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Introducing the Network Test Automation Forum (NTAF)

March 17, 2010 - 0 Comments

Contributed by Kaushal Agrawal, Sr. Director of Engineering at Cisco
Founding board member of NTA Forum

Network Test Automation Forum (NTAF)As we become more dependent on IP networks to make VoIP phone calls, find information, and run our businesses we usually forget what is required to ensure that a new service operates correctly. Building robust networks requires operators to spend a lot of time and test resources to validate service performance, especially since new service offerings are growing more complex. What is lacking today is a methodical, industry-wide approach to testing to promote the interoperability, standardization, and automation of test infrastructure. To address this matter, a new forum, the Network Test Automation Forum (NTAF) has formed to bring together test equipment vendors, service providers, and network equipment manufacturers.

Cisco is already trying to minimize Service Provider risk and deployment times with the availability of Cisco certified solutions, such as our IP NGN Carrier Ethernet design. It was an easy decision for us to jump at the opportunity to be a founding member of the NTAF. NTAF will help bring the right level of standardization to achieve common interoperability goals. In a complex test environment, interoperability becomes the key differentiator for service providers when improving time to market of their deliverables. As an innovator in network equipment manufacturing and with our experience with service providers such as Verizon and BT, and key test equipment vendors such as Ixia and Spirent, Cisco is well positioned to address the challenges the NTAF aims to solve.

Standardization will directly help our customers qualify Cisco products in service provider labs faster and more efficiently. With test automation Cisco customers can compete more effectively by reducing the time it takes to validate (and monetize) a new product or service.

“Operational Excellence is a key component of our SP Strategy”, says Joe Wojtal, Cisco’s VP of Engineering, “Improving our support of our SP customers’ entire network and services lifecycle is key to improving their profitability. Our investment in NTAF supports the critical testing component within this lifecycle.”

For me it is a privilege and a very exciting opportunity to be a founding board member of the NTAF. I see significant potential of this collaborative effort and look forward to helping address the growing demands of our service provider customers.

Thank you,
Kaushal  Agrawal, Sr. Director of Engineering at Cisco
Founding board member of NTA Forum


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