Agilent's Network Simulator Enables Industry's Largest SONET Stress Test

10/14/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced its equipment has played a key role in enabling test company Iometrix Inc. to conduct the industry's largest stress test on an optical core-to-edge transport network. The Agilent OmniBER XM network simulator was used during the test to simulate and measure worst-case failure and recovery results, thereby assuring better efficiency and reliability of next-generation SONET networks.

Service providers looking to offer more cost-effective and innovative services are turning to a new class of multi-service switching and provisioning equipment that is less expensive to deploy and operate. These highly integrated devices provide more flexibility and scalability than before but are also much more complex to test and their performance is more difficult to verify. Network carriers have requested assurance that the latest multi-service transport platforms will keep within the standards specified for protection switching when subjected to high levels of stress on a very large scale.

"Until now, no testing like this had ever been performed because single-channel tester configurations could not scale to simulating and measuring a very large number of SONET channels in parallel," said Bob Mandeville, president of Iometrix. "This was the first test of its kind, made possible by the unique capabilities of the Agilent OmniBER XM to thoroughly characterize next-generation SONET equipment. The OmniBER XM provides us with a highly scalable, simultaneous test capability, taking the stressing of next-generation devices to network-realistic levels," said Mandeville.

The Iometrix test simulated a metro SONET transport network from the edge to the core. For the SONET core side, Iometrix used Cisco ONS 15600 Multi-Service Switching Platforms (MSSPs) configured to support 16 edge networks and a traffic-load equivalent to 368 Multi-Service Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs). Iometrix also built a metro edge network using 23 Cisco ONS 15454 MSPPs. To fully stress the ONS 15454 and 15600 platforms, Iometrix used the Agilent OmniBER XM network simulator to simulate traffic from an industry-record 512 parallel STS-3c circuits, generating 160 Gb/s of traffic and 80 Gb/s of simultaneous service disruption. The OmniBER XM also provides SONET mixed mappings, making the test even more network-realistic and better able to characterize a device's true performance. The tests were all conducted over a period of one week, a time scale previously impossible without the parallel measurement and programming architecture of the Agilent OmniBER XM.

Iometrix conducted 19 detailed error, switching and connectivity test suites on the Cisco platforms, and the complete test result report (available at represents the most thorough characterization of multi-service transport platforms to date.

For more information on the Agilent OmniBER XM Network Simulator, visit

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 30,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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