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Switching and Routing Components

Developing Switching and Routing
Components for Telecom Nodes

Overview

The customer is a world-famous telecom equipment manufacturer. One of the core products in the client’s portfolio is a generic hardware and infrastructure server platform designed to host one or more telecom applications and provide reliable and scalable services.

Challenge

The customer tasked MERA to consolidate the R&D of switching and routing components by reducing the number of suppliers and production sites. By that time, MERA professionals had already been providing the customer with the development and maintenance services and proven themselves to be reliable partners. With our successful collaboration and the progress achieved in mind, the customer assigned MERA as an end-to-end partner for all the R&D activities in regard to switching and routing components. At that moment, the products transferred to MERA suffered from a number of long-lasting software-related problems, which undermined their quality. MERA was to perform knowledge transfer at short notice and promptly show a significant progress in terms of both product quality and new functionality.

Solution

In as little as two months, MERA concluded the knowledge transfer and took over full responsibility for the product design. Right after this, we launched an ambitious improvement program aimed at:

All of the above was done in parallel with the development of new features requested by the customer. As part of this project, we have also implemented a VLAN translation feature that enables the product users to significantly reduce the time and complexity of the initial system configuration and its further adjustments.

  • architecture analysis and deployment of systemized technical improvements such as a single-thread SNMP handler;
  • introduction of static analysis tools as part of the nightly build procedures;
  • improvement of the test coverage and automated test cases stability, including the implementation of a Continuous Integration framework.

Results

After six months of full product responsibility, the MERA team has accomplished the following:

  • reduction of the total number of defects from 50+ to a single-digit backlog;
  • stabilization of the test and CI environment: the number of successful CI runs has increased from <50% to 80+%;
  • 0 days of delivery delay.

Major features implemented:

  • Security updates for switching and routing components (ANSSI)
  • VRRP tracking BFD, VRRP
  • Ability to pre-configure port density using DHCP
  • NET-SNMP single-thread handling
  • IPv4/32 & IPv6/128 route handling
  • Next-hops in a ECMP group
  • BGP support in line with RFC 4271, RFC 4760 and RFC 3392
  • Excessive number of LSAs in OSPF DB (OSPF DB limits)

Technologies

  • C/C++
  • Java
  • Erlang
  • Broadcom StrataXGS NPU
  • Network management: SNMP, NetConf, IPMI management protocols
  • IPv4/IPv6 stack: Aricent ISS, IP Infusion ZebOS
  • L2: 1G/10G/40G Ethernet, VLAN, xSTP, Link Aggregation, BPDU/Frame/Port/Policy based forwarding
  • L3+: OSPFv2/v3, BGP-4/BGP-4+

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