Network testing vendors focused this week on preparing for more widespread 100 gigabit telecommunications networks as part of the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim, California.
EXFO unveiled a new lab solution for design, development and deployment testing of next-generation fiber networks. The LTB-8 Rackmount Platform is said to support simultaneous testing of eight 100G modules (which EXFO says is the best port density in the industry for 100G), remote access via EXFO’s Multilink test management system, and a new Power Blazer 100G multiservice test module designed to support CFP4 and QSFP28 interfaces. EXFO said the Power Blazer can be moved from the rackmount platform into EXFO’s FTB-2 Pro Platform portable handheld allowing the test module to be transferred between lab and field use, or between labs.
“As the industry moves into the mass deployment stage for 100G and prepares for 400G as the next step, it is clear that [network solution vendors] are facing new challenges and need to be more agile and cost effective in their development cycles,” said Claudio Mazzuca, VP for EXFO’s transport and and service assurance division, in a statement.
Meanwhile, Tektronix launched new automated conformance test offerings for four-lane 100G electrical interfaces, as defined in IEEE’s 802.3bj and 802.3bm specifications. These are available for its performance oscilloscopes up to 70 GHz and complement its optical validation offerings for 100G testing.
Brian Reich, GM for performance oscilloscopes at Tektronix, noted in a statement that “conformance testing for IEEE data communication standards is basically ad hoc since there isn’t a formal certification process,” and added Tektronix is offering tools to fill that gap with the aim of giving designers a consistent and accurate set of metrics to work with.
Keysight is also expanding its 100G testing solutions, with new optical compliance test options for 25G/100G/400G networks. Dave Cipriani, VP and GM of Keysight’s oscilloscope business, said the company “worked closely with several partners to develop a different approach to testing optical transmitters” with a focus on lowering the price while maintaining accuracy. The new N1092X series has three models with one, two or three optical channels, and according to Keysight are about half the cost of existing systems with comparable performance.
Anritsu had a joint demonstration at the OFC conference with InnoLight Technology, highlighting high-speed performance of optical transceivers that will be utilized as data centers move from 100G to 400G speeds. InnoLight used Anritsu’s MP1800A signal quality analyzer BERT for functional and tolerance testing.
Finally, Ixia demonstrated its Flex Ethernet bonding at Altera’s OFC booth. The technology is aimed at enabling flexible bandwidth provisioning through bonding two 100GbE PHYs rather than link aggregation, and can be used to either create a new 200Gb media access control over the bonded links or subrating to run 150Gb and 100Gb over the bonded physical layers.
In other test news:
–Tektronix added to its line of USB-based real-time signal analyzers, with models designed to cover between 9 kHz and 7.5 GHz with 40-megahertz acquisition bandwidth.
–Turkcell is using Anite’s equipment and software for comprehensive benchmarking of applications such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram on its cellular network. Turkcell plans to use the Nemo Invex II and Nemo Walker Air to benchmark wireless broadband networks, both outdoors and indoors, and the Nemo Xynergy Drive Test module for automated processing and the centralized online management of collected data.
–Ixia launched an active network monitoring platform called Hawkeye designed to keep track of service level agreement conditions and end-user experience, which can generate and analyze synthetic network and applications traffic to scrutinize performance. Hawkeye is said ti monitor application performance at regular intervals regardless of whether the apps are generating traffic on the network, according to Ixia, and supports automation of network management tasks, and proactive problem detection as well as insight into Wi-Fi networks’ impact on user experience.
–Cobham introduced a land-mobile radio test set at the International Wireless Communications Expo this week, aimed at testing of P25 Phase 2 and LSM systems. The 8800SX test set already has approval from Motorola for maintaining all of its technologies, including GTR8000 P25 Phase 1 and 2 and its linear simulcast modulation protocol, and also tests other original equipment manufacturer radio systems.
-Mobile virtual network enabler Globetouch is using Spirent Communications’ Tweakker device intelligence and self-care solution to provide Globetouch’s mobile virtual network operator customers with cloud connectivity services. The service agreement is said to allow Globetouch to provide a cloud platform for provisioning data services for MVNOs, and Globetouch expects some local operations will be able to cut their connectivity care costs by as much as 90% as a result of customers being able to select their own data options, which will then be automatically provisioned over-the-air or via step-by-step instructions. In addition, Tweakker is also providing an app for Apple iOS devices to enable their set up and configuration, which cannot be done over the air.