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Software Defined Networking Test Harness


Software-defined networking (SDN) is gaining acceptance as a transformative network concept despite the challenges in implementation due to issues related to standardization, interoperability, and accelerated testing capability. Concurrently, there is also an astronomical increase in use cases for virtualization and software defined network techniques among telecom equipment vendors and service providers, especially in the telco cloud eco system.


An SDN test framework that enables accelerated testing for protocol conformance to various standards and a shorter go-to-market time is today an industry imperative.


The SDN Test Harness is a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) offering that provides a web-based, multi-user, multi-DUT (device under test) integrated framework that enables single-seat protocol specifications, infrastructure automation, and end-to-end use case verification. Our SDN Test Harness promises accelerated regression and new protocol specification conformance that enhance the network's capabilities to meet the overarching demands for greater network scalability, speed, and resilience.

The telecom cloud eco-system faces significant churn due to the heterogeneous nature of SDN controllers and the emergence of new protocols and specifications. In this eco-system, what is required is a protocol conformance framework for new specifications and for multi-vendor SDN switches that also support regression tests.

TCS SDN Test Harness addresses these needs by extending a single seat framework that enables protocol conformance, testing of infrastructure automation use cases, and end-to-end user-story testing and execution as applicable to an SDN network.

Our Solution

TCS SDN Test Harness is a web-based multi-user, multi-DUT integrated framework enabling single-seat protocol specifications (such as OpenFlow, OpFlex, onePK), infrastructure automation (through the use of applications such as Puppet and Chef, and programming languages such as Python), and use case verification (SDN apps on SDN Controllers, SDN Controller test cases, and so on). The extendable framework allows integration with open-source or vendor-specific frameworks, and also enables automation and configuration.  

Our scalable solution conforms to OpenFlow, and includes test scenarios inclusive of actions, containers, and matches with actions (VLAN, L3/L4 headers); counter verification; packet in and packet out; insertion or modification of data flows; and so on. It is integrated to traffic emulation components and can also be integrated to third-party traffic generators. It supports end-to-end use case verification through integration with open-source or vendor-specific SDN Controllers via north-bound APIs. Test suite progress tracking, failure or error scenarios, and report generation support the delivery of data validation and reporting requirements.


This solution offers telecom equipment vendors and telecom service providers several benefits that include:

  • Accelerated protocol conformance and reduced testing time: The framework supports accelerated regression and conformance with new protocols, and leverages a single-pane integrated SDN harness, to reduce the testing time from an average of three weeks to a mere two days (once the specifications are scripted).
  • Infrastructure automation testing: The framework enables testing of infrastructure automation use cases, as well as service provider use cases.
  • End-to-end user story testing and execution: TCS’ solution provides a platform to test end-to-end user stories applicable to SDN networks, including multivendor networks. The test framework can be leveraged to demonstrate user stories to service providers in an SDN enabled network.
  • Reduced costs and improved business performance: Faster and more effective testing through the SDN test harness will also contribute to reduced testing costs and higher product quality and customer satisfaction.

The TCS Advantage

The unique advantages of TCS SDN Test Harness include:

  • A single integrated test framework: The SDN test framework is a uniquely positioned web-based single seat, multi-user, and multi-DUT framework for SDN protocol conformance.
  • Traffic generator: An integrated traffic generator that emulates third-party hardware helps in accurate protocol verification with traffic.
  • Easy integration: An open interface supports easy integration to open-source or vendor-specific infrastructure automation frameworks.
  • Scalability: The SDN Test Harness is scalable to include end-to-end use-story verification for SDN networks (SDN apps and use cases applicable on SDN Controllers).
  • Product engineering experience: Our experience in SDN research and development enables accelerated turnaround and feature enhancements in meeting our clients’ SDN requirements. This experience is augmented by our Center of Excellence (that creates solutions around SDN and Virtualization) and contributions to open source telco cloud platforms for SDN Controllers (OpenDaylight) and Virtualization (OpenStack).

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