Multi-Vendor NETCONF/YANG-Based
SDN Management Interoperability Test 2021

Testing: Berlin, April 26-30, 2021


EANTC is proud to release detailed results of our second NETCONF/YANG multi-vendor interoperability testing campaign. The leading manufacturers Cisco, Ciena, IP Infusion, and Nokia participated in the in-depth tests in April 2021, thoroughly verifying the readiness of their orchestrator/controller and router solutions to interoperate with each other using NETCONF as the management protocol and standardized YANG models.


We had a one-week fully remote NETCONF interop event in springtime, preceding the annual MPLS SDN interoperability test event. The goal was to ensure management interoperability separately. The participation in this NETCONF interop event was a precondition to refining and demonstrating NETCONF management scenarios at the MPLS SD & AI Net World Congress 2021.

EANTC focused purely on NETCONF and transport network-specific YANG models investigating only the management plane (between controllers/orchestrators and switches/routers).

We covered a number of use case scenarios:

  • 5G end-to-end slicing across data center, core/aggregation and access using different transport technologies
  • Enterprise VPN services, specifically data center interconnect (DCI)
  • Cloud-RAN xhaul and packet network clocking


Technical Goals

Our goal is to help the industry to:

  • Improve multi-vendor network management (provisioning, reconfiguration, fault management, performance monitoring) using the NETCONF protocol
  • Provide a neutral, collaborative and amicable place for the whole industry where new NETCONF/YANG implementation aspects can be evaluated, outside competitive labs and service provider PoCs
  • Promote the use of standardized Yang models where available and feasible and encourage the multi-vendor alignment of YANG models for standard device and service configuration aspects
  • Understand and improve how third-party orchestrators can cope with non-standardized YANG models (some of which will always remain non-standardized due to competitive differentiation)


Test Bed Approach

Following our successful mixed on-site and remote interoperability test events in 2020, and our series of fully remote interop and performance test programs in NFV since 2016, we decided to take a step for SDN interop testing. Covid-19 changed the environment, encouraging us to go this way for multi-vendor testing as well:

  • Remote testing
  • Full remote control with VPNs, jump servers, videoconferencing sessions
  • Virtualized platforms provided by EANTC
  • Distributed (time shifted) testing


Benefits of Participation

EANTC’s interoperability reports are respected by service providers, raising customer awareness of the state of implementation for innovative network concepts. We describe use case scenarios and design blueprints which service providers can adopt for their network designs. Our reports have helped to kick off network innovation projects, to fulfill RFP requirements with regards to interoperability, and to avoid individual PoCs covering similar technical questions. Participation in this initiative accelerates multi-vendor interoperability and standards compliance of Yang model implementations.

The initiative provides a unique opportunity to test and troubleshoot interoperability with third-party vendors in a friendly pre-production environment. Previously, EANTC transport network interoperability tests took place only once per year. For NETCONF testing, a distributed, automated test bed with virtualized solutions will be more timely, more efficient, and require less support. Participating in the test event improves quality and reduces implementation time in customer projects.


Marketing and Publication

The results of this interoperability event will be marketed:

  • Whitepaper - extensive, detailed description of all use cases, test setups and results (positive results by vendor/solution name, negative results anonymously as "state of the industry"). It will be available free of charge on our website.
  • Live demos - video clips with live demonstrations recorded by participants and EANTC representatives
  • Press releases - by EANTC and participating vendors