M.Peuster et al., “Introducing Automated Verification and Validation for Virtualized Network Functions and Services,” in EEE Communications Magazine, vol.57, no.5, pp. 96-102, May 2019.
Network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN) will transform network management and operation tasks into agile development tasks and software artefacts which are managed and deployed as composite services using DevOps principles. Those softwarised networks rely on complex technology stacks, starting with low-level virtualization technologies and ranging up to machine learning-based orchestration solutions. One of the main challenges in those environments is to verify that the deployed functions and services operate correctly and meet the quality goals, set by the stakeholders, before they are put to production.
We tackle this challenge by introducing the novel concept of a verification and validation (V&V) platform for NFV, which enables automatic testing and qualification of single network functions and complex services. By adding such a platform to the NFV ecosystem, new business models emerge as we discuss in this article. We evaluate our proposed concepts by presenting a case study that uses our open-source V&V platform to test a real-world network service.