LIVE FROM OPERATIONS TRANSFORMATION FORUM 2017, HONG KONG: Huawei unveiled TestCraft, a testing-as-a-service (TaaS) product designed for SDN and NFV, which it said will help cut costs and accelerate the development of new business models.
Liu Zhusheng, Solution System Architect, C&ITS, Global Technical Services, Huawei, explained operators’ testing requirements are growing as they deploy cloud architectures using equipment from multiple vendors and covering several domains and interfaces.
Such deployments increase the complexity of testing for reliability, performance and security, necessitating the use of an automated system to avoid huge costs associated with conducting such trials manually.
TestCraft provides a variety of automated test models and professional services to offset those challenges and costs, Liu explained during a press briefing at Operations Transformation Forum in Hong Kong.
The system is centred around four elements, or dimensions: full network functions and service coverage; multiple test domains for carrier grade quality; service lifecycle support; and automation and agility.
TaaS should provide complete testing covering network modules, functions and services, Liu explained. Testing should also be considered from the concept phase of developing new services, and be “seamlessly integrated with all of these lifecycle service processes”.
The automation and agility aspect is a key element because it is the dimension “focused on executing all this test activity automatically and easily”, Liu noted.
TestCraft also provides open access to test catalogues – a library of use cases based on Huawei’s experience of working with operators, SDN and NFV. “The repository of the tests available we identified from our global knowledge and best practice of ICT,” Liu explained, noting the catalogues build on knowledge gained in more than 200 reference projects.
While Huawei designed the test system to be an open platform, Liu noted the company ensured it complied with standards from organisations including ETSI, OpenNFV and 3GPP when designing the system.
Liu said TestCraft is available in three modes to meet the different requirements of global operators.
TaaS on premise sees Huawei deploy the system in operators’ own sites, enabling them to conduct tests in a secure environment with full monitoring and supervision capabilities. TestCraft can also be deployed in Huawei’s cloud with full “integration with our customers’ test beds”, or operators can simply send their requirements to the company, which will then mirror the carrier network “on a large scale”.
In the long term, TestCraft will evolve to offer continuous testing and enable the introduction of a DevOps model for telco integration and operations. Liu said this evolution path offers the potential to reduce the time taken to bring new services to market by up to 30 per cent.