ANTONY SAVVAS NETWORK TESTING
TESTING THE FUTURE OPTICAL NETWORKING WATERS
If you want to know what’s going to happen in the optical industry next, it’s often worth asking the test and measurement companies what they think they will need to develop next, in response to new technologies and components in the networks and photonics field. This could be testing kit to support services over longer distances, improved data centre connectivity, developing edge data links, or to support new services around 5G or IoT, for instance. Antony Savvas looks at developments.
SOFTWARE EVALUATION ADVA recently launched its Ensemble Simulator, enabling optical network operators to “accurately and reliably” evaluate network growth strategies. The software tool “precisely mirrors” production networks, says ADVA, for “risk-free” testing, training and development. It allows multiple users to work independently in a virtual sandbox to evaluate configurations, verify APIs and simulate “what-if” scenarios. Hosted on a self-provided server or in the cloud, the Ensemble Simulator is said to “significantly reduce” the cost and unpredictability of network upgrades, “accelerates” innovation adoption and helps improve the quality of experience for end users. “As communication networks become more complex and software-defined networking changes the way they’re managed, engineers are relying more and more on automated applications to design, deploy and operate their infrastructure,” says Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA. “Ensemble Simulator
offers a way to simply and affordably spin up test environments on a virtual machine that perfectly mirrors real networks, giving operators a risk-free way to model network evolution.” COMPLIANCE Another new software testing solution is available from Rohde & Schwarz, this time an automated compliance test for IEEE 802.3 cable assemblies. It can be used for high-speed cables and backplanes across the IEEE 802.3bj, by, cd and ck standards. As the volume of data transferred over the internet and the number of data centres across the world increases, proper testing of Ethernet cable assemblies becomes crucial. As direct attach copper (DAC) cables are the most economical solution for short data connections, they are widely used in high-speed networks and data centres, and this is where the Rohde & Schwarz system comes in. The R&S ZNrun automation suite controls a vector network analyser and a Rohde & Schwarz switching solution, to
provide automated testing of high-speed Ethernet cable assemblies, “considerably reducing” the testing time and potential errors compared to manual Ethernet cable assembly test methods, said the supplier. IEEE 802.3bj and IEEE 802.3by cover data rates of 25 Gbps per lane, IEEE 802.3cd goes up to 50 Gbps per lane, and the latest IEEE 802.3ck standard further doubles the data rate to 100 Gbps. There are two R&S ZNrun options. The R&S ZNrun-K410 is designed for automatic testing of cable assemblies according to IEEE 802.3bj, by and cd. It includes the automation of the measurement and post-processing of the channel operating margin (COM) and effective return loss (ERL) results, pass/fail and margin analysis, and the generation of the test report, thus reducing overall test times. The R&S ZNrun-K411 option is already prepared for testing cable assemblies according to the IEEE 802.3ck Ethernet standard, which will reach data rates of 800 Gbps for 800GBASE-CR8 configurations. R&S
| ISSUE 29 | Q2 2022
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