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Inexpensive 100G Test Set in the Internet2 Lab

Nov 02, 2018, by Mark Brochu
Tags: Advanced Networking

To facilitate the development of next-generation AL2S and AL3S services, Internet2 has augmented its network testing facilities and enhanced its traffic simulation and network failure testing capabilities. This includes the development of a virtualized routing facility including Juniper VMX and Arista VeOS as well as low-cost traffic generators. After a review of generators developed both commercially and within the open source community, Cisco TRex (an open source software) was selected as the best candidate due to its integration with DPDK. With appropriate bus, CPU and memory resources, a server running TRex can theoretically scale beyond 200Gbps with up to 1 million flows. Phase 1, with an initial investment of less than $10K enabled us to gain experience installing the software and validated our ability to generate 10Gbps of IMIX traffic using hundreds of thousands of connections on a Dell R730 server with commodity NICs. We then added a Napatech 2x100 NIC and showed a demo of the TRex interactive console, illustrating IMIX throughput tests at close to 100G line rate.  Going forward, the team will be testing these configurations further, as well considering how to repackage the TRex software into deployable test sets and testing additional vendor cards. Contact networkdevelopment@internet2.edu for more information.