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Interview with Neil Holmquist, VP, Spirent Communications

Neil Holmquist – Spirent

With the increase in data consumption, both by consumers and enterprises, telecom operators and service providers are walking on a tight rope to meet the growing demands. Even when telcos and ISPs are readying themselves to offer a bigger pipe with multi gigabit capacity, selecting the right kind of infrastructure equipment that adheres to norms of agility and scale, becomes of paramount importance. There comes the role of test and measurement companies like Spirent Communications. We caught up with Neil Holmquist, the company’s VP – Marketing & Product Strategy, Cloud & IP in his Bangalore office. He talked about from Spirent’s latest 400 G testing with China Mobile using Huawei telecom gear to telcos’ capability to offer 10 TB/s speed by 2020. Some edited high-points :

Q. Telecom operators and enterprises compete to deliver gigabit connectivity to end users and they are accelerating deployment of high-speed technologies. What does it mean for the industry?

Neil Holmquist : 400G network devices will help address the expanding demands for network link speeds expected to exceed 1 Tb/s. The IEEE predicts that mobile devices, high-speed data center servers, internet-enabled entertainment, cloud computing and social media will push network link speeds to 10 Tb/s by 2020. While the development of 400G network devices will help address the expanding demands for network capacity, they present new testing challenges and push the limits of today’s technologies.

Q. What are the capabilities of 400G and how can operators and enterprises deploy and scale to 400G?

Network bandwidth needs continue to grow at a rapid pace. Network equipment manufacturers are developing highly flexible multi-rate products to support the latest generation of HSE devices. Service Providers and Hyperscale data centers are deploying multi-rate networking infrastructure solutions to meet this growing market.

Q. In 400G testing what are the challenges? Moving forward do you think more insightful testing will be required?

While the development of 400G network devices will help address the expanding demands for network capacity, they present new testing challenges and push the limits of today’s technologies. Testing 400G devices starts with validating the link’s ability to pass up to line rate traffic, as well as and testing the functionality, performance, scalability and quality of experience (QoE) of the upper-layer engines that deliver services.

Q. What kind of 400G testing solution Spirent offers?

Spirent’s 400GbE test platform is a complete solution used to perform validation and performance in the design and development of 400G Ethernet, and it is designed to address today’s IEEE and MSA standards as they evolve. Spirent is committed to addressing these standards’ requirements to help protect your present and future investments. Back in June of 2015, Spirent won Best of Interop Tokyo for our 400G Ethernet Test System. At the time, Spirent partnered with Huawei for the first public interoperability demonstration of 400Gb Ethernet. Having products ready early in the development cycle, helps our customers prepare for the expanding demands for bandwidth that high speed Ethernet addresses.

Today, Spirent still offers the most cost-effective solution on a per port basis with the highest port density in the industry for any rack-mounted chassis. Our latest release is a 2-Port Quad Speed 400/200/100/50GbE available with either Native QSFP-DD or Native CFP8. Also available is our quint-speed 100/50/40/25/10G Ethernet performance test modules. All of these modules are designed for service providers and hyperscale deploying multi-rate infrastructure solutions for cloud data center fabrics without breaking the testing budget.

Our technology is a proven one, as the example of this recent public test confirms. Our solution was chosen by China Telecom & Huawei to verify their 400GbE. Tests included the verification of 400GbE port functions such as line-speed forwarding, multi-service stacking, and fault reporting for medium and long-range technologies using Spirent TestCenter.

Q. Recently Spirent, China Telecom, Huawei Collaborated to verify 400G, what was the result of this effort?

Neil Holmquist: Spirent collaborated with China Telecom China, Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei to verify 400 Gb/s Ethernet (400GE) short and long-range technologies. The test, which is the first of its kind, included the verification of 400GE port functions such as line-speed forwarding, multi-service stacking, and fault reporting for short and long-range technologies.

The trials were performed in China Telecom’s network and terminal key laboratory using test cases based on real-world network applications, while Guangzhou Research Institute was responsible for network requirements, test-case design, and execution. Spirent provided testing equipment for the project, which included Spirent TestCenter with DX3-400GO-P2 400G and FX3-100GO-T2 100G test modules.

Tags : 400 gb testingchina mobile 400 gig testingneil holmquistspirent communications
Gyana Ranjan Swain

The author Gyana Ranjan Swain

Tracking the telecom industry for last 14 years, Gyana has worked in cross platform media ranging from broadcast, print, wire agency and online. With an entrepreneurial bent of mind, he loves to write about how technology helps transform lives. He has also founded M2MCafe.com, a news portal on Internet of Things.

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