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November 15, 2006

Ixia Consolidates Triple Play Testing

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director


Ixia (News - Alert), which develops performance and functionality testing systems for IP networks — including the applications that run over them — has taken its testing applications a step further by developing Aptixia Test Conductor. This software application provides Ixia customers a central interface for managing the automation of multiple test applications.

While Ixia’s line of testing software — IxLoad, IxChariot, and IxVoice — provide a comprehensive testing platform for triple play providers, this latest products ties them all together and makes the assessment process simpler and more efficient for service providers as they evaluate various elements of their converged networks.

“High accuracy performance evaluation reduces field problems, guarantees less chance of product failure and increases revenue through more predictable operation and improved customer satisfaction,” said Errol Ginsberg, Ixia CEO.

With Test Conductor, can set up custom regressions — any combination of tests from the various test applications — that are combined and defined with consolidated pass/fail criteria (e.g., 98% of all tests in the regression must pass in order for the entire regression to pass). Each regression can be scheduled to automatically run at a given time, with individual tests running simultaneously or consecutively, as network resources allow. Test engineers design and coordinate testing via an easy to use server-based GUI, allowing multiple technicians to identify and schedule tests. In addition, these same engineers can connect to the server while on the road to monitor or edit scheduled tests or analyze results.

This is just the latest in Ixia’s line of test technologies, with which it strives to enable carriers to easily and accurately assess their network performance as they develop and introduce new products and services, and especially as they attempt to ensure their network infrastructure can adequately deliver resource-intensive triple play services. Indeed, the ability to test triple play services, according to the firm, is key as it continues to tightly integrate its products. In providing carriers to emulate actual traffic volumes and recreate real and potential issues, Ixia says one key is not only to enable the initial testing process, but also retesting, to ensure problems have been neutralized.

Perhaps the single most significant feature of Aptixia Test Conductor, though, is its ease of use — automation is one thing, but enabling it in a manner that is conducive to easy customization and use differentiates successful products. Especially today, in an environment where new multimedia services are being introduced more rapidly than ever, the ability to quickly, easily, and accurately test them can make the difference between being a leader or a follower.

In addition to enabling the cumulative test process, Test Conductor also enables filtering and reviewing of test results across multiple test runs all without any required scripting, a point on which Ixia prides itself, as it truly enables a much simpler and efficient analysis of service quality.

“A central test management tool is a great way to help automate and simplify the testing process in today’s market where the need for integrated and complex regression testing is absolutely paramount to ensuring service quality and benefit from the lowest cost of ownership,” said Vanessa Alvarez, associate analyst for enabling technologies, Yankee Group (News - Alert).

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Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY. Most recently, he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.




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