MARCH 6, 2007 -- Ixia (search for Ixia) today announced the ability to generate and analyze IPTV video traffic over emulated IP network topologies. Using the new Aptixia IxNetwork 5.20 application running on the Optixia hardware platform, test engineers can now test the routing control plane and simultaneously stress the data plane by directing both real-world video traffic and packet-based network traffic over the emulated topologies, explain company representatives. The end result is a test tool that can better characterize the performance of routers/switches that deliver IPTV (search for IPTV) services by emulating all critical network elements prior to deployment.
The real application traffic generation capability of IxNetwork 5.20 provides the means to accurately determine the performance of real IPTV applications running on real networks, says the company. Traditionally, the validation of routers and switches includes emulating peer routers and testing only packet forwarding performance at Layers 2 and 3 over the range of emulated routes. To identify problems encountered when delivering real video and to ensure quality of experience (QoE) from the perspective of an IPTV subscriber, however, realistic IPTV traffic must be used.
"Consumers of video services are extremely demanding, and service providers must be able to measure and monitor the quality of the actual video stream being delivered to the end user," notes Vince Vittore, senior analyst with Yankee Group. "The ability to test Quality of Experience on real video traffic is an important step forward for the IPTV market."
IxNetwork characterizes the performance and scalability of routers, switches, and other Layer 2/3 forwarding devices by running large-scale routing protocol emulations and generating realistic video traffic. Technologies supported include IP routing, MPLS, multicast, and bridging.
"Video services place an enormous stress on the network, the margin of error is so small, and service providers need to ensure very high quality to compete with the dominant technologies in the market today," contends Errol Ginsberg, CEO of Ixia. "There is a big difference between generic stateless traffic and the patterns of real video traffic. It is impossible to predict accurately application layer performance based only on network layer measurements. To truly know how a device, like a router or a video server, will perform when deployed, you need to test it under realistic conditions," he says.
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