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Agilent Combines Systems For Network Testing

CHICAGO — Agilent Technologies Inc. has combined three systems — its Series 900 router tester, its OmniBER XM tester for Sonet and its storage-area network tester — to create a new type of platform for testing multiple services in carrier networks.

The N2X can test multiple services in encapsulated and embedded layers over a variety of physical-layer networks, such as Ethernet and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) over Sonet.

The blurring of services and protocol layers at the network edge had gotten complex enough to warrant a rethinking of architectures, said Rick Pearson, marketing manager in the computer and networking solutions business unit at Agilent.

Existing router testers and OmniBER XMs can receive a software upgrade to achieve N2X functionality, Pearson said, but OEMs and carriers are looking for a single platform that can test both edge and core routers, plus enterprise packet switches and multiservice provisioning platforms.

The N2X, carrying a baseline price of $20,000, has a dedicated 40-Gbit OC-768 port for high-speed fiber links, as well as a 10-Gigabit Ethernet card based on Xenpak optical modules and a 10/100/1,000-Mbit Ethernet test card. Agilent worked with Iometrix Inc. to develop a complete suite of point-to-point E-Line and point-to-multipoint E-LAN services for Ethernet, following the guidelines of the Metro Ethernet Forum.

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