Emblasoft Evolver enables continuous delivery, innovation, and testing to ensure service differentiation
Continuous innovation and service differentiation require the testing and validation of software iterations throughout the entire lifecycle of the service or service chains. Emblasoft Evolver and Active Monitoring enables CI / CD/ CT processes that can assure the performance of new services from start to finish.
Service innovation and differentiation will be the key ingredients for success for operators and service providers in the 5G era. 5G is a significant evolution from legacy networks and will support multiple new use cases and services, as well as network slicing for enterprises, which will require continual monitoring of KPIs and SLAs, and the flexibility to introduce or retire new services as required, each with specific performance parameters.
Dynamic orchestration of services and service chains, and network slices, will be a key feature of 5G networks. NFV, SDN, and network slicing enable the multiplexing of virtualised networks on a shared physical network to provide dedicated resources to single customers or service chains.
However, this requires a completely new approach to service validation and assurance – with automated active assurance, backed by continuous testing to match continuous delivery cycles.
The requirement for flexibility and innovation relies on the adoption of DevOps practices with a focus on continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous testing (CI/CD/CT). Operators and service providers will need to constantly improve existing services and launch new ones to remain competitively differentiated. Each iteration or new service chain will then need to be rigorously tested and validated pre- and post-launch to ensure optimum QoS.
What is CI/CD/CT?
DevOps is an enterprise-wide, cultural approach to the end-to-end development of software – from design to customer satisfaction. DevOps embraces continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD), and continuous testing (CT). CI/CD enables development teams to release incremental code changes quickly and frequently.
CI enables code changes to be regularly created, tested, and merged to a shared repository to avoid conflicts. Continuous delivery (CD) is the next stage and enables the deployment of code changes to a testing environment and/or production environment in short development cycles.
Continuous testing (CT) is the final stage in the process. Test early. Test often. Test Everywhere. Automate. CT requires the automated testing of new code at every stage of the software development lifecycle. It provides immediate feedback on business risks by exposing software issues early and before they are passed on to the customer or end user.
This repeatable approach to producing software in short cycles allows organisations to reliably improve and release software on a ‘continuous’ basis, reducing the cost, time and risk of delivering incremental software changes and launching new services.
Ensuring QoS from pre- to post-launch
Ensuring high quality of service (QoS) requires pre-launch testing and validation, as well as in-service, real-time, end-to-end monitoring of application performance (to meet SLAs) over the entire lifecycle of the service, from launch to retirement.
It means that any testing solution must be able to provide node isolation by emulating the complete 5G network, including the generation of massive traffic load. It must also be able to run a wide range of test cases and scenarios, and model realistic traffic and user behaviour under different conditions. How can this be done?
Emblasoft provides an automated solution for testing any number of different traffic scenarios, from one agent to millions. Unlike most other solutions, Emblasoft’s comprehensive test and validation platform can perform and automate tests over multiple protocols for the control and user plane, from the 4G and 5G mobile core to the applications they enable including (but not limited to) MSRP, SIP, HTTP, and RTP, simultaneously.
Evolver also enables node-specific testing for different nodes in isolation – such as the AMF, SMF, AUSF, PCF, and UDM. End-to-end characteristics of the complete 5G core can also be tested – for service chains, users, protocols, and network slices, for example.
Remote agents emulate user equipment and QoS throughout the network
During the CI and CD phase of software development, Evolver can be used to deploy remote agents throughout an emulated network, which allows the remote deployment, configuration, and execution of any traffic scenario from the perspective of an end user, such as QoS.
Agents can be run continuously, or ad hoc to suit requirements – meeting the challenge of the CI/CD lifecycle. Integration with external systems also allows tests to be triggered from other workflows and processes, bringing new levels of automation to test processes.
Emblasoft also enables the CT aspect, post-launch. Emblasoft’s solution also deploys remote software agents into live networks to mimic UE. These agents then participate in real services and interact with delivery components and enable the collection of real-time data on performance and QoE.
These distributed, automated, active monitoring agents generate real traffic to capture multiple KPIs across differentiated services and can be installed – dynamically, on-demand – in any network domain to generate real traffic sessions and measure QoS for differentiated services and applications.
Emblasoft offers multiple capabilities to support your CI/CD/CT processes:
- Precise KPI measurement – per service, per user and for 5G, 4G and 3G applications
- Dynamic agent activation, scalable to thousands
- Flexible scenario creation and libraries
- Reduced cost and footprint vs passive probes
- For encrypted traffic sessions
- Centralised management and control
- Integration with automation, workflows and third-party systems.
Our solution enables operators and service providers to continuously validate and verify QoS-enabled services and applications through the deployment of remote test agents on an end-to-end basis. To find out more, contact us today, or learn more about our DevOps approach by downloading our paper, here.