Where do I start with Network Lab Automation?
A Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) solution offers many compelling capabilities that make it ideal for a modern lab environment with a local and remote workforce including self-service, automation and orchestration, and frictionless governance. These capabilities empower users to gain secure access to infrastructure in a timely manner using a process that is repeatable and scalable without direct IT interaction. Additionally offering the ability to cut down on build time by solving the various bottlenecks involved in preparing a testbed, enabling automation directly into the test cases minimising any manual testbed setup, and securing a provisioning platform using authentication and security controls, such as role-based access control (RBAC).
The journey to a mature and reliable Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) implementation needs to start with coordinated steps and a clear vision of the goal, with an understanding that modifications and updates to the network are a natural part of a dynamic and what may seem to be a very static environment. While the core itself may be limited in its design and due to its compliance requirements, edge devices and test tools like traffic generators, network impairment, and analytics are deployed as deemed by the multitude of test cases needed per project.
Like any project, Lab Automation needs to be broken down into component parts, allowing you to budget and plan while having a long-term view of a functional and in-demand Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) environment. The most obvious starting point and the one with the highest ROI is to deploy a Layer 1 Switch. A Layer 1 switch automates physical cabling in the lab and production environment. They allow you to connect your lab infrastructure in a “wire-once” scenario, topologies are created using software commands and are activated in milliseconds, complicated test schemes can be stored and easily recreated, and cable break simulation with programmable start/stop and duration simplify real-life network scenarios.
Phase Pacific is uniquely positioned to help you with your planning and deployment of a Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS), not only with many years of experience providing solutions for small and large-scale labs but also as we have partnered with all the industry leaders in Layer 1 Switch technology to help our Australian and New Zealand customers.
CALIENT’s S-Series optical circuit switches (OCS) play a unique and important role in addressing todays challenges, by enabling the dynamic interconnection and sharing of high value compute, network, and test resources at the optical layer. The OCS is transparent to data speed and is protocol agnostic. Consequently, it offers very high bandwidth and configuration flexibility as networks grow in speed to 100, 400, 800 Gbps, and beyond. Calient Website
The electrical backplane allows for many combinations of any-to-any mapping with either the Lepton 2-slot, ColdFusion chassis which has a 4 RU footprint for smaller labs or labs with limited rack space while the 12 RU 8-Slot Chassis can be populated with up to eight Interface Blades which provides a centralised up to 1024 ports from blades including 32 x QSFP Interface or 64 x SFP Interface. Lepton Website
Pluribus VirtualWire is an integrated physical layer feature set for the Netvisor ONE Operating System (OS) that enables native Layer 1 switching capabilities on Open Networking hardware switches. Leveraging the distributed, scale-out architecture of the Adaptive Cloud Fabric, the Pluribus VirtualChassis architecture is built using single-RU fswitches that collectively operate and behave as a single logical switch. Pluribus Website