define standards for the purpose of scripting of network testing equipment

The purpose of the list is to open the discussions for proposing a new specification for the automatic control of devices that generate and analyze traffic and/or emulate network protocols for the testing of a network or a specific network device. To perform either network or a network device specific testing, a tester will use a product to generate traffic, emulate routing protocols and emulate network end points, such as a network host or HTTP client. This product is referred to as a network testing device (NTD). The term network testing device should not be confused with the term device under test (DUT). In fact, the network testing device will most likely support the generation and analysis of traffic to validate the performance, scalability, etc of a device under test.

Traffic generation can be defined as the sending of stateless traffic, traffic analysis can be defined as the analysis of received packets for some set of measurements, and protocol emulation can be defined as the emulation of one/many devices/applications. This might include, for example, emulation of a router for sending and receiving of routing protocol updates, emulation of a user generating HTTP traffic or making a IP call, or emulation of a device generating security breaches such as malicious attacks. Automatic control is defined as the unattended operation of a test device in a specific manner such that particular traffic is generated/analyzed and particular protocols are emulated.

Consider the example of a testbed that is testing network protocols, generating some typical layer 4-7 traffic, placing a call and sending voice traffic, and injecting malicious attacks for security testing. For this example, there is potentially one device for generating the routing protocol traffic, several devices for the emulating clients/server traffic, one device for the emulating voice traffic, and one device for the generating security testing. Today, the tester must learn the scripting commands for each generation/emulation device, develop separate scripts to manage each those devices, and combine the results of the various tools into one view.

This protocol is not intended for the management of the devices within the network. Specifications such as NETCONF, for device configurations are already focused on that area.

The purpose of this alias is to discuss the current issues that need resolving and propose a general direction that a new Working Group would move towards. The intention is not to produce an overall solution and explain the intricacies of a design. Some areas will be intentionally left unexplained because that will be the purpose of the proposed Working Group to resolve.

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