Agilent RouterTester 900 Verifies Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching

11/26/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced that Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) has chosen the Agilent RouterTester 900 test system to verify the performance of its Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS) capability, a new Internet specification that offers SONET-like protection switching for enterprise businesses and service providers offering metro Ethernet services. Using RouterTester, performance limitations can be identified quickly and cost-effectively, enabling the development of highly scalable network equipment and services.

Extreme Networks worked with BT Exact, BT's research, technology and IT operations business, to verify its EAPS. BT Exact designs and delivers carrier-scale networks and offers practical experience to help telecom equipment manufacturers understand how their products will respond when used in typical live network environments. BT Exact's test plan called for simulating thousands of IP traffic flows from hundreds of thousands of customer networks. RouterTester 900 was chosen because its highly scalable routing-protocol emulation capability could fully stress Extreme's Summit® fixed configuration Ethernet switches while accurately measuring sub-second recovery time and the latency and loss of each data packet.

"Using RouterTester 900, it was easy to rapidly simulate a large pool of routes, generate traffic on those routes, and graph the actual performance of user traffic flows in real time in the critical moments following recovery," said Michael Flaum, technical marketing manager at Extreme Networks. "Our customers can easily repeat this demonstration and be confident their deployment of our Ethernet switches will realize highly scalable and reliable IP services."

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an international body responsible for the evolution of Internet architecture, has just accepted EAPS as RFC 3619. Protection switching is traditionally provided by SONET/SDH transmission equipment or specialized hardware to guarantee sub-second recovery from a network failure by switching to an alternate path around the fault. RouterTester 900's verification of EAPS is significant because the same performance was achieved using standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet interfaces.

Routing protocols are used by routers within a data network to share information about the network topology, enabling the forwarding of IP packets to the correct destinations. By emulating these routing protocols realistically, RouterTester 900 appeared to Extreme's switches as a 100,000-node network carrying traffic from thousands of users. RouterTester 900's efficient and realistic network simulation reduces cost of test and enables integration of innovative technologies.

Further Information
To learn more about RouterTester 900's switching and routing test capabilities, visit or download a copy of Agilent's Journal of Internet Test Methodologies from Product photos are available at RouterTester/presskit.htm. A full report of the Extreme Network's switch test is available at For more information about BT Exact, please go to

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 29,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

Extreme Networks and Summit are trademarks of Extreme Networks, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.

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