Keysight Elastic Network Generator facilitates collaborative and flexible network continuous validation

Keysight Technologies has introduced a first in its class advancement in network testing with the new Keysight Elastic Network Generator (KENG) software – an agile, composable network test platform based on open vendor-neutral API and designed for continuous integration (CI).

Keysight Elastic Network Generator

While traditional networking environments often rely on proprietary testing solutions, closed test systems create challenges for engineers and network architects since they operate in isolation, lack interoperability, and flexibility. This lack of compatibility makes it difficult for devices and technologies from different companies to communicate seamlessly, which slows innovation and limits adaptability to the growing demands of highly distributed modern applications.

In response to these challenges, Keysight founded the vendor-neutral Open Traffic Generator (OTG) API project to transform network infrastructure testing and address the demand for an automation-friendly, open and intent-based testing approach. The OTG project enables cross-industry co-design of test suites in open networking projects such as OpenConfig, SAI, SONiC, SONiC-DASH, and DENT.

The KENG software supports the OTG API, integrates with several network emulation platforms, and drives a range of Keysight network infrastructure test software and hardware products. This includes containerized Ixia-c software and the new white box composable UHD400T line-rate 400GE traffic generator.

The Keysight Elastic Network Generator software:

  • Introduces a ‘Compliance as a Code’ workflow – Simplifies compliance testing, ensuring seamless vendor equipment qualification and interoperability.
  • Offers adaptability and can run in any containerized environment – Allows the same tests to be run in various environments including developer laptops, software pipelines in public / private clouds, certification labs, as well as data center and edge locations to facilitate collaborative multi-vendor testing.
  • Incorporates test cases from the field into the development cycle – Improves quality and avoids costly, repetitive design and test issues.
  • Enables write a test once and run it anywhere capabilities – Reduces the time-to-test and provides a more agile developer and tester user experience.
  • Accelerates network validation – Minimizes the need to use real network hardware to replicate physical network topologies in a lab.

To lower the barriers in adopting the OTG API in NetDevOps workflows, Keysight offers a community edition of its Elastic Network Generator, which is capable of emulating border gateway protocol (BGP) sessions and software traffic generator capabilities with complex patterns. The community edition serves as an entry point to introduce network testing to the CI/CD workflow in enterprise and service provider networks, ensuring robust control and data plane validation.

Roman Dodin, Product Line Manager, Nokia, said: “Keysight Elastic Network Generator software brings new network validation capabilities previously available only in large hardware labs into the thriving Containerlab ecosystem. Containerlab users can now enable their software testbeds with Open Traffic Generator APIs to perform comprehensive functional testing of control plane protocols and customize traffic patterns like never before. Our collaboration with Keysight makes network testing more accessible through Containerlab and unlocks the full potential of CI/CD for network automation.”

Leonid Khedyk, CTO, PLVision, said: “PLvision is collaborating with Keysight in various open networking projects and used Open Traffic Generator to automate tests for such projects. It is great to see that users can start building software testbeds with OTG implementations like Ixia-c and carry the same test scripts to hardware traffic generators with Keysight Elastic Network Generator.”

“Keysight Elastic Network Generator software represents a significant departure from the legacy black-box approach. Our new solution seamlessly provides test coverage across the entire life cycle of network functions or services. Its open, disaggregated and API-first design has been field tested and proven to be ideal for modern DevOps,” Ram Periakaruppan, VP and GM, Network Test & Security Solutions, Keysight, concluded.

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