UNH-IOL launches SDN interoperability consortium

The University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Lab has launched a new consortium focused on testing elements and applications in software-defined networks.

UNH-IOL will support SDN interoperability testing between controllers and switches, conformance and performance testing when the consortium officially opens on Aug. 1. The testing group recently moved into a new, 28,000-square-foot space and already has an extensive SDN switch testbed including OpenFlow, NetConf, RestConf and others. UNH-IOL said that at this stage in SDN market development, stakeholders from controller and switch vendors to data centers, app vendors and service providers all need the ability to assess an SDN controllers “adherence to industry standards and expectations, the number of connections it can support, and its speed and functionality.” The testbed will support both direct and remote access for testing.

Timothy Winters, senior executive for software and IP networking at UNH-IOL, said during a press event that as networks become more software-centric to meet agility demands, multivendor SDN requires careful attention to interoperability between network elements.

“One vendor ruling your whole network is not realistic, and probably not possible,” he said.

Interoperability testing will be available immediately, and conformance and benchmarking will be available on request. Winters said that UNH-IOL will be working with Spirent Communications and Ixia for developing performance test solutions at scale, both to create test cases as well as relying on the companies’ equipment.