Agilent Offers Simultaneous Multi-channel, Multi-port Testing

11/5/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced that its OmniBER XM network simulator platform now supports simultaneous multi-channel, multi-port testing at the SONET/SDH Virtual Tributary/Tributary Unit (VT/TU) level. For the first time, designers and verification test engineers of Multi-Service Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs) have the ability to measure performance of thousands of VT/TU channels simultaneously compared to a single channel previously.

The new capabilities enable the complete characterization of the MSPPs' digital cross-connect switching matrix using much more realistic traffic simulation and in far less time than before. Such characterization is critical to ensuring that new data services, enabled by next generation SONET/SDH equipment, meet expected performance levels under all network conditions.

"Previous-generation test equipment could characterize protection switching performance only a single channel at a time," said Ronnie Neil, marketing programs manager at Agilent's Data Networks Division. "The OmniBER XM can now test up to 1,344 VT/TU channels in parallel, and multiple ports can be tested simultaneously to create a massive performance verification test."

The MSPPs' integrated architecture, with both multiple, integral digital cross-connects and high channel/port counts, has resulted in significant changes in testing requirements. Designed to aggregate thousands of virtual tributaries of voice and data traffic, their performance varies under network load conditions. MSPPs typically have two cross-connect switch matrices: the first operating at the higher capacity Synchronous Transport Signal/Administrative Unit (STS/AU) channel level for switching traffic in the metro core, and a second matrix operating at the lower capacity VT/TU channel level for switching traffic at the metro edge. A key aspect of MSPP scalability is the channel-level Automatic Protection Switching (APS) performance of the integral digital cross connects. Only through simultaneous channel/port loading with realistic traffic and simultaneous analysis of multiple performance measures can the true scalability of the MSPP be determined.

"In a 10G cross-connect application there may be up to 5,376 separate VTs to manage in an APS event," said Mark Spooner, product marketing manager, Service Provider Division at PMC-Sierra. "Multi-channel testing is needed to verify that network equipment can restore connectivity for thousands of VTs, all within the 50 ms time limit."

To meet this requirement, the OmniBER XM network simulator was created to realistically test all channels, over all ports, simultaneously. The OmniBER XM is a compact, modular, chassis-based system that can scale from entry-level systems for testing a single line card, to very large multi-chassis systems able to simulate a complete metro network. It is the only product available to completely verify an MSPP's STS level switching performance, and has been adopted by leading network equipment manufacturers and service providers. The new capability to verify VT/TU level switching performance is a firmware upgrade that enables OmniBER XM customers to use their existing hardware to test at both the STS level and at the VT/TU level. The VT/TU simulation can scale from a single channel to all 1,344 VT/TUs on an OC48 /STM16 port. Multiple ports of VT/TU traffic can be combined to create network stress tests that exceed the latest MSPP's switching capacity.

The OmniBER XM's massively parallel measurement architecture enables system verification to be completed in a fraction of the time traditionally taken thus allowing new products to be brought to market faster. This capability was recently demonstrated in the industry's largest SONET test performed by test company Iometrix. The OmniBER XM was used to verify the APS performance of multiple MSPP's in a large metro network in record time. A copy of the test results can be reviewed at

Further Information
For more information on the Agilent OmniBER XM Network Simulator, visit
Product photos are available at
For more information on Agilent's data over SONET/SDH test solutions, visit
For more information on VT/TU switching, visit

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The OmniBER XM can be ordered now for delivery with the VT/TU enhancement expected in the first quarter of 2004. Pricing for an OmniBER XM OC-48/STM-16 starts at $24,000 per port, and the optional VT/TU capability is priced at $10,000 per port.

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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