Interoperability is all about connectivity so your solution/product can work with other products or systems today and into the future. I’ve talked quite a bit about the importance of following NETCONF and YANG best practices and ensuring you are testing for interoperability in order to do programmability right. At the end of the day, we can make all the programmable devices we want, but if they don’t interact with orchestrators and controllers or follow the standards properly implementing programmability best practices, it is going to be worthless. To be the best-connected solution, it must be interoperable with everything else in the network.
To do programmability right, you must invest not only in the right solution, but you must do testing to prove the results. I recently blogged about the “Proof being in the programmability testing.” This has to include NETCONF & YANG Automation Testing. The good news is that this is a free program for Network Element Providers (NEPs) to help determine whether your device has implemented NETCONF and YANG properly.
With this said, in order to compete, you need to ensure your equipment works in any environment and is interoperable in today’s multi-vendor environments. Of course, it would be nice to have a single vendor network, but that isn’t possible anymore. So, having devices that communicate and work together in order to achieve the purposes of the customer needs is the business objective of all equipment providers. Interoperability testing not only makes sure the technology is right but also ensures you are delivering what is needed.
NEPs can also join our free NETCONF & YANG Automation Testing program. It is easy to join and provides you with instructions and technical support to perform NETCONF and YANG interoperability and automation best practices testing. You can use our testing solution to help get there. But understand this is only the first step in the process.
You must also test the interoperability of your device working with other vendors. One powerful way to do this is to participate in the EANTC MPLS SDN Multi-Vendor Interoperability Test Event 2021. This event has been a must participate for several years to test the various network elements and devices against other vendor solutions.
The EANTC event includes vendors that cooperate to design real-world use case test scenarios and pro-actively reach out to other vendors to work together and implement test cases which tend to focus on Service Provider use cases. Normally, the participating vendors gather together for two weeks of what is called “hot staging” in Berlin, to work together to test, tweak, and actually run the test cases. However, due to the global pandemic, the hot staging event was held virtually this year and maybe next year as well. This is the perfect opportunity to get in and do NETCONF and YANG multi-vendor interoperability testing.
Those that participate gain insights and powerful feedback to ensure their equipment meets and exceeds the market’s needs/demands. Also, those that participate in the event appear in the published results and are included in all the marketing to highlight your solution and how it fared in the testing. I should note that EANTC only publishes positive results as vendors quickly address and resolve any negative findings.
Right now, EANTC is starting the process for the next round of multi-vendor interop testing and you can get involved early to ensure your spot and opportunity. If you need a better understanding of what EANTC interop testing consists of, please, read my blog post from October of last year on this topic.
Get involved now; not only to prove your solutions interoperability but also to highlight how well you are meeting the market’s needs. By participating in both the NETCONF & YANG Automation Testing program and the EANTC multi-vendor interoperability testing, your solution and customers will benefit. Learn how to get involved with the EANTC multi-vendor interop testing here.