The European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) hosted its first Millimetre Wave Transmission (mWT) Plugtests event from 21-24 January in Sophia Antipolis, France. The aim of the event was to trial SDN (Software Defined Networking) solutions for Microwave and Millimetre-wave transport applications and demonstrate interoperability of the Northbound Interface (NBI) of the SDN Domain Controllers of each participant, both at individual organization’s level and once they were all connected.
This was the first time such event concentrated on the advantages of using a standard Northbound Interface (NBI) based on the IETF Restconf protocol and extensive YANG Data Models library, including both general network and service level models, and the recent Microwave Topology Model. One key aspect of the test architecture design is the use of an API testing and development environment, that allows to clearly identify any implementation or standard interpretation issue down to the finest detail.
The ETSI FORGE platform was used to jointly develop and debug the test programs, so that in only 3 weeks before the live event all doubts and issues were identified and solved. This offline testing, in addition to the choice to interact only at NBI level, enabled them to achieve 100% interoperability in record time. These outstanding results impressed the 4 global operators who were part of the attendees. Participants also comprised 7 manufacturers, representing 90% of the market solution providers around the world, including Asia and Europe, giving the Plugtests a large market acceptance.
A clearly defined NBI based on the vast library of IETF Data Models and the Restconf protocol allows to quickly achieve complete interoperability, without need of extensive and extremely resource-intensive prior interoperability testing among any combination of Domain Controller implementations. This allows not only orders of magnitude cost savings, but also ensures extreme ease and speed of development and convergence. Indeed, the actual time required to complete all the testing took less than half the time that was expected, based on other experiences.