The IQS-600 platform provides an easy-to-use environment to manage your modules, configure your system, launch applications and analyze results. It can be controlled using local applications or through Ethernet, GPIB and RS-232 interfaces.
RFC 2544 Test Suite
At the core of the IQS-8510G Packet Blazer is the compliance with the IETF’s RFC 2544 standard, Benchmarking Methodology for Network Interconnect Devices, for layer 2 and layer 3 testing. This ensures that the circuit is efficient and error-free at 100 % utilization. As such, this module includes a full array of testing features in support of this standard.
The Packet Blazer supports automated RFC 2544 testing. Automation provides repeatable, accurate, efficient measurements and results through a clear and simple pass/fail indication. In addition, the Packet Blazer delivers reports that can be used for future reference.
Throughput is the maximum rate at which none of the offered frames are dropped by the device under test (DUT) or network under test (NUT). For example, the throughput test can be used to measure the rate-limiting capability of a switch. The throughput is essentially equivalent to the bandwidth.
The throughput test allows vendors to report a single value, which has proven to be useful in the marketplace. Since even the loss of one frame in a data stream can cause significant delays while waiting for the higher level protocols to time out, it is useful to know the actual maximum data rate that the device can support. Measurements should be taken over an assortment of frame sizes.
In this test, fixed-length frames are presented at a rate such that there is the minimum legal separation for a given medium between frames over a configurable period of time, starting from an idle state. The back-to-back value is the number of frames in the longest burst that the DUT/NUT will handle without the loss of any frames.
Frame loss is the percentage of frames that should have been forwarded by a network device under steady state (constant) loads that were not forwarded due to lack of resources. This measurement can be used in reporting the performance of a network device in an overloaded state. This can be a useful indication of how a device would perform under pathological network conditions such as broadcast storms.
Round-trip latency is the time it takes a bit (cut-through devices) or a frame (store and forward devices) to come back to its starting point. Variability of latency can be a problem. With technologies like voice- and video-over-IP, a variable or long latency can cause significant degradation in quality.
EtherSAM: The New Standard in Ethernet Testing
ITU-T Y.1564 is the new standard for turning up and troubleshooting Carrier Ethernet services. This methodology is completely adapted to today’s Ethernet services especially mobile backhaul and commercial services. Up to now, RFC 2544 has been the most widely used methodology. However, it was designed for network device testing in the lab, not for services testing in the field. ITU-T Y.1564 is the first testing standard developed for the field. It has a number of advantages over the RFC 2544 including validation of critical SLA criteria such as packet jitter and QoS measurements. This methodology is also significantly faster, therefore saving time and resources while optimizing QoS.
Contrary to other methodologies, EtherSAM supports new multiservice offerings. It can simulate all types of services that will run on the network and simultaneously qualify all key SLA parameters for each of these services. Moreover, it validates the QoS mechanisms provisioned in the network to prioritize the different service types, resulting in more accurate validation and much faster deployment and troubleshooting. EtherSAM is comprised of two phases, the service configuration test and the service performance test.
Service Configuration Test
The network configuration test consists in sequentially testing each service. It validates that the service is properly provisioned and that all specific KPIs or SLA parameters are met. A ramp test and a burst test are performed to verify the committed information rare (CIR), excess information rate (EIR), committed burst size (CBS) and excess burst size (EBS).
Service Performance Test
Once the configuration of each individual service is validated, the service performance test simultaneously validates the quality of all the services over time.
EtherSAM Bidirectional Results
EXFO’s EtherSAM approach proves even more powerful as it executes the complete ITU-T Y.1564 test with bidirectional measurements. Key SLA parameters are measured independently in each test direction, thus providing 100 % first-time-right service activation—that is the highest level of confidence in service testing.
Efficient Testing Leads to Reliable Performance TCP Throughput
Internet protocol (IP) deals with the delivery of packets, while transmission control protocol (TCP) provides the integrity and assurance that the data packets transmitted by one host are reliably received at the destination. Applications such as hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), e-mail or file transfer protocol (FTP) depend on TCP as their delivery assurance mechanism within networks.
Customers deploying such applications expect not only physical- and link-level SLAs, but also assurance that their TCP traffic requirements will be supported across the network. The TCP Throughput feature on the Packet Blazer offers Ethernet equipment manufacturers and carrier labs the capability of measuring and validating that the services offered to their customers support the TCP traffic performance they expect.
MPLS, MPLS-TP and PBB-TE: Carrier Ethernet Transport Solution Testing
Service providers worldwide are evolving their transport infrastructures to support bandwidth- and quality-intensive services such as voice and video. Network solution vendors (NSVs)must therefore offer IP convergence equipment to edge/metro network operators in a cost-effective and quality-assured manner. Ethernet has long been accepted as an inexpensive, scalable data networking solution in LAN environments. The stringent QoS expectations require solutions that tap into the cost-effectiveness of Ethernet without sacrificing the benefits of connection-oriented (albeit it costly) TDM solutions such as SONET/SDH.
Ethernet tunneling technologies such as Provider Backbone Bridge-Traffic Engineering or PBB-TE (also referred to as PBT) and transport MPLS address these requirements. These technologies enable connection-oriented Ethernet, providing carriers with a means of offering scalable, reliable and resilient Ethernet services. The PBB-TE and MPLS options on the IQS-8510G Packet Blazer make it a comprehensive tool to efficiently qualify Ethernet services from end to end, validating metro and core tunneling technologies.
Ethernet is increasingly carried across a variety of layer 1 media over longer distances. This creates a growing need for the certification of Ethernet transport on a bit-per-bit basis, which can be done using bit-error-rate testing (BERT).
BERT uses a pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) encapsulated into an Ethernet frame, making it possible to go from a frame-based error measurement to a bit-error-rate measurement. This provides the bit-per-bit error count accuracy required for acceptance testing of physical-medium transport systems. BERT-over-Ethernet should usually be used when Ethernet is carried transparently over layer 1 media, in cases such as Ethernet over DWDM, CWDM or dark fiber.
Ethernet QoS Measurement
Data services are making a significant shift toward supporting a variety of applications on the same network. Multiservice offerings such as triple-play services have fuelled the need for QoS testing to ensure the condition and reliability of each service. The IQS-8510G Packet Blazer allows simultaneous simulation and qualification of different applications through its multistream application. The user has the capability to configure up to ten streams with different Ethernet and IP QoS parameters such as VLAN ID (802.1Q), VLAN Priority (802.1p), VLAN stacking (802.1ad Q-in-Q), ToS and DSCP. Specific stream profiles to transmit VoIP, video and data can be selected for each stream. Throughput, latency, frame loss and packet jitter (RFC 3393) measurements are also available simultaneously for each stream, allowing fast and in-depth qualification of performance criteria.
Flexible End-to-End Testing
With the IQS-8510G Packet Blazer, the user can perform end-to-end testing through control of the remote unit via the LAN connection under test. This unique approach gives service providers access to test results for each direction of test, which is essential to fully qualify Ethernet services. It is also possible to perform end-to-end testing by using the Smart Loopback mode where the remote unit will return traffic to the local unit by swapping packet overhead up to layer 4 of the OSI stack.
Ethernet Advanced Troubleshooting
The IQS-8510G provides a number of advanced features essential for in-depth troubleshooting in the event of network failures or impairments. The advanced filtering option allows the user to configure up to ten filters with each up to four operands, which will be applied to the received Ethernet traffic. Detailed statistics are available for each configured filter providing the user with critical information required to pinpoint specific problems. Additionally, the IQS-8510G supports a traffic scan feature that allows quick identification and monitoring of VLAN and MPLS flows on the network. This can help clearly identify top bandwidth users.
The IQS-8510G also supports full-line-rate data capture and decode. This key troubleshooting tool enables field technicians to easily identify complex network issues. The comprehensive capture feature includes the capability to configure capture filters and triggers to quickly zero-in on network events.
The Visual Guardian Lite™ remote management software, supported on all Transport Blazer and Packet Blazer modules, provides the user with a remote connection to the instrument’s graphical user interface (GUI). This identical view of the GUI is supported on any Windows-based workstation and allows for simplified remote testing and data analysis, as well as remote monitoring. Up to five simultaneous Visual Guardian Lite sessions can be supported per test module via a standard Ethernet connection to the platform. For remote testing applications, the Visual Guardian Lite software must be ordered separately.
Automated Test Scripting
Packet Blazer test modules include an extensive SCPI command set for automating test cases and routines using an Ethernet or GPIB interface. The IQS-8510G Packet Blazer also includes a built-in macro recorder, which allows users to easily record their test actions and automatically create test scripts in .NET. This also enables them to build standard test routines that can easily be accessed and run by technicians with little or no manual intervention. Complete documentation and technical support is provided to facilitate the integration of the instrument into your application.
Test Logger and Reporting
EXFO’s IQS-8510G Packet Blazer module supports a detailed test logger and test reporting tools, enabling users to view any errors/alarms that occur during the test interval, which can then be used for post-processing of results or SLA conformance validation.
IQS-600 Integrated Qualification System
The IQS-8510G Packet Blazer modules are housed in the IQS-600 Integrated Qualification System, a scalable modular rack-mount platform that is comprised of a controller, expansion units and a comprehensive range of plug-in test modules—ideal for manufacturing, lab and R&D environments. The IQS-600 platform offers up to ten slots, which can support any combination of modules from EXFO’s full range of industry-proven protocol and optical test modules. Systems can be expanded to support up to 100 test modules. The IQS-600 family is comprised of the IQS-610P (a ten-slot control unit that can support up to nine IQS-610E ten-slot expansion units) and the IQS-605P (a five-slot control unit with an integrated touch screen). Combined with the built-in IQS Manager software, the IQS-500 platform provides an easy-to-use environment to manage your modules, configure your system, launch applications and analyze results. The IQS-600 can be controlled using local applications or through GPIB, RS-232 or Ethernet interfaces.