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Test and Measurement: NetScout virtualizes its packet broker

NetScout introduces software version of nGenius packet visibility

Network monitoring company NetScout launched a software version of its nGenius packet visibility tool. The new nGenius PFS 5000 line uses white box switches, and NetScout says models can provide aggregation, replication and filtering at speeds ranging from 10 gigabits per second to 100 Gbps.

The system can utilize a self-organizing mesh technology for on-demand scaling and interconnection of multiple packet flow systems in the same data center or located remotely from one another, according to NetScout. The virtualized packet broker can be used in standalone deployments or with other NetScout models, the company said.

“The new products are the first step toward a complete disaggregation of network packet broker functionality, where the NETSCOUT Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) software is decoupled from the underlying hardware,” said Sanjay Munshi, VP of products for NetScout’s PFS business unit, in a statement. “The first controller-less open compute approach brings significant flexibility for our customers enabling them to cost-effectively evolve and further scale their monitoring infrastructures on demand.”

NetScout also this week made its newest release of its nGenius Pulse software for service assurance, extending its capabilities to infrastructure performance management.

NetScout is supporting French operator Bouyges Telecom with quality monitoring and troubleshooting as the carrier expands its Voice over LTE network.

In other test news:

-Both AT&T and T-Mobile US this week announced the results of testing License-Assisted Access-based unlicensed spectrum aggregation in their networks. T-Mobile US claimed a peak download speed of 741 megabits per second, while AT&T said that it reached around 650 Mbps. Read the full story here, and check out the launch of AT&T’s second “5G” trial in Austin here. 

Rohde & Schwarz said that it now has the industry’s first signal and spectrum analyzer with 2 gigahertz of internal analysis bandwidth, to support the increased bandwidth needs for 5G development as well as automotive applications and radar systems. The new option for the R&S FSW analyzer is available for the R&S FSW43 (up to 43.5 GHz range) and FSW50 (up to 50 GHz range), and the company said that FSWs that are already equipped with 1200 MHz internal analysis bandwidth can be upgraded with a key code.

Rohde & Schwarz also supported narrowband internet of things testing in a joint Global Certification Forum test campaign with NB-IoT company CommSolid.

Spirent Communications reported that it supported New H3C in “the industry’s highest density 100G data center switch test ever conducted” for data center core switches. The test was moderated by independent lab Network Test and included 768 100G ports, with Spirent’s TestCenter and N11U chasses generating 100G line-rate traffic and analytics on the quality of the transmissions.

“With 768 ports, this is the largest 100G Ethernet switch test successfully completed in the industry so far. The stress tests we conducted involved nearly 1 million unique BGP routes as well as 768 concurrent EVPN instances within a single chassis,” said David Newman of Network Test in a statement. 

Spirent also worked with China Mobile on several projects this week, including a demonstration of the Enhanced Voice Services codec for high-definition voice in LTE and automated testing of virtual core networks at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. EVS testing has been an area of focus for Spirent in the past couple of years as the technology has gotten closer to deployment.

Ciena is working with researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, to figure out how to maximize capacity and minimize errors in long-distance data transmissions over fiber optic cables. A three-year partnership was announced today, and the collaboration between the university and the company has already resulted in seven U.S. patents with more pending, according to Ciena.

TechNavio projects that the global market for vector signal generators will grow to $153.69 million by 2021, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of more than 2% per year.  The research firm cited the development of “5G” and the emergence of VSGs with field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chipsets as two of the factors impacting that test equipment market.

Ixia (recently acquired by Keysight Technologies) is expanding its global reach, signing a new distribution agreement this week with Inflow Technologies that covers the sale of Ixia’s full product line-up in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

Ethernet Alliance held a plugfest this week at the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab to test multi-vendor interoperability in 25G and 100G high-speed Ethernet technologies.

GL Communications has boosted its multi-port Ethernet testing capabilities with its HDPacketExpert tool for testing high-density Ethernet switches.

NetScout is supporting French operator Bouyges Telecom with quality monitoring and troubleshooting as the carrier expands its Voice over LTE network.





Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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