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Viavi Bags 5G Testing Contract From China Mobile

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Test and measurement firm VIAVI Solutions Monday said it has bagged contracts from China Mobile to provide T&M solutions to the operator for its planned launch of 5G services in 2019. VIAVI will provide test and measurement hardware and software for China Mobile and several equipment manufacturers to support development of Slicing Packet Network (SPN) with FlexE interface, the technology the carrier is positioning for 5G transport.

In January 2018, Madam Yang Zhiqiang, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) welcomed Oleg Khaykin, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Tom Fawcett, Vice President and General Manager, Lab & Production Business Unit, VIAVI Solutions, to her offices for strategic meetings on 5G planning. The CMRI is a technical organization within the CMCC group and is responsible for new technology research, standardization, and qualification of infrastructure equipment—including testing protocols.

“VIAVI has been honored to collaborate with China Mobile on analyzing 5G network scenarios and proposing technology strategy,” said Khaykin. “In order to realize China Mobile’s vision of introducing 5G service by the end of 2019, principal technologies including SPN for transport must be standardized by the ITU-T. We have advanced our test technology to meet this objective, and our solutions are ready to support the China Mobile ecosystem of partners to deliver interoperable network infrastructure.”

Based on extensive analysis of 5G transport network requirements, China Mobile has determined that Slicing Packet Network (SPN) is an optimal technology to support next-generation architecture, bandwidth, traffic model, network slicing, latency and time synchronization. Flexible Ethernet or FlexE is used in conjunction with SPN to create smaller Ethernet channels from a larger one, or vice versa, to guarantee quality of service (QoS) and isolation between slices at the transport layer.

Also Read : Interview With Oleg Khaykin, CEO, Viavi Solutions

China Mobile has requested that the ITU undertake standardization of SPN. VIAVI is committing to support China Mobile by delivering an SPN test platform, establishing a common foundation for network equipment manufacturers, chip developers and transceiver vendors to validate products based on this technology.

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NewsT&M

Spirent Opens Laboratory on Space Research In Paignton

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Global testing and measurement firm Spirent Communications has announced the opening of new laboratories in the field of GPS, space research and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), to develop systems to be used in future devices and applications at Paignton, a seaside town in England.

The research space has been created to provide increased development capacity for test systems that can evaluate the performance of multiple sensors (sensor fusion) in new applications such as autonomous vehicles and emerging positioning techniques that use multiple signals such as Wi-Fi, RADAR, LIDAR and vision, in addition to GNSS.

“Very few people realize that many of the high-tech devices we use every day have been tested by systems from Spirent in Paignton” said Martin Foulger, General Manager of Spirent’s Positioning Business Unit. “Our systems are widely used to test smartphones, infotainment systems in cars, fitness bands, drones, and many more devices in addition to high-end applications such as aircraft and space vehicles. This expansion of our research facilities enables us to lead the development of test solutions for next-generation systems and maintain our global leadership position.”

“Seeing a company like Spirent working in space navigation, very much part of our future world, expanding its UK facilities is very exciting as the UK Space Agency works with industry to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030,” said David Southwood.

The new research laboratories were formally opened by Professor David Southwood, Chair of the UK Space Agency’s Steering Committee, and will increase total laboratory space at the Paignton facility by more than 50%.

As well as supporting next-generation research, the new laboratories will also enable the development of test systems to make GPS and other GNSS receivers more resilient to interference – a growing problem, especially as positioning, navigation and timing features are embedded in a myriad of applications.

“Over time the additional laboratory space will enable Spirent to recruit more staff and increase its contribution to the local community,” said Caroline Lee, Human Resources Director for Spirent. “The company is already very active in encouraging students to pursue STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so the expanded facilities will help us to offer more opportunities in these areas.”

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NewsT&M

Spirent Bags Network Testing Contract From China Mobile

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Communications equipment testing and measurement firm Spirent Communications has it has bagged a contract from China Mobile to test the latter’s core network. The T&M firm announced that China Mobile has selected Spirent’s Landslide test platform to accelerate validation of mobile core network functions.

Landslide will execute key validation tests used by China Mobile to evaluate core network vendors and verify the performance of new core, IMS, and Diameter network functions before they go live. With support for the latest LTE, 5G and IoT standards, Landslide will enable China Mobile to launch new mobile core network functions and next generation services with unprecedented speed and quality.

The Landslide test platform accelerates validation testing by emulating an unmatched, comprehensive set of core network functions, base stations and mobile devices. The platform uses these emulated functions to evaluate the performance and functionality of new network functions in lab environments. To accurately reflect real-world conditions, Landslide can emulate millions of mobile subscribers and tens of thousands of 2G, 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi base stations.

The platform also emulates next generation services including eMTC (Enhanced Machine-Type Communication), cellular IoT and B-TrunC (Broadband Trunked Communication). Landslide supports emerging 4.5/5G network standards and offers both physical and virtual test platforms, ensuring a smooth path towards NFV (network function virtualization) and 5G.

“Spirent Communications is working closely with operators and standards organizations in China to satisfy their specific testing needs,” said Yang Lei, East Asia Sales Development Manager for the Lifecycle Service Assurance segment at Spirent Communications. “This collaboration, combined with our support for the latest 5G and IoT standards, allows us to automate complex validation testing of next generation mobile core network functions. We’re pleased that China Mobile has selected Landslide and look forward to working together to accelerate the launch of high-quality network functions and cutting-edge services.”

Landslide is part of Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance suite for automating testing and assurance workflows across the service lifecycle, including network validation, service testing and operational assurance workflows.

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T&M

Viavi Launches Real-time Testing Solution Nitro

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Viavi Solutions has launched its intelligent testing platform, named Nitro, that automatically delivers real-time test and measurement data from network instruments directly to software-based planning, provisioning, assurance and optimization applications.

The new platform helps service providers and enterprises reduce costs and complexity while optimizing performance throughout the entire network lifecycle. It works seamlessly across mobile, fiber, cable, cloud and enterprise networks and this platform maximizes the value of current investments in Viavi instruments and software solutions, presently deployed by over 200 network operators globally.

Leveraging their current Viavi installed base enables customers to cost-effectively manage their migration from today’s static network deployments to next-generation, policy-based automated dynamic networks. The first solution in this new family is Nitro vNet Fusion offering virtual test, service activation and performance monitoring.

The testing and measurement firm said it designed the new platform keeping the requirements from its customer base of Tier-1 service providers, enterprises and network equipment manufacturers in mind. Nitro stands for Network Integrated Test, Real-time analytics and Optimization technology platform and connects real-time testing and activation data from network instruments with software-based planning, provisioning, assurance and optimization probes and applications, creating a unique end-to-end view of the network lifecycle.

In this way, Nitro addresses the needs of today’s separate business teams, plus the evolution to automated end-to-end service delivery, in the same common platform.

Along with the platform, the company also launched vNet Fusion, a next-generation virtual Ethernet lifecycle management solution for test, service activation, performance monitoring and troubleshooting on all network layers. Fusion provides a valuable set of tools that deliver repeatable, standards-based test methodologies to monitor and ensure network performance and verify Service Level Agreements in both virtual and legacy mixed networks.

Leveraging the Viavi instruments and physical test infrastructure, Fusion enables service providers and enterprises to resolve customer complaints faster, increase customer satisfaction with Ethernet and IP services, divert technician truck rolls with helpdesk based remote testing, and reduce technician coordination for RFC6349-compliant TrueSpeed tests.

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T&M

Viavi Launches SAS Analyzer For Storage Network Testing

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 Test and measurement major Viavi Solutions Friday a high speed SAS Analyzer for validating and ensuring 24G Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) network performance in a fully integrated, stand-alone system. This versatile storage network testing solution helps equipment manufacturers improve R&D efforts, as well as support data center deployment and troubleshooting in the field.

Named Xgig 1000 24 Gbps SAS Analyzer, the system enables simultaneous analysis and error injection for SAS protocol traffic at all layers of the stack, delivering one of the most powerful monitoring and analysis systems available for SAS applications. The system not only captures and analyzes live data traffic to verify performance, it also provides traffic jammer capabilities to simulate errors in real time for testing the responsiveness of error recovery processes.

The latest SAS 4.0 protocol standard introduces significant technological changes in response to demands for increased storage capacities and faster data speeds, supporting a number of important optimizations for solid-state drives. This new industry standard doubles the effective bandwidth previously possible, from 12 to 24 Gbps. Network equipment manufacturers need optimized testing capabilities to ensure their next-generation 24 Gbps storage systems do not become a bottleneck.

“The ability to test network storage equipment and identify how and when a system fails is key to developing the most robust, high-performance solutions possible for data-intensive applications, ranging from unified communications and large internet content providers to gaming platforms,” said Tom Fawcett, Vice President and General Manager, Lab and Production Business Unit, VIAVI Solutions. “We have refined the Xgig 1000 24 Gbps Analyzer to address the specific characteristics of the SAS 4.0 protocol at high speeds so that every data bit is passed through exactly as it was received, and allowing users to see the same signal that the device under test sees.”

While other test and troubleshooting systems can involve complicated, repetitive processes, the Xgig 1000 24 Gbps Analyzer offers users the option to define automation scripts, from simple commands to complex regression test libraries. Analyzer and jammer functions can be managed easily by toggling software switches in the Maestro user interface.

The Xgig 1000 24 Gbps SAS Analyzer blade chassis supports 24/12/6/3 Gbps SAS with dual mini-SAS HD receptacles, allowing bidirectional analysis of single and wide-port SAS links. An innovative design with front-to-back airflow allows for standing the chassis on end, minimizing the overall footprint in desktop testing.

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NewsT&M

Spirent Joins China Mobile In 5G C-RAN Project

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Test and measurement firm Spirent Communications has signed an agreement with China Mobile to partner with the China Mobile 5G Joint Innovation Center Project. As part of the first phase of the 5G C-RAN project, Spirent and the China Mobile 5G C-RAN Working Group successfully completed automated performance testing. During the second China Mobile 5G C-RAN Wireless Cloud Network Forum, Spirent presented the current outcomes and outlined the test practices used in refactoring for the China Mobile 5GC-RAN project.

In this project, the cloud architecture of the radio access network is viewed as the basis for carrying various future 5G applications. The cloud-enabled radio access network not only needs to ensure the coverage and capacity of basic voice communication services, but also the bandwidth demands of fast-growing extreme Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services, as well as the IoT and Cargo Network applications that offer large connectivity, low latency and high reliability with high network quality requirements.

Due to the technical characteristics of the 5G C-RAN, testing requirements for the underlying cloud architecture are different from those of other NFVs and public clouds. The test system can no longer use the traditional black box test method. It must adapt to work with multiple components such as VNFs, VIM, NFVi and SDN controllers and then must be able to validate various NFVi network acceleration and system real-time technologies, referred to as test refactoring.

Test refactoring at its core utilizes continuous debugging and optimization with a proven methodology, repeatable tests, and centralized analysis on test data, to achieve a compromise between various optimization parameters for the cloud platform and simultaneously find acceptable performance levels.

During the forum, Mr. Jacky Wu, Business Development Director for Spirent Communications, presented the NFVi automated performance test system developed by Spirent in collaboration with the China Mobile 5G C-RAN Working Group, and explained the group’s test refactoring concept. According to Mr. Wu, “It is the first automated performance testing system in the industry specifically designed for 5G C-RAN covering performance tests for cloud platforms using both SR-IOV and DPDK network acceleration technologies.”

“By automating NFVi performance testing frameworks, tests that used to take several weeks or even months can now be completed in a few days, thus, greatly increasing test efficiency.” Kastuar commented on the partnership, “Spirent is strongly committed to the 5G C-RAN project, and will continue to make contributions to accelerate the maturity of the C-RAN industry and the commercialization of C-RAN devices,” said Abhitesh Kastuar, Spirent’s General Manager for cloud and IP.

The NFVi automated performance test system used in the tests, included Spirent TestCenter hardware and Spirent TestCenter Virtual for traffic generation. These were used to simulate and analyze data traffic on the cloud platform under test and to evaluate the vSwitch forwarding performance of independent computing nodes or multi-node systems supporting DPDK technology on 10G/25G/40G interface speeds. Spirent CloudStress was also used to emulate the VNF workloads and automation of test scenarios and spinning up of VMs was orchestrated using Spirent’s iTest platform.

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T&M

China Telecom Selects Spirent For VoLTE Audio Testing

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Chinese operator China Telecom has selected Spirent Communications, to help ensure that handsets are able to deliver superior voice calling quality. Spirent’s Umetrix audio solution is being used to measure the performance of every new smartphone design, and China Telecom has set stringent quality requirements to be met.

To deliver hi-definition digital audio, China Telecom uses VoLTE (Voice over LTE). This technology allows the telco to operate a single 4G IP packet network that carries both voice and data. Simplifying network operations makes higher quality and lower cost service possible.

To ensure that smartphone handsets deliver the best possible voice quality, China Telecom tests how well each one carries voice, and how successful they are at establishing and maintaining calls. These tests are performed while simulating realistic network conditions, such as when handsets are moving between cells, when they are in low signal areas, when networks are congested, and while the handset is simultaneously sending and receiving data.

“As China Telecom steps up the pace of their VoLTE rollout it is keeping the customer’s quality of experience as the highest priority,” said Simon Wang, Director, Business Development at Spirent. “We are pleased that Spirent has been selected as the exclusive supplier of the VoLTE audio quality test solution for China Telecom and its handset providers.”

Spirent’s Umetrix solution takes key performance indicators (KPI) measurements in a completely automated lab test environment, and in live network field tests to stress handset designs and point out areas for improvement.

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InfrastructureT&M

Telstra To Deploy VIAVI Solutions’ 100G Network Testing Products

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Australia’s leading telecommunications service provider Telstra has selected VIAVI Solutions to deploy its MTS 5800-100G network testing solution to enhance future-ready network installation and maintenance capabilities across Australia.

As the demand for more data and higher speeds has continued to increase, Telstra has focused on network enhancements to enable the best possible subscriber experience, including a new solution for 100G test capabilities throughout the network. The service provider wanted a small, portable platform that could test 100G while offering the flexibility to test other bitrates. Telstra also required a dual-port solution that could easily migrate to the quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP28) module for cost-effective equipment upgrades as the network continues to evolve with technological advances.

With a focus on the future, Telstra opted for the flexibility and future-ready capabilities of VIAVI’s MTS 5800-100G solution, the industry’s smallest handheld, dual-port 100G test instrument. The MTS 5800-100G solution is designed for testing throughout the network lifecycle, supporting fiber testing, service activation, troubleshooting and maintenance of legacy and emerging technologies. The VIAVI solution addresses such network applications as metro/core, data center interconnect and business services test applications.

“We are committed to building a brilliant connected future for our customers, because we believe greater connectivity delivers more opportunity. VIAVI’s future-proof testing solution allows us to test legacy network equipment in the field while making a smooth evolution to 100G technology throughout our entire network, enabling higher speeds and an enhanced quality of experience for our customers,” said Richard Moretti, Technology Specialist, Telstra. “We were impressed with the small form factor of the VIAVI MTS 5800-100G solution as well as its versatility and intuitive user interface.”

“The VIAVI MTS 5800-100G handheld tester was the ideal solution to solve Telstra’s immediate needs while providing a seamless transition to future technology upgrades, laying the groundwork for faster, more reliable deployments and maintenance in the years to come,” said Rajesh Rao, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, VIAVI Solutions. “As a leader in the global fiber optic test equipment market, VIAVI delivers unique value and specialized network expertise to support Telstra’s network enhancement plans, today and tomorrow.”

VIAVI worked closely with Elite Velocity Partner CoverTel to demonstrate the MTS 5800-100G solution to Telstra’s subject matter experts, and to provide training on the solution to help network engineers get up to speed quickly.

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NewsT&M

Ixia Adds Active SSL To Its Security Solutions

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Network test and measurement firm Ixia has announced the addition of its Active SSL technology to its SecureStack feature set, a key component of the company’s Security and Visibility Intelligence Framework. Active SSL enables organizations to see inside traffic encrypted with ephemeral key to ensure the security of their networks.

According to Gartner, “in 2016, industry reports estimate that encrypted traffic — HTTPS — represents 30% to 40% of enterprise web traffic, growing steadily compared to 2015. Already, Gartner clients frequently face web traffic of which more than 50% is encrypted, with peaks at more than 70% in financial and legal sectors… Through 2019, more than 80% of enterprises’ web traffic will be encrypted.”[1] Securing a network requires comprehensive visibility into all traffic, which necessitates the ability to decrypt traffic that uses ephemeral key encryption mandated by the new TLS1.3 standard.

To address this growing challenge, Ixia has expanded the company’s SecureStack feature with its Active SSL technology, which interoperates with all other stack features including identification and filtering, deduplication, and timestamping. The solution, which can be used for inline or out of band deployments, has a dedicated cryptographic processor, as well as built-in reporting and policies that provide leading cipher support, real-time insights, and SSL inspection.

Active SSL also provides forward secrecy to protect past and future data exchanges with ephemeral keys. With Ixia’s Active SSL, ephemeral key traffic is unencrypted, inspected, and then re-encrypted through an intuitive, easy-to-use platform, before being returned to the network.

“With the TLS 1.3 standard implementing ephemeral keys, organizations will find decrypting and inspecting encrypted traffic to be more complex and resource intensive,” said Dan Conde, analyst, at ESG. “Solutions like Ixia’s Active SSL will enable organizations to gain visibility into their current network traffic efficiently, with less disruption to their networks, as well as their monitoring tools and security devices.”

“Encryption is a double-edged sword for networks. While it allows for the protection of data from nefarious actors, it also enables the same nefarious actors to hide their activity from monitoring tools and the IT professionals deploying them,” said Scott Register, Vice President of Product Management at Ixia. “Ixia’s Active SSL can be used to decrypt data once, and then allow processing by as many tools as needed, improving speed and latency of security solutions.”

Ixia’s Active SSL will be available via a high-performance application module that is compatible with the company’s Vision ONE network packet broker, a turnkey device that provides high-performance, lossless visibility.

Ixia’s Vision ONE network packet broker enables organizations to maintain security as well as identify and resolve performance problems across physical and virtual infrastructures from a single platform. Whether fighting against threats hidden in encrypted traffic, or feeding the right data to the right forensic solution, Vision ONE boosts network protection without negatively impacting performance.

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T&M

Spirent Launches Benchmarking Solution For Cloud Infrastructure

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Spirent Communications Monday announced of its new benchmarking solution for any kind of virtualized or cloud infrastructure named Spirent CloudScore.

By performing a series of selection-based tests on the Virtualized infrastructure, CloudScore generates a scorecard, indicating the health of your infrastructure across various components – Compute, Network, Storage, Applications, and Services. CloudScore also provides a granular report with recommendations on how to optimize the infrastructure thereby helping the user make those changes and improve the ultimate performance of the infrastructure under test, by improving the score each time tests are re-run.

“Spirent has released this new solution as a direct response to our customer’s requests for a deeper analysis and reporting of their Cloud Infrastructure that includes the ability to compare the health of multiple cloud instances, make changes, and iteratively compare results with a scorecard,” said Abhitesh Kastuar, General Manager for Cloud and IP at Spirent. “This capability provides network builders and architects key tools and solutions to perform comprehensive analysis and create a baseline benchmark of their cloud deployments.”

Spirent CloudScore can automatically run tests and save them at periodic intervals on a defined schedule without changing the original network setup or parameters. “We have found this feature is extremely helpful when comparing with the original baseline analysis of the infrastructure after making even the most minor of changes, whether due to planned or unplanned events to see the results of those alternative configurations,” continued Kastuar.

In addition, CloudScore can alert the user to anomalies or deviations in the cloud metrics, either from VNF counters or from cloud/infra monitoring, thus triggering the need for re-verification. Integrating these capabilities into existing management systems directly helps address robustness, SLAs and upstream business continuity concerns from growing adoption of public, hybrid or even private Cloud-based services.

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