EXFO adds carrier-grade Ethernet test functionality

OCTOBER 18, 2006 - The company's new software suite supports the verification of transparent LAN and carrier-grade Ethernet services.

OCTOBER 18, 2006 -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (search EXFO) today released a new software suite for its FTB-8510 and IQS-8510 Packet Blazer Ethernet test modules used to characterize the performance and quality of service (QoS) of enterprise and carrier Ethernet networks.

Building on the extensive Ethernet testing features already available on the Packet Blazer, the new software suite provides many additional advanced testing features, say company representatives, including the validation of virtual local area network (VLAN) stacking, also known as IEEE standard 802.1ad Q-in-Q. This technology enables network service providers to offer transparent LAN services that preserve and extend customers' VLAN groupings and associated access privileges across a metro and wide area network. With this feature now supported on the FTB/IQS-8510 Packet Blazer modules, users can generate stacked VLAN traffic and, at the receiving end, filter traffic for specific VLAN IDs at any layer as a means to qualify these transparent LAN services, explains the company.

According to EXFO, the new software package also extends the Packet Blazer's Ethernet frame-analysis capabilities by introducing frame-loss and out-of-sequence frame counts and statistics. These measurements are key metrics required in today's IP networks, particularly when qualifying an Ethernet link or service used to transport real-time media streams such as VoIP and IPTV. In addition, the Packet Blazer also offers IP header and user datagram protocol (UDP) checksums capabilities, allowing users to verify the error-free operation of their network from Layers 2 through 4.

EXFO's Packet Blazer software suite is available for multiple platforms, including the FTB-200 Compact Platform, FTB-400 Universal Test System, and IQS-500 Intelligent Test System.

"Providing high-performance, carrier-grade Ethernet services is a key challenge for network service providers worldwide, since they are deploying these services at a rapid pace," reports Etienne Gagnon, EXFO's vice president of Protocol and Optical Product Management. "New functionalities offered in this latest software release for EXFO's FTB/IQS-8510 Packet Blazer, in addition to its current feature-rich Ethernet test offering, provide our customers with all the necessary tools to validate carrier-grade Ethernet services and service-level agreements [SLAs]."

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