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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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T&M

Spirent Boasts Of Testing Largest 100G Ethernet Switch

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Spirent Communications Monday said it has successfully conducted a test involving world’s highest density 100G data center switch. The test was done using Spirent’s test solution on the New H3C Group switch hving 768 ports and moderated by independent test lab Network Test. The partners tested the line-rate forwarding capacity and hyper-scale IP route announcement capacity of the H3C S12500X-AF chassis full of 100G ports with a density of 768 100G ports per chassis.

According to David Newman of Network Test, “With 768 ports, this is the largest 100G Ethernet switch test successfully completed in the industry so far. The stress tests we conducted involved nearly 1 million unique BGP routes as well as 768 concurrent EVPN instances within a single chassis. These benchmarks, based on open testing standards, successfully verified New H3C data center core switches, with Spirent TestCenter providing the high density, high performance, and high flexibility required for this record-breaking project.”

The test was conducted using Spirent TestCenter and the N11U chassis, the T&M player’s  flagship network performance test solution. The Spirent N11U chassis included the high density dX3 12-port 100G test modules capable of verifying next-generation data center architectures and routers.

Spirent TestCenter generated 100G line-rate transaction traffic of various frame lengths, and provided packet loss, latency, jitter, frame sequence, code errors and FCS error analytics to reflect the quality of transmission in real time.

“The S12500X-AF series of switches provide a maximum of 48 100G QSFP28 pluggable optical modules per slot, which is the highest density in the world, with New H3C being the only vendor in the industry to provide full line-rate 768 100G ports for datacenter core switches,” said Steven Yoe, Senior Vice President and CTO of the New H3C Group.

“Generation after generation of Spirent Ethernet testing technologies have helped our customers take advantage of market opportunities. We appreciate New H3C Group for selecting Spirent as a trusted testing partner for verifying the performance of its S12500X-AF series of switches” said Eric Hutchinson, CEO of Spirent Communications.

The Spirent dX3 quint-speed test module supports twelve 100G or 40G ports per slot, or twenty five 50G ports, or forty eight 25G or 10G ports per slot. It also supports key interface features such as FEC, Auto-negotiation and Link Training. It can be used to verify data plane Quality of Service (QoS) for hyper-dense network devices at line-rate, and to test complex routing, data center and access protocols on switches and routers.

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T&M

Spirent Launches Ethernet Testing Solution For Automotive Industry

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Spirent Communications has announced the launch of first Automotive Ethernet Protocol Conformance & Performance Test System with the new 1000BASE-T1 physical layer standard. This solution enables automobile manufacturers and suppliers to determine if their data traffic is transmitted correctly and on-time over the market’s highest in-vehicle connectivity bandwidth.

The 1000BASE-T1 standard allows high speed and simultaneous bi-directional data traffic over lightweight, single-pair cable harnesses. This results in reduced weight and increased reliability due to the need for fewer cables and connectors in automotive applications.

Thomas Schulze, Director of Marketing and Business Development of Spirent’s Automotive business unit explains, “Available on our Automotive C1 and C50 test appliances, we are now providing a new test card with 4 Small Form-factor Plugable (SFP) ports. At the same time, we are releasing the related 1000BASE-T1 1 Gigabit Ethernet on 2-wire unshielded twisted pair cable, SFP Transceiver from Technica Engineering. Customers of our Automotive C50 test system can now use up to 16 individual ports for testing different kinds of physical layer interfaces, copper and fiber,10-1000Mbit/s.”

“As the first 1000BASE-T1 Automotive test system available, Spirent enables manufacturers to deliver competitive, innovative features while minimizing costs“, continues Schulze. “After releasing the first BroadR-Reach® test system in 2014, we continue to provide state-of-the-art test solutions for the Automotive market. Strong partnerships worldwide enable Spirent to realize objectives, such as the cooperation with Technica Engineering, a leading product developer and service provider for testing on-board electronic components and networks.”

“OEMs and Tier 1s are facing huge bandwidth increases with applications like HD video cameras for autonomous driving” says Erick Parra, Business Development Manager at Technica. “These kinds of cameras are using up to 800Mbit/s for uncompressed high-definition video streaming. Therefore, most of the Automotive manufacturers are already working on a 1 Gbit/s in-vehicle network backbone for the next generation of their Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. We are proud to help pave the way into autonomous driving by combining our companies’ expertise”.

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T&M

Viavi’s New RF Monitoring Solution Saves 50% Of Telcos Cost

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Test and measurement firm Viavi Solutions has launched a remote RF spectrum monitoring system, called CPRIAdvisor, that addresses a wide range of antenna deployment options in heterogeneous networks. Developed in partnership with tier one mobile service providers, it offers the ability to monitor and troubleshoot RF conditions around the clock for any cell site with fiber fronthaul.

CPRIAdvisor can support a macro cell with a smaller number of fronthaul fiber links; a large centralized radio access network (C-RAN) or distributed antenna system (DAS) with hundreds of fronthaul links. Depending on the network configuration, it can save mobile service providers up to 50% in terms of time and cost compared to current practices in place for monitoring and troubleshooting.

“Mobile service providers are facing ever increasing, ever complex challenges trying to assure quality of experience while keeping an eye on cost containment and workforce efficiency,” explained Kevin Oliver, Vice President and General Manager, Converged Instruments and Virtual Test, Viavi Solutions.

“In order to address this, and support their diversifying RAN with a single solution, Viavi has partnered with Tier-1 mobile service providers worldwide to develop CPRIAdvisor. It’s a welcome addition to Viavi Solutions’ world class portfolio of RF test solutions, including CellAdvisor and InterferenceAdvisor,” he added.

To stay ahead of continually increasing mobile bandwidth demand while managing cost and efficiency, service providers are expanding and transitioning from a typical distributed radio access network (RAN) architecture to a C-RAN network topology. In C-RAN, base band units (BBUs) are co-located at a remote facility, and connected via fiber links – based on the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) or Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) standards – to a substantial number of remote radio heads (RRHs) spread around the network.

Where C-RAN offers network and operational efficiencies, it also creates an opportunity for mobile service providers to improve quality of experience by proactively monitoring the spectrum used by subscribers, and performing proactive maintenance and remote troubleshooting of service-affecting issues like RF interference in a more effective way.

“As service providers diversify their access networks to expand capacity and accommodate new services like IoT, they need scalable and flexible methods to monitor performance,” said Jessy Cavazos, Industry Director of Test & Measurement for Frost & Sullivan. “The ability to use RF over CPRI technology to monitor and troubleshoot the network, while increasing spectral efficiency with a C-RAN architecture, helps mobile operators keep costs in check and preserve QoE.”

In addition, CPRIAdvisor increases RF visibility by performing continuous monitoring of the mobile spectrum. This allows remote access to expedite maintenance and problem resolution.

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