Rethinking Test Lab Automation for the Modern Age

In almost all aspects of IT, the pace of change and innovation has been astounding. However, one area stuck in the past is the test lab, where the lab infrastructure that connects the units being tested to expensive test equipment from the likes of Ixia and Spirent has not changed for decades. Organizations continue to deploy expensive test ports at every lab location and manually re-cable the lab every time a new test needs to be run. This introduces a number of issues and constraints – complexity of equipment connectivity, re-cabling, troubleshooting, scaling, underutilization of expensive test equipment and ultimately, slow test cycles that impact competitiveness. Reconfiguring the lab infrastructure has turned into the worst nightmare of the lab administrator and test engineer. A few companies have attacked this manual approach with custom L1 matrix switches. While this can certainly automate the test lab infrastructure, the expense is high and it is limited to a single lab site.

With advances in open networking software and programmability, there is a new way to automate, reconfigure, optimize and scale your lab infrastructure across multiple sites. Pluribus Networks Netvisor® ONE software and the Adaptive Cloud Fabric™ allow you to quickly build new topologies via  SDN control in a matter of minutes with visibility and troubleshooting built in, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional Layer 1 matrix switches. This open networking solution is the only software in the world that enables Layer 1 to be tunneled through a standard white box Ethernet switch so that any two ports across a single lab site or multiple lab sites can be stitched between any two ports. The benefits are that  it speeds lab reconfiguration for faster time to test while lowering the operational costs of manual cabling and capital costs by sharing test ports.

The Pluribus VirtualWire™ switch is a highly flexible, highly scalable physical layer non-blocking switching matrix powered by the Pluribus Netvisor OS. It is designed to build dynamic, high-performance lab connectivity with packet/application/link layer visibility. VirtualWire also allows storage of well-known physical configurations and reproduces them at will for subsequent testing. A powerful RESTful API integrates within existing management and orchestration tools.

Here is a short introductory video on Lab Automation that shows how easy it is to set up the test lab environment using Pluribus VirtualWire technology.

Pluribus VirtualWire Benefits

Also hear from World Wide Technology (WWT) on how they are using Pluribus VirtualWire technology to enable significant operational value and rapid ROI over legacy and first-generation SDN connectivity solutions.

At Pluribus Networks, we are focused on solving our customer problems and finding ways to help conserve time, maximize productivity, reduce costs, and eliminate errors associated with manual patching.

Learn more about the Test Lab Automation solution at https://www.pluribusnetworks.com/products/virtualwire/.

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About the Author

Jayesh Chokshi

Jay has over 15+ years of engineering, technical marketing and product management experience in the networking industry. Prior to joining Pluribus, Jay served as the Director of Product Management for several of Cisco’s Enterprise networking product lines, including the launch of the market leading and latest generation of ISRs - ISR4000 series and the virtualization platform ENCS5000 Series. His specialties include Enterprise and Managed Service Provider Networking solutions including SD-WAN, NFV, Data Center switching and Converged Infrastructure solutions. Jay is responsible for driving the Pluribus product/solutions portfolio and technical marketing and partner activities.