Agilent Enhancements Increase SAN Test Capacity by Factor of 100

10/16/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced three breakthrough enhancements to its storage area network (SAN) tester that increase its test capacity 100 times, extend test coverage and reduce cost of test. The new features added to the Agilent 1730B SAN tester are device virtualization, host bus adapter (HBA) behavior emulation, and a capture buffer for failure analysis.

As SAN fabrics double in size each year, testing them with actual servers and storage devices becomes increasingly challenging and expensive, reaching the scalability limits of traditional test methodologies. Device virtualization consists of emulating multiple devices behind each physical test port, thereby reducing the cost of test. The Agilent SAN tester's support of arbitrated loop technology allows emulation of up to 126 virtual devices behind each physical test port. Test engineers can use the Agilent SAN tester to emulate 2,000 devices in a 2U chassis, compared to fewer than 10 real devices using the same space.

SAN fabric services can be stressed as if 126 physical devices were present for each physical port of the 1730B SAN tester. Each port can generate negative test through network exceptions such as link down or loop initialization.

Engineers can characterize behavior of each device by specifying how it logs into the fabric and registers to the name server, and how the name server is queried. This characterization is accomplished by indicating which commands are used, in which order they are sent to the fabric services, and what the parameters are. This allows engineers to extend test coverage and find problems associated with a specific device behavior.

The third major capability added to each test port is a real-time protocol analyzer with triggers and filters for protocol debugging. Each test port has a 32MB-capture buffer behind it, allowing simultaneous trace on multiple ports. The Agilent 1730B analyzer differs from traditional protocol analyzers in that it supports triggering on fabric-performance events such as latency, misdirected or lost frames, and sequence errors. The analyzer's trigger also includes eight pattern recognizers that can be defined in a trigger event. Combining analyzer capabilities with fabric-performance measurements into one tool lowers overall cost of test.

"In SAN testing, cost control of large-scale test infrastructures is key to increasing revenue," said Dave Bass, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Data Networks Division. "In one 2U chassis, we have packed more testing power than in several racks of equipment. Virtualization reduces the price per device by 97 percent, resulting in reduced cost of test."

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 1730B SAN tester is available for order at a list price of $32,836. More information on the SAN tester is available at

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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