Network Devices Evaluation and Testing

Network Devices Evaluation and Testing

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Network Devices Evaluation and Testing

    Networking experiments with the aim of testing networking protocols and/or equipments.

    We aim at developing methodologies for designing tests and documenting their execution.

    Documentation Standards

    We offer to networking operators two templates for describing device tests:

    • Device-Test-Plan-Template-ver.1.1.dot
      This file is a template to describe test plans (test projects) to measure the quality of computer network equipment. A test plan refers to a single device and is composed by a set of test lists, each meant to address a device feature (performance, scalability, conformance, interoperability, etc). Each test list has one or more test cases (sequence of operations closed by a passed/not passed statement).
    • Device-Test-Result-Template-ver.1.1.dot
      The companion file that describes the test results corresponding to a test case.

    Networking Experiments

    Here are some preliminary results of our experiments performed on several network devices. Some of the following experiments have been performed on equipment provided by SevenOne Solution Srl.

  • Experiments on Huawei Quidway AR19-61 routers, including throughput, latency, and frame loss in different operational conditions. The experiments have been performed by Antonio Valente and all the following documentation is published under his consent.
    The description of the experiments consists of the following documents (italian only):
    • Antonio Valente's thesis (10MB PDF), documenting the approach, the tested devices, and some of the tests
    • Complete test case descriptions (18MB PDF)*
    • Dumps of the test results (55MB PDF)*
    • Configurations used during the experiments (browse them here or download them as a small ZIP file here).
    * To ease browsing of the large PDF files, they have been equipped with bookmarks pointing at each experiment.

    Alternatively, the source files used to produce the above documentation can be downloaded as a single ZIP file (42MB).

  • Experiments on Virtual Lans and the Spanning Tree Protocol Performed on Enterasys Equipments.
    The above linked document is the result of the work of Federico Monaco, Mauro Pagano, Marco Passariello, Fabrizio Piacenza, and Daniele Pintus and is published with their permission.
    Tests include:
    Test name Test target
    1 VLAN on 1 Switch Create two different VLANs. Check the visibility between hosts on different VLANs
    3 Asymmetric VLANs on 1 Switch Create three different asymmetric VLANs. Check the visibility between hosts
    Spanning Tree: Root Bridge Election Check the Root Bridge election between two switches with the same priority value, then assign a lower priority to one of them, and test which one becomes the Root Bridge.
    Spanning Tree: Root Path Cost Variation Test how the Root Path Cost changes after a topology variation.
    Spanning Tree: Port Blocking Check how Spanning Tree Protocol avoids formation of cycles in the network, blocking redundant links.
    Spanning Tree: Port Blocking and VLANs Check how Spanning Tree Protocol avoids formation of cycles in the network, blocking redundant links, in presence of VLANs too.
    Trunk IEEE 802.1Q Create a Trunk 1Q, carrying two VLANs between two switches.
    Multiple Spanning Tree: IEEE 802.1s Create two Spanning Tree instances bound to different VLANs.
    Different Root Bridge for different MSTI Show that each MSTI can have a different Root Bridge.
    Visibility between different STP Regions Check visibility between different STP Regions with the same VLANs.
    Root Bridge Election for CST & CIST Create two or more different regions and check which bridge is the Root Bridge for CST (Common Spanning Tree) and which one is the Root Bridge for CIST (Common Instance Spanning Tree).
    VLAN & Link Aggregation Analyze the Network with Link Aggregation Control Protocol (802.3ad) enabled and disabled.
    More VLANs & Link Aggregation Analyze the Network with Link Aggregation Control Protocol (802.3ad) enabled and disabled, in presence of more VLANs too.


  • Experiments on Port Mirroring, Policy Classification, and Multiple Spanning Tree functionalities.
    The above linked document is an excerpt of Giulia Papini's Thesis and is published with her permission.
    Tests include:
    Test name Test target
    Port Mirroring Verify the functionality called Port Mirroring on switch Enterasys entry level.
    Configuration BPDU Use the port mirroring functionality in order to analyze the packages of type configuration BPDU exchanges between entry level Enterasys switches.
    TopologyChange BPDU Use the port mirroring functionality in order to analyze the Topology Change Notification packets exchanged between entry level Enterasys switches.
    Tagged BPDU Use an hub connected to a PC and two switches in order to analyze the IEEE 802.1Q packets exchanged between entry level Enterasys switches.
    Policy Classification Verify the functionality called Policy Classification on entry level Enterasys switches.
    MST instances Verify the functioning of creation of MST istance on entry level Enterasys switches.
    Root Cost in MST Region Analyze the root cost in MST Region on entry level Enterasys switches.
    BPDU MST Analyze the BPDU MST on entry level Enterasys switches
    Topology Change in MST 1 Inspect the behavior of an MST switch when it is connected to a traditional ST switch.
    Topology Change in MST 2 Inspect the behavior of an MST switch when it is connected to another MST switch of the same region.
    Topology Change in MST 3 Inspect the behavior of an MST switch when it is connected to an MST switch of another region.
    MSTP in heterogeneous environment Analyze the behavior of MSTP in heterogeneous environment on entry level Enterasys switches.
    IST and CIST Verify the functioning of creation of IST and CIST on entry level Enterasys switches.