monotonous tasks can be performed quickly: reducing error-prone manual configuration testing and reducing time-to-deliver services and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) for problem resolutions.

Automating testing processes helps operators identify service-affecting issues quickly and prompts either a manual or automated resolution based on the criteria.

The MSActivatorTM provides the automation required to improve service delivery, reduce time-to-deliver, and drastically reduce OpEx costs. Additionally, Intent-Based Testing (IBT) can be realized for the entire OSI Reference Model (Layers 1 through 7)where testing is planned, designed and implemented for agility.

Sample Layer Testing Implementation:

Testing

Challenges

Service Providers and Enterprises have utilized multiple testing and measurement tools to inspect diverse facilities and hardware offered to provide services. This mix of testing and measurement tools is driven by the lack of automation or orchestration tools to manage multi-vendor, multi-tenant environments. Traditionally, this entails using appliance-specific management tools to configure desired parameters based on specific services. Establishing the appropriate management tool(s), constructing the tests required for the various systems and configuring these elements is labor intensive and can delay time-of-delivery of services. Moreover, choosing multiple parameters based on offered services can incur setup errors when manually configuring the test(s) or service(s) required. Complications also arise when provisioning load increase spurred by customer demands and maintenance load increases that affect overall customer service.

Automation of many or the entire provisioning and maintenance testing process can assist SP/Es in solving the issues associated with utilizing vendor-specific portals, vendor-specific configurations for testing, setting up the facilities/systems/elements, and analyzing test results. Having an interface that provides a “single pane view” (one interface that interacts with and controls some or all elements) enables operators to effectively manage the automated testing process - regardless of the type of vendor or testing parameters. Orchestrating configurations provides an agile delivery of services, reduced mean-time-to-repair (MTTR), safeguarded Service Level Agreements (SLA) and reduced OpEx through elimination of errors.

Why the MSActivator™?

The MSActivator™ is a holistic solution to the challenges in network/security testing that uses an intent-based testing approach, an agile abstraction, and converts vendor-specific languages to expose unified API. The MSActivator™ takes care of provisioning/creation, activation, configuration and assurance of devices and services.

With this framework, MSActivator™ provides network engineers with a single, simplified UI through which they can define and s run any suite of tests their network and devices are capable of supporting. With all their devices in one place, network operators can arrange tests and corresponding actions based on the assigned user/group of a device, which means a single test set up can be applied to a single user or across a SP/Es entire customer base.

In many cases the MSActivator™ gets information directly from the device, which means less operator error.

Using the Intent Based-Testing offered by the MSActivatorTM, operators can implement actions to be taken automatically based on alerts, triggers, or logged events, which finally gets network operators out of fire-fighting, reactionary fixes, and lets them look forward at how to continue to increase security and up-time of the network. Through automated testing and orchestrated actions, operators can use the simplified, customizable visual displays to track key metrics across users/groups, implement new tests according to the data, and help ensure services perform as expected, every time.

Products

The MSActivator™ makes automation easy for both Service Providers and Enterprises

  • msp-blue

    MSActivator™ for Service Providers

    Replace your legacy, rigid and costly OSS stack with an agile, devops enabled, service orchestration solution fit for your SDN/NVF migration.

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  • me-blue

    MSActivator™ for Enterprises

    Solve the multi-vendor and hybrid network and security management problems exacerbated by the insertion of SDN and virtualization.s

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