UNH-IOL Sets Up SDN Test Consortium

With a facility already brimming with switches from the likes of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise , the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (IOL) announced a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Consortium that will perform controller and switch interoperability, conformance and benchmark testing.

UNH-IOL has established itself as a reliable third-party provider of test services, working with the Broadband Forum the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) , Open Networking Foundation , Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. , NIST and other organizations, testing everything from 40G/100G Ethernet to IPv6 to LoRA Wireless -- part of the reason why it already has such a conglomeration of switches and controllers available for SDN testing. Through work on service provider standards, the organization also has a full collection of specialized equipment, including DSLAMs and CMTSs.

Several vendors have expressed interest in maintaining a testbed for SDN and NFV testing, which is all the impetus the organization needed to propose a formal consortium, according to Timothy Winters, UNH-IOL senior executive, software and IP Networking, speaking in a web-based press conference today.

The SDN Consortium will initially focus on three specific use cases:

IoT -- UNH-IOL has already worked with one service provider on virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE).

SDN WAN -- As note, the lab is already working with switch vendors. There is interest in investigating if segment routing can replace MPLS.

NFV -- The lab is likely to continue collaborating with OPNFV in this area, Winters said.

The organization has participated in projects in the NFV testing area, for example, helping plan the OPNFV plugfest held at CableLabs . Winters said the Consortium is open to hosting SDN plugfests, but it does not have any intention of creating conflicts with other similar events. (See CableLabs Sets Up NFV Interop Lab.)