JUNE 19, 2007 -- Test systems supplier Ixia (search for Ixia) has revealed new test capabilities for Provider Backbone Transport/Provider Backbone Bridging (PBT/PBB), along with those for Ethernet operations, adminstration, and management (OAM)/ configuration fault management (CFM), that provide network equipment manufacturers and carriers with complete testing tools for modern Carrier Ethernet technologies. According to the company, the Carrier Ethernet Test Solution ensures conformance to standards, scalability, interoperability and overall performance under real-world conditions.
With its recent IxNetwork 5.30 release, which is part of its Aptixia test framework, Ixia introduces PBT/PBB, Ethernet OAM/CFM, and Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD). Now the company is providing a broad range of Carrier Ethernet testing running on its single Optixia XM test platform. Ixia says it is the first to verify both PBT/PBB and MPLS-based Carrier Ethernet. Tier 1 carriers have shown interest in adopting PBT/PBB because it reduces the complexity and costs of Ethernet transport while providing enhanced quality of service (QoS). However, the interdependent nature of carrier networks and services demands that equipment manufacturers and service providers ensure that their equipment conforms to applicable standards and is ready for live deployment.
"PBT/PBB is an important new part of the Carrier Ethernet solution over switched Ethernet," says Michael Howard, principal analyst, Infonetics Research. "Many service providers are evaluating PBT/PBB as a cost-effective mechanism to leverage their switched metro Ethernet network and offer backhaul for access networks, extend L2/L3 VPNs, and point-to-point (E-Line) services. Equipment manufactures and service providers need to evaluate the functionality, scalability, and resiliency before deployment."
Ixia also provides conformance and performance test suites that enable network equipment manufacturers and carriers to validate the Metro Ethernet Forum's test standards MEF 9 and MEF 14. In addition to testing the service attributes of MEF 9 and MEF 14, the company tests and stresses any underlying technology such as PBT/PBB, Q-inQ, MPLS, VPLS transport, and the underlying transport such as Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 10GbE, or SONET. Additional features will be available over the coming months, the company reports.