3 November 2003 Palo Alto, CA Lightwave -- Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that its OmniBER XM network simulator platform now supports simultaneous multi-channel, multi-port testing at the SONET/SDH Virtual Tributary/Tributary Unit (VT/TU) level. This capability provides designers and verification test engineers of multi-service provisioning platforms (MSPPs) with the ability to measure the performance of thousands of VT/TU channels simultaneously.
The new capabilities enable the complete characterization of the MSPPs' digital crossconnect switching matrix using much more realistic traffic simulation and in far less time than before. Such characterization is critical to ensuring that new data services enabled by next-generation SONET/SDH equipment meet expected performance levels under all network conditions.
"Previous-generation test equipment could characterize protection switching performance only a single channel at a time," said Ronnie Neil, marketing programs manager at Agilent's Data Networks Division. "The OmniBER XM can now test up to 1,344 VT/TU channels in parallel, and multiple ports can be tested simultaneously to create a massive performance verification test."
The MSPPs' integrated architecture, with both multiple, integral digital crossconnects and high channel/port counts, has resulted in significant changes in testing requirements. Designed to aggregate thousands of virtual tributaries of voice and data traffic, their performance varies under network load conditions. MSPPs typically have two crossconnect switch matrices: the first operating at the higher-capacity Synchronous Transport Signal/Administrative Unit (STS/AU) channel level for switching traffic in the metro core, and a second matrix operating at the lower-capacity VT/TU channel level for switching traffic at the metro edge. A key aspect of MSPP scalability is the channel-level automatic protection switching (APS) performance of the integral digital crossconnects. Only through simultaneous channel/port loading with realistic traffic and simultaneous analysis of multiple performance measures can the true scalability of the MSPP be determined.
The new capability to verify VT/TU level switching performance is a firmware upgrade that enables OmniBER XM customers to use their existing hardware to test at both the STS level and at the VT/TU level. The VT/TU simulation can scale from a single channel to all 1,344 VT/TUs on an OC-48 /STM-16 port. Multiple ports of VT/TU traffic can be combined to create network stress tests that exceed the latest MSPP's switching capacity.