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December 17, 2010

Quality of Experience Key in Measuring and Managing Network Processors

By Jaclyn Allard, TMCnet Web Editor

Quality of Service (QoS), typically linked to one or more defined metrics and an associated SLA (Service Level Agreement), e.g., average bandwidth or latency, implies a more specific attribute of quality.

Quality of Experience (QoE), often more appropriately named "Quality of User Experience,” is a more subjective, qualitative metric rather than the typically empirical QoS. Therefore, the demand for equipment that can measure/manage QoE is increasing, with the overall market size for specific QoE testing equipment is approximately $500M.Voice networks previously used qualitative measurements for many years, incorporating both human and machine simulation approaches. Nonetheless, QoE systems can also take both approaches. As application scenarios differ so do the approaches to measuring and managing, but a number of common characteristics are shared:

Segmenting application elements – Must identify which element of an application is responsible for and related to positive and/or negative user experience

Real time measurement – Must be able to track the real-time ebbs and flows of the traffic and overall application performance

Packet level – Must able to inspect packets and identify exactly what is going on with an application and specific user at any given point in time

Technologically, the ideal platform for a QoE application must bring both network processing and high packet throughput together, maximizing subscriber monitoring, such as Advantech’s Packetarium platforms.

Product: NCP-3120

The NCP-3120, based on the 6-core Cavium OCTEON II CN6335, brings scalability to the Packetarium range, integrating Network Processor (News - Alert) Boards seamlessly into the 1U platform to facilitate software re-use. The integration also allows OEMs to market entry-level variants for cost-sensitive higher volume deployment.

Product: NCP-7560

The NCP-7560 represents the high performance end of Advantech’s (News - Alert) Packetarium product line, integrating up to eight multi-core PacketariumNetwork Processing Boards for wire-speed packet processing. This integration provides up to 80 Gbps throughput. Specifically, the main carrier board provides high-speed switched interconnects between boards, as well as storage, management and external network connections.

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