Agilent Introduces 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Protocol Analysis Module

12/3/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced a multi-application Fibre Channel protocol analysis module for 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel storage networks. The versatile test tool combines Fibre Channel protocol analysis, traffic generation and performance test, so storage equipment manufacturers can reduce test equipment capital expenditures and test cost by 30 percent and accelerate test development.

Building on the Agilent N2X testing chassis, the Agilent 1735A multi-application module provides support for real-time protocol analysis applications and is entirely compatible with the Agilent storage area network (SAN) tester. Test automation is achieved through a common TCL/TK interface.

By combining active test (traffic generation) and passive test (protocol analysis) on the same module, the Agilent 1735A decreases the complexity of the test environment and the cost of the system. Downloading the appropriate features on the modules prior to the test makes it possible for the distribution of active versus passive ports.

A traditional SAN test environment includes active test tools that generate traffic conditions needed to test all of the fabric and equipment capabilities, together with passive protocol analyzers to transparently monitor traffic information within the SAN network. Significant challenges are related to the integration of heterogeneous test tools and various APIs in a common test environment. Since the ratio of active test ports versus passive test ports varies depending on the test scenario, only a portion of the test equipment is used at a time.

Configured as a protocol analyzer, the Agilent 1735A module includes two independent full-duplex analysis subsystems, each one able to capture relevant information through an intuitive high-level multilevel, multibranch triggering and filtering sequencer. Time correlation is provided between all of the analyzers, enabling multiport, system-level measurement. The product is a companion to the Agilent N2X multiservices tester for converging network infrastructures, combining routing, switching, transport and storage testers into an integrated solution.

The Agilent 1735A module, configured as an active tester, enables Fibre Channel traffic generation at wire speeds of 1 Gb/s to 4 Gb/s, with allowances for any combination of data, error, link, fabric control and fabric services test.

The new module can be used simultaneously with the existing Agilent 1730 series SAN tester modules in the universal multi-user, multiprotocol, scalable N2X chassis, protecting existing investments. This chassis can be a portable two-slot version for mobile use or a stackable four-slot version for large-scale multiport analysis in a test integration lab. Traces can be captured onsite and viewed in the lab environment.

"In storage networks and equipment testing, cost control of large-scale test infrastructures is key to increasing revenue," said Siegfried Gross, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Digital Verification Solutions Division. "Agilent's 4 Gb/s multi-application test equipment is a paradigm shift in the Fibre Channel test market and addresses the critical needs of our customers. It decreases the price per device, resulting in reduced cost of test, and encompasses capabilities from design and test to deployment."

Agilent continues to earn the trust of new customers with orders of more than 500 test ports for the 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel since the product's introduction. Product photos are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 1735A multi-application module is now available for order at a list price of $22,000 and is expected to ship in March 2005. More information is available at

Agilent Storage Networking Solutions
Agilent is a leading supplier of 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel component, board and test solutions. No other vendor offers protocol, physical layer and fiber optic components combined with leading-edge signal and protocol testing. More information 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 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2004. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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