Today's Internet is composed of thousands of networks and millions of users logging in at any given time. At the same time, companies and their services are getting so large that the need to manage the increasing number of network terminals has become more than necessary for daily operations. They need to have a reliable set of equipment that will be able to deliver results under immense pressure. Thus, such companies look for devices that have undergone rigorous testing, or they ensure that they test the equipment themselves. This is where the Ixia traffic generator steps in. It provides a complete platform of testing your network setup to ensure sustained and reliable performance.
Why Is Testing Necessary?
The success of a business relies highly on the proper delivery of its services. It is therefore important that the equipment task to maintain or deliver the services to customers must not crash especially when beset when too many requests. A minor glitch due to network devices crashing will already cost a company millions that should could have used on something else. In this line, Ixia traffic generator acts in the line of prevention of future issues rather cure them as it happens.
Issues usually occur when a network is launched but has not undergone testing at all. What some companies do is to release a service or application to a certain number of users in order to figure out if the network can function in a real setting. However, they run the risk of being seen by competitors or have a negative review spread due to connectivity issues. It will have its advantages, but releasing it to a select few will not be able to successfully simulate the sheer number of users that will be on the network. The Ixia traffic generator takes care of checking if a network can withstand the load in a private manner.
Another reason for testing is security . Several attacks have been carried out by malicious groups through an increased volume of attempts to use a particular application instead of exploiting vulnerabilities and holes in the code. Such attacks have been used even popular websites such as Yahoo and Google. Unless the network hardware has been thoroughly tested, it will no doubt suffer the same fate as these established websites. They were able to get back up after several hours of severe slowdown at the dismay of their users. Your company's network may even suffer worse if you do not employ a traffic generator.
How Does It work?
Ixia provides traffic generators power that is enough to verify and speed test network multilayer switches such as gigabit Ethernet over copper, Packet Over Sonet, and even 10/100 mbps Ethernet. The traffic generators send thousands of dummy packets that are tagged with identifiers within the network. These generators often perform benchmark tests listed by RFC 2544, which is the accepted methodology of interconnected devices in a network.
Tests can be two-way throughput tests on multiple ports with increasing sizes. Packet sizes start at 64 bytes up to 1. 5 MB. Then the loads are multiplied to reach millions of packets per second. At the same time, one can perform many Quality of Service (QOS) tests on the same network. Best of all, the traffic generators are made to look like normal network equipment and can be placed side by side with your switches.
Other Features of the Ixia Traffic Generator
Tests are very comprehensive. The Ixia traffic generator can perform tests on various technologies that are in used on today's networks such as VOIP, broadband and IPTV, among others.
Analysis. Traffic generators do not just blast your devices with millions of loads and leave you to figure out what had happened. It also features analysis tools to help you with statistics about a specific test. From the results, you can make certain adjustments to improve the testing conditions. You will also be able to make informed decisions about which scenario needs to be tested again.
Common Platform. The Ixia traffic generator carries out tests using the same hardware and software. Also, the same hardware can be used to test a number of devices from routers to switches. This means you do not need to purchase different platforms for new tests and separate devices. This makes the Ixia traffic generator ideal for companies that want to save on cost.
Reduce Time of Development. Most of the common bugs and loopholes often appear when a network application is subjected to millions of queries. The platforms of the generators allow you create tests that help you make adjustments on your code to reduce the risk of failing in the real world. These tests can also be automated to reduce time.
Scalability and High-density of Tests. Each Ixia traffic generator can already generate on several ports for millions of packets. You can also combine traffic generators to increase the number of ports, thereby increasing the density of the tests and developing scenarios of a larger scale.
Centralized Management and Multiple Operations. The Ixia devices can be managed on a single location, thanks to the tools and the design of the chassis that houses the traffic generators. It is also possible to automate the tests to reduce the number of personnel performing the testing. There is also no need to acquire different devices for each location that is being tested. The Ixia platform can work on different devices simultaneously by virtue of resource allocation.
Wide Range of Chassis Options. Ixia can provide devices that help in traffic generation and analysis that can fit the needs and size of the network being tested. You have the choice of getting the chassis with the highest density and the most number of ports or go with smaller chassis for testing in a desktop environment. They even have portable devices ideal for cost-effective environments.
IxExplorer™ provides a powerful and interactive Graphical User Interface (GUI) for managing Ixia test hardware resources. Complete control is provided for generation and analysis of Layer 2-4 traffic streams on an array of network interface technologies, including Ethernet,10 Gigabit Ethernet, Packet over SONET (POS), ATM, Frame Relay, etc. Ixia test ports can be independently configured to define traffic, filtering, and capture capabilities. Comprehensive statistics and graphical views enable in-depth analysis of the performance and functionality of the Device Under Test (DUT). IxExplorer also provides the GUI framework for IxRouter, purchased separately, for performing routing and bridging protocol performance and functional testing.
Client application executable on PCs and workstations running Microsoft Windows operating systems
Optixia® XL10, Optixia® XM12, Optixia® X16, IXIA1600T, IXIA 400T, IXIA 250
Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, XP
Displays and provides control for multiple chassis chains with up to 256 chassis in each chain
Flexible statistics display views in table and graph formats
Fine tune control of stream parameters such as frame size, data patterns, protocols, and rates
Control of traffic filtering parameters, such as addresses, custom data patterns, errors, and frame sizes
Login/logout for multi-user management of individual ports
Protocols and Encapsulations
IPv4, IPv6, TCP, UDP, IPX, VLAN, QinQ, Cisco ISL, ARP, ICMP, IGMPv1/v2/v3, MPLS, GRE, OSPF, RIP, DHCP
The resource tree in IxExplorer presents the user an organized structure from which to control Ixia test hardware resources. Different types of Load Modules in a single or multiple chassis can be easily managed from a single IxExplorer client. Configurations can be executed or copied across multiple ports, cards, or chassis at once.
Filtering mechanisms in IxExplorer allow for the definition of rules to narrow the number of packets to be received for analysis. Test ports can be configured to analyze and count packets to match user-defined criteria, such as network addresses, custom data patterns, errors, and frame size ranges. Custom statistics counters can be programmed to match specified criteria.
Test ports are equipped with capture memory capable of storing up to hundreds of thousands of packets in real time. A comprehensive set of user-defined triggers and filters is available based on MAC addresses, IP addresses, data patterns, and error conditions. Decodes are available for IPv4, IPv6, UDP, ARP, BGP-4, IS-IS, OSPF, TCP, DHCP, IPX, RIP, IGMP, CISCO ISL, VLAN, SRP, RPR, and MPLS.
Extensive Statistics and Real-Time Graphs
• Real-time 64-bit counts and frame rates
• Spreadsheet format for convenient manipulation of statistics counters
• Real-time graphical display of packets transmitted and received, rates and latency
• User-defined statistics based on pre-defined trigger conditions
• Protocol statistics for ARP, ICMP, OSPF, RIP, IGMP and DHCP
• External file logging for statistics and alerts
• Audible and visual alerts with user-definable thresholds
IxExplorer™ allows multiple users to independently access individual test ports on Ixia test hardware. This enables users to execute their own tests on the ports assigned to them without disrupting tests being executed by other users on the system.
IxExplorer™ can display and manage multiple chassis configured in a daisy-chain. Streams, filters, and protocol parameters can easily be configured at once across multiple ports, cards or chassis. A spreadsheet-like GUI provides for quick and easy configuration of multiple parameters at once, enabling IxExplorer to manage large-scale tests.
IxExplorer Packet Generation
With Packet Streams tools, the user can configure
each port to transmit any packet condition, whether
valid packets, undersized (as low as 12 bytes),
oversized (up to 65,536 bytes), or error packets
(alignment, dribble bit, bad CRC or no CRC). Each port
can have up to 256 different streams, or
32,000 flows, and each stream is capable of
generating millions of unique packets. Users can
easily configure packets with incrementing,
decrementing, or random MAC and IP addresses for
simultaneously testing Layer 2 and Layer 3 Ethernet
switches. The entire packet contents are user-defined
and can generate IP addresses with real-time
checksum calculation for effective testing of
sophisticated IP switches, supporting millions of