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FTAS 2.0: Enabling Customer Driven Quality Standards for Multi-Vendor SONiC Deployments

The Importance of Quality Standardization in Community SONiC Based Networks

While traditional network deployments rely on proprietary solutions from switch vendors for quality assurance, the shift towards community SONiC presents a challenge: maintaining high-quality standards without turning SONiC into a proprietary system. The solution? FTAS (Fabric Test Automation Suite).

FTAS empowers customers to manage the diversity of community SONiC with a simple, one-click quality check. It enables data centers to transition to Community SONiC confidently, ensuring that any vendor’s switch aligns perfectly with their specific requirements through standardized and automated FATS test cases.

The evolution of FTAS from its initial focus on a few vendors and use cases to the more comprehensive FTAS 2.0 highlights our commitment to expanding support and adapting to a wider range of customer needs. This advancement underscores our dedication to fostering standardized quality assurance in the Community SONiC ecosystem.

FTAS (Fabric Test Automation Suite) Overview

Overview of Aviz Networks’ Fabric Test Automation Suite (FTAS)

Four-device topology for testing scenarios in FTAS

The Fabric Test Automation Suite by Aviz Networks is a groundbreaking testing solution, combining the consistency of SONiC’s CLI with advanced testing methodologies. It represents a significant advancement in switch testing, catering to the complex demands of modern network fabrics with a commitment to quality and performance. Following are a few innovations we have done with FTAS.

  • Comprehensive Testing: Using SONiC CLI: FTAS leverages the uniformity of SONiC’s Command Line Interface across various vendors, enabling extensive and thorough testing of switch functionalities. This ensures a robust validation of core switch operations within complex network infrastructures.
  • Integration with Jenkins for CI/CD Testing: The suite is compatible with Jenkins, facilitating a ready-to-use Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline tailored for Network Development Operations (NetDevOps). It supports testing on both physical switches and GNS3-based virtual appliances, enhancing its versatility as a true virtual system.
  • In-depth Fabric Analysis: FTAS is specifically designed for detailed analysis of switch behavior within network fabrics. It uses SONiC’s consistent CLI to explore and understand intricate fabric interactions, highlighting the suite’s capability for detailed network scrutiny.
  • Tailored for Modern Network Needs: The suite is developed with a focus on the evolving requirements of contemporary networks. It offers a flexible and adaptable toolset, poised to address the dynamic nature of modern network technology landscapes.
  • Focus on Performance, Reliability, and Scalability: Aviz Networks has a clear mission with FTAS – to enhance network performance, reliability, and scalability through rigorous and comprehensive testing. This focus ensures networks are not just meeting but exceeding performance expectations.
  • Commitment to On-going Excellence: FTAS embodies Aviz Networks’ dedication to providing high-quality testing solutions. It ensures optimal network performance and resilience, showcasing the company’s commitment to excellence in network testing.

Optimizing Test Cases and Quality Quest Across the Entire SONiC Ecosystem with Major Vendors

Open Networking Experience (ONE Center): SONiC evaluation sandbox for diverse hardware.

Aviz Networks has always taken an inclusive and comprehensive approach working with all of our partners. Community comes with diversity and with that it comes with a lot of heavy lifting which is required to do normalization for complex test cases. Below is the high level process we used to achieve a standardized test suite which can now work on all the vendors registered in ONE center, and hence available for customers to to POC or setup a CI/CD lab of their own and start on NetDevOps journey.

  • Selective Test Case Automation: The team at Aviz Networks embarked on an automation journey, carefully selecting key test cases for automation. This selection process was thorough, ensuring that the chosen test cases were crucial for the automation objectives – typically selected by high value customer use cases.
  • Rigorous Cross-Platform Testing: The automated test cases were subjected to intensive testing across various platforms available in the Aviz lab. This included a range of platforms from industry leaders such as Cisco, NVIDIA, Edgecore, Wistron, and others, ensuring a comprehensive testing process.
  • Platform Independent (PI) Test Suite: A significant number of these test cases were identified as platform-independent. They demonstrated consistent behavior across all tested platforms. These were grouped into the Platform Independent suite, making them versatile for execution on any platform within the ecosystem.
  • Identification of Platform Dependent (PD) Test Cases: Some test cases showed variations in behavior across different platforms. This was due to differences in the outputs of show commands or the support of different feature sets by various switches. These test cases were categorized as Platform Dependent, acknowledging their specific applicability to certain platforms.

In summary, the optimization of test cases across the SONiC ecosystem at Aviz Networks involved a strategic selection and categorization of test cases, ensuring effective automation across a wide range of platforms. This process led to the creation of both Platform Independent and Platform Dependent test suites, accommodating the diverse nature of the testing environment and the specific characteristics of different platforms.

Customer Guide to Accessing and Using FTAS

FTAS serves a dual role, catering to both switch vendors and end customers with its versatile applications. It’s a dynamic tool, continuously evolving to incorporate the latest in SONiC community developments.

For Switch Vendors

  • R&D and Product Development: Utilized in the research and development phase, FTAS aids in crafting high-quality SONiC solutions.

For End Customers

  • Proof of Concept (POC) Testing: As a subscription service, it enables end customers to conduct POCs. This facilitates testing of multi-vendor SONiC solutions, helping in informed decision-making regarding vendor selection.
  • CI/CD Lab Management: FTAS is also instrumental in managing Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) labs, streamlining NetDevOps processes for efficient SONiC deployment.

Continuous Enhancement

FTAS is not static; it’s a ‘living entity’ that regularly integrates new use cases, platforms, and updates from the SONiC community. This ensures users always have access to the most advanced and comprehensive tools available.

If you are looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-use testing solution for your SONiC network, then FTAS is the perfect option for you. For more detailed information about the supported suites and their configurations, visit: FTAS Test Suite Configuration


FTAS Reporting Mechanism: Delivering Comprehensive Test Insights

Test Execution report- user-friendly HTML format with detailed test results and logs for transparent and efficient testing experience
Overview of the FTAS Test Results – Execution Report

The Next Level of Testing: Introducing FTAS 2.0 and its Exciting Features

Working with customers and partners, we focused on below three items in FTAS release 2.0: 

  • Making it more robust for the existing use cases and adding new test cases as per new customers
  • Adding more platforms for higher speeds and feeds and also new ASICs/Platforms
  • Making the test cases more flexible so custom test cases can be executed

Detailed list for 2.0 release can be found here

Conclusion

FTAS is an invaluable asset for corporations exploring SONiC or switch vendors seeking enhanced support. It revolutionizes testing by offering comprehensive coverage with reduced effort and expense. By eliminating the need for extensive teams, complex test planning, and manual execution, FTAS streamlines the testing process. It ensures accurate, efficient outcomes at a fraction of the traditional cost and effort.

Ready to explore? Book a demo with us on FTAS, and how it works?

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