Ixia Announces New Ethernet Test Platform

The Optixia test platform is based on a series of tiny Linux computers on each port and can deliver up to 144 Gigabit Ethernet ports in a single chassis.

Ixia announced on July 24 that the company has a new, high-density Ethernet test platform designed for large enterprises and carriers.

The Optixia XM platform, coupled with the Optixia XM12 Chassis allow the company to deliver up to 144 Gigabit Ethernet or 36 10Gigabit Ethernet ports in a single chassis.

Unlike its competition, the Ixia test platform, which is used by companies to make sure their networks are performing as they are supposed to perform, is based on a series of tiny Linux computers on each port.

This allows Ixia to create a software-based test platform that users find very adaptable, company officials said. Also unlike its competition, which includes Spirent Communications and Agilent, the Ixia product allows users to move their existing test blades to the new chassis.

The Calabasas, Calif., company has been delivering software-based test equipment for several years. "What were seeing is that, increasingly, customers are trying to support real traffic to test their devices," Bruce Miller, Ixias executive director for project management, told eWEEK.

"It makes sense to run real traffic even to test layer 2 or 3 performance. TCP acknowledgements can complicate testing and buffers," he added.

"Ten gig is no longer just an uplink technology," Miller said, explaining the need for such large capacity. "So the customers need a lot of 10 gig ports."

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about how Cisco helps service providers move to carrier Ethernet.

Miller noted that Ixia is releasing new versions of its applications for the new test platform, including IxLoad (for layer 4 to 7 testing), IxNetwork (for layer 2 and 3 testing) and IxAutomate (to run long tests automatically).

"Their software strategy is the most interesting by having a platform on which they run testing software. Carriers appreciate the flexibility," said Elisabeth Rainge, an analyst at IDC, based Framingham, Mass.

Rainge said that IDC recently did a large study on commoditization of network equipment and saw that there was quite a preference for software.

"The Ixia platform may align well with what we see as the trend in the target customers," Rainge said. She added that the new design and the change in the market demands are putting Ixia into a growth situation.

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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...