Quad Port Ethernet / VLAN / MPLS / IP / UDP Tester
Main Features |
Applications | Layer 1 Frame Testing
Ethernet, Stacked VLAN Testing Features | MPLS Testing Features |
IP (Layer 3) Testing
UDP (Layer 4) Testing | Hardware Interfaces |
PacketExpert™ Software Ver 2.12.18 is Now Available! Download it here
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PacketExpert™ is a portable (USB based) Quad Port Ethernet / VLAN / MPLS / IP / UDP Tester with 4 Electrical Ethernet Ports (10/100/1000 Mbps)
and 2 Optical Ports (1000 Mbps). The PacketExpert™ connects to a Notebook PC through a USB 2.0 interface. Each port provides independent
Ethernet/VLAN/MPLS/IP/UDP testing at wire speed for applications such as BERT, RFC 2544, and Loopback. BERT is implemented for all layers (as depicted
below). RFC 2544 is applicable for Layers 2, 2.5, and 3, and Loopback is applicable for Layers 2, 3, and 4.
It truly takes confusion out of Ethernet testing at all protocol layers - from Layer1 frames to IP/UDP packets. It can be used as a general purpose Ethernet
to IP performance analysis tool for 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps Ethernet local area networks and wide area networks. Two of the 4 ports have both Electrical
and optical interfaces, enabling testing on optical fiber links as well.
PacketExpert™ provides 3 important functionalities – Wire speed BERT, Smart Loopback, and RFC 2544 Testing. It can perform Wire speed BERT (Bit Error Rate Testing) on all ports simultaneously over Layer1, Framed Ethernet (Layer2), Stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q), Stacked MPLS (Layer 2.5), IP and UDP. It can generate and receive various BER patterns, including various PRBS patterns, to properly test the Ethernet to IP link. It analyzes the received BER traffic and provides various vital measurements such as Bit Error Rate, Bit Error Count, Sync Loss Count, Sync Loss Seconds, and Error Free Seconds. PacketExpert™ also gives a real time graphical representation of the Bit Error count, plotted over time.
PacketExpert™ supports Throughput, Latency, Frame Loss and Back to Back test as specified in RFC 2544. Similar to BERT, RFC 2544 testing can be done over Framed Ethernet (Layer2), Stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q), Stacked MPLS (Layer 2.5), IP and UDP. The results can be viewed in tabular as well as graphical format. It also generates reports in pdf and csv format for the RFC 2544 tests and BERT.
With the capability to generate/receive traffic with stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q) and stacked MPLS, PacketExpert™ finds use in testing a wide range of
networks Ė from testing individual links/switches, testing local Ethernet/IP networks (LAN), end to end testing of Wide Area Networks (WAN), testing Core/MPLS
networks, and much more.
Below is a depiction of the protocol stack that is supported with PacketExpert™.
PacketExpert™ at Layer 1 (Physical), Layer 2 (Data Link)
with stacked VLAN tag, Layer2.5 (MPLS), Layer 3 (Network), and Layer 4 (Transport) of OSI model
GL also provides PacketCheck™, a software-only Ethernet to IP Test tool, with BERT and throughput (up to 800 Mbps) testing ability that is
comprehensive and very easy to use as a general purpose network performance analysis tool for 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps LANs and WANs. Please
visit PacketCheck™ page for more details.
Screenshot of PackeExpert™ Main GUI
- Capable of generating/receiving Ethernet to IP traffic at wire speed
- Capable of handling full wire speed BERT, in both directions, on all available ports.
- Easily control multiple hardware units from a single GUI, multiplying the number of ports available per system
- Command Line Interfaces – Console based CLI as well as GL's WCS (Windows Client Server) based CLI, allowing remote control
- Supports Loopback, allowing for easy test setup.
- Wire speed BERT and RFC 2544 testing over Framed Ethernet (Layer2), Stacked MPLS (Layer2.5), IP and UDP. BERT testing is also supported on Layer1.
- Support for BERT, RFC 2544 and Loopback testing with stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q) Ė up to 3 levels
- Support for BERT, and RFC 2544 testing with stacked MPLS, up to 3 levels
- Support for BERT, Loopback and RFC 2544 testing over IPv6
- Supports industry standards PRBS patterns 29-1, 211-1, 215-1,
220-1, 223-1, 229-1, and 231-1, constant patterns like all ones, all zeroes, alt ones-zeroes and
user-defined test patterns ranging between 1 to 32 bits.
- Traffic options lets technicians generate ethernet to ip frames with user-configurable frame length, and frame size with varying traffic rates
- Optional sequence number insertion allows detecting out-of-sequence packets and packet loss.
- Error Insertion capability - Single as well as constant rate Bit Error and FCS Error Insertion.
- Throughput, back-to-back, latency and frame loss testing as per RFC 2544 for Uni-directional and Bi-Directional traffic between ports.
- Easy to setup and conduct RFC2544 tests using user-defined parameters such as frame size, trial duration, number of trials, etc.
- Real-time results are presented in both tabular as well as graphical format.
- Detailed test result reports in PDF and CSV file formats.
- User selectable Electrical and/or Optical interface for Port2 and Port3 allows mixed technology testing.
- Detailed frame statistics in tabular format for all the ports.
- User-defined or auto-negotiated electrical ports can operate at 10/100/1000 Mbps line rates in Full Duplex mode; optical ports can operate at 1000 Mbps
line rate in Full Duplex mode only.
- Loopback capability for incoming traffic. Both smart loopback (auto layer detection) and selected user-defined layers loopback capabilities are supported.
- Support for frame lengths from 64 bytes to Jumbo frames (up to 2048 bytes).
- User-defined header parameters for MAC, VLAN, MPLS, IP and UDP layers.
- Support for ARP, Ping, IPv6 etc.
- Field upgradable technology allows tester to stay current with industry trend.
- Test and verify QoS Parameters of network devices like Switches/Routers etc.
- End to end testing of network paths for QoS parameters
- In-depth troubleshooting of the Carrier network in the event of network failures or impairments
- QoS testing of Triple-play services to ensure that they fully qualify SLA parameters
Layer 1 Frame Testing
In Layer1 testing, data is carried over Layer1 frames. Only the Preamble, SFD and Frame Check Sequence are present. Apart from these fields, the entire
frame consists of the payload (BERT pattern).
GLís PacketExpert™ supports layer 1 testing with
- Intuitive GUI Layer selection option allows user to easily configure Layer1 testing, as well as other layers
- BERT and Loopback Testing
- Detailed Statistics
Screenshot of Layer 1 Selection
Screenshot of Layer 1 Statistics
Ethernet, Stacked Virtual LAN (VLAN) Testing Features
Ethernet is a most commonly used local area network (LAN) technology, whose transmission speed ranges from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. It is defined by 802.3
standards. A typical Ethernet frame structure is shown below:
With the implementation of frame tagging, the Ethernet frames can be identified as belonging to a particular logical LAN. This allows different ports of a
switch to be assigned to different logical LANs unlike traditional LANs. The 'tagging' feature evolved as VLANs allowing any user to be connected to any logical
LAN, without having the requirements of physical presence in same premises. The VLANs simplifies security, manageability, and load sharing. The implementation
is defined in 802.1q standard.
In order to accommodate tagging, a new optional IEEE 802.1Q tag field has been introduced between the Source MAC address and the Length field of the
Ethernet frame as shown below:
Ethernet Frame with VLAN Tagging
A multi-tagged frame having multiple VLAN IDs, EtherTypes and other VLAN header bit fields constitute Q-in-Q frames, also referred to as VLAN stacking.
This results in the tagged data frame to be tagged again with a VLAN tag, when it traverses the service provider network. The additional tag is removed at the
edge of the service provider network before entering to destination network.
GLís PacketExpert™ is capable of doing Wire speed Ethernet testing over Ethernet/IP networks.
GLís PacketExpert™ Ethernet and Stacked VLAN testing supports -
- User configurable Source and Destination MAC Addresses (6 byte hex format), Len/Type field and VLAN fields. Length/Type field can be populated with User
Defined value or preset values for IPv4/IPv6
- Up to 3 stacked VLANs configuration. The sequence of insertion is such that VLAN#1 forms the innermost tag; followed by VLAN#2 and VLAN#3 forms the
outermost tag. Flexibility is provided to the user to select the VLAN type field (0x8100, 0x88A8, 0x9100, 0x9200, 0x9300) for each level.
- BERT, RFC 2544, and Loopback Testing
- Setting the VLAN Type Field, VLAN Id, and the Priority Fields for each VLAN stack
- Statistics per stack position level
PacketExpert™ allows verifying the VLAN implementation meets the QoS expectations. User can set the VLAN Priority field to various levels and
conduct the BERT and RFC 2544 tests to verify QoS. Utilizing the stacked VLAN feature, along with VLAN priority setting and combining with BERT/RFC 2544
testing helps extend the Layer2 testing over carrier Ethernet networks.
Screenshot of VLAN Stack Field Type configured with Priority and
Screenshot of Stacked VLAN Statistics
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Testing Features
Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic engineering are inherent features of MPLS. Testing essentially involves sending appropriately formatted MPLS packets
through an MPLS provisioned network and verifying:
- Connectivity - traffic is properly routed to the correct destination, i.e., Label Switching Path
- Performance Ė Controlling QoS characteristics like Packet Loss, Latency, and Bandwidth within defined limits.
Both end to end testing from customer edge to customer edge as well as testing within the core MPLS network is important. PacketExpert™ does
GLís PacketExpert™ supports MPLS testing with MPLS related statistics like the Packet Counts per Stack position provided for detailed analysis.
GLís PacketExpert™ MPLS testing supports
Screenshot of MPLS Label Stacking
Screenshot of Stacked MPLS Statistics
IP (Layer 3) Testing
Layer3 configuration allows editing source and destination IP Addresses. In addition, users can configure various IP header fields like TOS, TTL, Protocol,
Header Checksum, and Identification field. User can choose to allow hardware to calculate/verify checksum or provide a fixed value. IPv6 is also supported.
Screenshot of Ipv4 and Ipv6 configuration
Screenshot of IP Statistics
UDP (Layer 4) Testing
Layer4 configuration requires source and destination UDP ports to be defined. User can choose to allow hardware to calculate/verify checksum or provide a
Screenshot of UDP configuration
Screenshot of UDP Statistics
PacketExpert™ provides 2 types of Error Insertion – Bit Error Insertion and FCS (Frame Check Sequence) Error Insertion. Bit Error insertion allows inserting Bit Errors into the outgoing Tx traffic. FCS Error insertion allows sending frames with wrong FCS value.
In both the Bit Error and FCS Error Insertion types, single as well as Rate Error Insertion is supported. Single error insertion allows user to manually introduce a single Bit/FCS error. Rate Error insertion allows the user to select a constant error rate, ranging from 10^-1 to 10^-9, to be introduced into the outgoing stream. Also, FCS Error insertion allows Continuous Error insertion, where every outgoing frame will have FCS error.
BERT Rx provides an option to process frames, even if they have FCS errors, as if they were normal BERT frames.
Screenshot of Bit Error Insertion
Screenshot of FCS Error Insertion
Frame Statistics for BERT, RFC 2544, and Loopback Testing
Detailed statistics per port are provided. In addition to statistics like Frame Count, Frame Rate, Link Utilization (Layer 1 line rate in %), Data Rate (Layer 2 data rate in Mbps), etc., statistics are provided based on various categories like Frame Type (Broadcast, Multicast, VLAN), Frame Lengths (64, 65-127, 1024-1518, Oversized, Undersized), Protocol Type (IPv4, IPv6, UDP, TCP, ICMP, IGRP etc.)
Statistics for Stacked VLAN and Stacked MPLS are provided for detailed analysis. Statistics based on the Packet Count per VLAN/MPLS stack position are
Screenshot of Tx and Rx Frame Statistics
'All Ports' result screen for BERT displays consolidated Frame Statistics for Tx / Rx, Bert Status, and Bert Statistics results for all the 4 ports.
Screenshot of All Port BERT Statistics
- 2 x 10/100/1000 Base-T Electrical only
- 2 x 1000 Base-X Optical OR 10/100/1000 Base-T Electrical
- Single Mode or Multi Mode Fiber SFP support with LC connector
- Length: 8.45 in. (214.63 mm)
- Width: 5.55 in. (140.97 mm)
- Height: 1.60 in (40.64 mm)
- Weight: 1.66 lbs. (0.75 kg)
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
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