NES: Towards lifecycle automation for emulation-based experimentation

Fantom, Will and Davies, Eleanor and Rotsos, Charalampos and Veitch, Paul and Cassidy, Stephen and Race, Nicholas (2023) NES: Towards lifecycle automation for emulation-based experimentation. In: IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium :. UNSPECIFIED, Miami, United States. (In Press)

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Network softwarization has revitalized the interest of the network community towards emulation as an effective mechanism for network experimentation. Relevant platforms automate the deployment of virtual network topologies on a host, providing users the ability to manually run experimental scenarios. Whilst this may suit prototyping, modern development and deployment practices such as CI/CD depend on fully automated testing processes, built around high-level testing APIs and abstracting the challenges involved with synchronizing complex node interaction scenarios. In this paper, we present Network Emulation System (NES): a cloud-native, and highly parallelizable Network Emulation as a Service (NEaaS) platform designed from the ground up to facilitate codeless experiment specification and to automate network testing workflows in cloud CI/CD environments. We demonstrate that NES offers a 8x speed-up improvement in topology instantiation times in comparison to existing emulation platforms, and its life-cycle model can automate testing processes for complex service configurations using existing CI/CD platforms such as GitHub Actions.

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31 Jan 2023 10:25
In Press
Last Modified:
14 May 2024 02:53