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Test and Measurement: IoT, SDN drive new IPv6 testing at UNH-IOL


The move to Internet Protocol Version 6 addresses has been underway for a number of years, as the world exhausted the supply of IPv4 internet addresses. The momentum in software-defined networking and the internet of things is driving faster adoption of IPv6 — and the need for testing of devices to ensure that they can be successfully deployed in IPv6 environments, according to Tim Winters, the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab’s senior executive for software and IP networking.

UNH-IOL announced this week that it has expanded its IPv6 testing capabilities to meet requirements in the updated USGv6 profile, which is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s compliance  test program for IPv6. The revised profile is updated for the latest IPv6 standards, according to UNH-IOL, including testing in IPv6-only environments, testing IPv6 applications and services, and “providing a streamlined platform for other organizations and governments to utilize the profile and test methodology.” As Winters puts it, the original USGv6 profile was supposed to ensure that government customers could buy products tested to that profile to ensure that they were buying items that were compliant and would work properly. The updated profile brings in updates from the years since the original profile was introduced and adjusts to the new reality of IoT.

Winter said that IPv6 deployments are at about 20% globally and expecting continued growth, driven by the fact that more IoT and more SDN mean more demand for IP addresses.

“What we’re seeing now is IoT devices, smaller devices that are getting onto networks and need to support IPv6, while at the same time people are finding ways to make things more efficient and get creative with segment routing,” Winters said. “One of the things we’re trying to do is make sure that the devices work correctly — that you can put it on an IPv6 networks, it will get an address and it won’t do any harm to the network.” 

UNH-IOL was one of the first labs to be accredited for IPv6-related testing that ensured implementations met NIST’s USGv6 standards, back in 2010. Now, it’s the only North American lab currently offering an accredited test program for USGv6, Winters said.

In other test news:

Napatech, which designs accelerators for network monitoring purposes, has appointed a new CEO. As of July 24th, Ray Smets will take on that role, and current CEO Henrik Brill Jensen will move to the position of COO.

“Smets comes with extensive experience and a strong track record from executive and senior positions within companies like Cisco Systems, McAfee Security, A10 Networks, Metaswitch Networks, and Packeteer,” Napatech said in announcing the CEO transition, adding that Smets “was also an executive officer at AT&T (formerly known as BellSouth) earlier in his career where he led major network initiatives and businesses within internet, wireless and mobility.”

National Instruments and Spirent Communications are partnering to develop 5G test systems, saying that their work “will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations (gNodeBs).” The new offerings will support both millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz 5G testing.

Spirent will use NI’s software-defined radio products as it develops offerings to test 5G device performance, leveraging NI’s Universal Software Radio Peripheral devices and mmWave Transceiver System, the two companies said. Covered 5G NR test scenarios will include location, video, data, audio, and calling performance, and LabVIEW FPGAs will be used to emulate the first three layers of the 5G NR protocol stack.

“The marriage of our high-performance platform and Spirent’s best-in-class test methodology for measuring the mobile user experience is exciting for the industry,” said James Kimery, director of wireless research at NI, in a statement. “Being able to assess the accuracy of cellular location in 5G environments and measuring the performance of video and data delivery are critical needs as 5G devices come on line starting in 2019.”

In related 5G testing developments, NI also this week unveiled two new mmWave radio heads for prototyping 5G systems. The heads cover spectrum between 24.5 GHz to 33.4 GHz and 37 GHz to 43.5 GHz, NI said.

-Adding to the momentum around the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, test company Accuver said it has delivered testing and analysis software for CBRS field testing to an “emerging US service provider that has adopted CBRS for an accelerated wireless market penetration.” Accuver first demonstrated its test products’ support for CBRS at last year’s Mobile World Congress Americas and now the company said that CBRS capabilities are part of its general offerings with its XCAL field testing toolset and XCAP-M data analysis for CBRS. (You can register for RCR Wireless News’ webinar on CBRS and other private LTE options, coming up next Wednesday.)

Keysight Technologies launched new oscilloscopes that support terabit research. The Infiiium UXR series have real-time bandwidth up to 110 GHz and other features to enable high-speed technologies including 5G and PAM-4; Keysight said that when combined with its 110 GHz Optical Modulation Analyzer front-end and vector signal analyzer-based optical modulation software, the new oscilloscope series can be used as an end-to-end test solution for optical research.

Also this week, Keysight’s Ixia Solutions Group introduced Hawkeye Express, a cloud-based, software-as-a-service extension of its Hawkeye network monitoring platform. The new offering can be used to test and monitor cloud-based applications hosted on third-party public cloud platforms.


Kelly Hill
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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