Hot on the heels of an Internet Telephony Product of the Year award in
January 2002, Wilmington, MA-based Empirix recently snagged a Market
Engineering Leadership award from analysts Frost & Sullivan. The honor
was bestowed upon Empirix for their leadership position in the VoIP testing
segment of our industry.
In fact, according to Sailaja Vepa, Test and Measurement industry analyst
with Frost & Sullivan, Empirix is a leader in the VoIP market at 24.4
percent of the market six percent greater than its nearest competitor
and is certainly deserving of the 2001 Market Engineering Leadership award.
Now, I dont usually use this space to discuss the prizes and blue
ribbons that grace the trophy shelf of a particular company, but I thought
it worth mentioning because Empirix has been on a roll as of late. In the
last 12 months the company has enjoyed tremendous success in the market,
continuing to sell their products to the network equipment manufacturers who
now more than ever need to test their products to ensure they are
the best they can possibly be before they leave the lab on their way to the
real world. In this economy, vendors need to be doubly sure that their wares
will work as advertised.
But Empirix is not content to simply rest on the laurels and move
existing product to their customer base. At the recent Voice on the Net
industry trade show in Seattle, Empirix Communications Infrastructure
Test Group (formerly Hammer Technologies) unveiled their latest creation:
The Hammer NXT.
The NXT is being billed as the industrys first truly integrated
Carrier Class TDM/IP test platform for VoIP application testing. As
networks continue to evolve, so Empirix testing solutions have continued
to evolve in lockstep. An ever-increasing array of network elements is being
deployed, and there is a significant need to be able to test and verify
these elements. The Hammer NXT allows equipment manufacturers and service
providers to isolate individual elements within the network (e.g., media
gateways, application servers, etc.) and perform various types of analyses
on those elements. No longer are engineers limited to simple TDM to TDM
tests across the whole network, but rather the Hammer NXT was designed to
give them the ability to drill down into the network to get a much better
idea of whats happening. Also, carriers can now test multiple
next-generation applications, such as toll bypass, Class 5 services, and the
as yet unknown enhanced services that developers are busy working on
in labs across the globe.
The Hammer NXTs blade-based architecture can generate up to 50,000
simultaneous calls using a mix of TDM over DS-3 interfaces using SS7, CAS
and ISDN signaling, and SIP/IP with a real RTP media. Future releases will
incorporate such signaling protocols as MGCP and MEGACO. As for scalability,
multiple Hammer NXTs can be linked together to simulate traffic volumes of
over 250,000 simultaneous calls.
A short list of Hammer NXT Test applications includes:
- High-density path confirmation and voice quality testing of VoIP
applications including TDM-TDM and IP-TDM;
- Verify VoIP application performance with detailed call measurements
including call rates, capacity, errors, and end-to-end call routing
- Failover testing, to ensure background circuits engage seamlessly when
primary circuit goes down;
- Voice quality testing with full background loading on system under
- Voice quality testing when confronted with real world network
- Network level functional or performance testing;
- Device isolation testing for trunking, signaling, and access gateways,
switching platforms, softswitches, and IP end points; and
- Verify QoS algorithms with network metrics including packet loss,
latency, and jitter.
The Hammer NXT is available immediately. Subsequent upgrades to the
product will be made available at approximately two-month intervals, adding
features such as OC-3 scalability, advanced SIP test capabilities, and more,
so make sure you check with Empirix to see whats NXT on the list of
available options. For more information, visit the company online at www.empirix.com.
To The May 2002 Table Of Contents ]