The IOL has been a key player for the Open Networking community, hosting plugfests to allow for the testing of whitebox switches. During these plugfests, companies bring their whitebox switches into the lab to determine whether or not they are interoperable with a variety of Network Operating Systems and pluggable modules. After a series of dry run test events in 2015, the first Open Networking plugfest was held in September 2015. Following this event, the lab published the Open Network Integrator’s List. This list consists of devices that have passed testing for Open Networking standards and have demonstrated some level of interoperability. The purpose of the list is to act as a starting point for engineers working to create data center solutions. Knowing which hardware and/or softwares are interoperable will build confidence and expedite the process of building a complete solution.
In order to help other industry members understand the testing that goes into creating this list, the IOL has published a white paper describing the Open Networking testing. The support for the IOL Open Networking effort is growing and the new people getting involved can use this white paper to “catch up on the test plan,” according to Senior Engineer, Datacenter Technologies, David Woolf. Woolf also authored the whitepaper, along with undergraduate IOL student Daniel Gray and UNH Innovations engineer Christina Dube. Woolf states that this white paper will act as a guide to those who read it, stating that it “will help people understand the purpose and thinking behind the Open Networking Layer 1 Test plan that we use as part of our Open Networking Integrators List testing.” Basically, this white paper will act as a resource to help others understand the Open Networking testing that is performed by the IOL.
Undergraduate student and co-author Daniel Gray was responsible for focusing on the physical layer testing for Direct Attach Cables, Active Optical Cables, Optical Transceivers and Host devices. His contributions will provide a more detailed explanations of these tests than the test plan itself. Gray is grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the white paper, stating that “it has allowed me to convey what we do here at the lab to the industry.” In addition, he is happy to add another impressive project to his resume thanks to the IOL.
The Open Networking Integrators list will continue to grow as the IOL has another plugfest scheduled for May 2nd - 6th. During this event, more hardware and software will be tested in the hopes of making it onto the list. An updated version of the list will be provided following the plugfest.