GL Announces Next Generation Ethernet/IP Tester

Welcome to another April 2015 issue of GL Communications' Newsletter providing information and insight into our Next Generation Ethernet/IP Tester referred to as PacketExpert™ 10G that supports comprehensive testing of 10G Ethernet/IP networks.

PacketExpert™ 10G Unit

PacketExpert™ 10G Unit

PacketExpert™ 10G - Tablet Inspired

PacketExpert™ 10G - Tablet Inspired


GL's PacketExpert™ 10G provides comprehensive testing of 10 Gbps Ethernet/IP networks. It has two 10Gbps Optical ports and two 10/100/1000 Mbps Electrical/Optical ports capable of Bit Error Rate Testing (BERT), Smart Loopback, RFC 2544, Wirespeed Record and Playback, IP Link Simulation and Impairment Emulation (IPLinkSim™) and Y.1564 (ExpertSAM™) test functionalities. These tests are supported on each port independently for wirespeed Ethernet/VLAN/MPLS/IP/UDP testing. BERT is implemented for all layers. RFC 2544/Y.1564 is applicable for Layers 2, 2.5, and 3, and Loopback is applicable for Layers 2, 3, and 4.

PacketExpert™ 10G provides an easy-to-use and intuitive GUI that provides easy access to functionalities such as BERTLoopbackRFC 2544Record and PlaybackIPLinkSim™, and ExpertSAM™.  Also provided is a Command line Interface (CLI) which allows the users to access all the aforementioned functionalities remotely using a C#, TCL or Python client and MAPS™ CLI Server.

GL also offers Touchscreen Handheld PacketExpert™ 10G version of 10G Ethernet/IP Tester with a Tablet PC mounted on PacketExpert™ 10G. This handheld tester is suitable for field testing.

With the capability to generate/receive traffic with stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q) and stacked MPLS, PacketExpert™ 10G finds use in testing a wide range of networks i.e. testing individual links/switches, testing local Ethernet/IP networks (LANs), end to end testing of Wide Area Networks (WANs), testing Core/MPLS networks and more.

GL's other Ethernet/IP Tester variants include quad-port PacketExpert™, and HD-PacketExpert™ a higher density 12/24 GigE ports form factor solutions for testing GigE Switches, Routers and Network conditions.

GL also provides software only Ethernet IP Test tool referred to as PacketCheck™ a general purpose network performance analysis tool for 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps networks.

Important Features

  • Comprehensive testing of wirespeed Ethernet/IP networks up to 10Gbps
  • Two Optical 10Gbps ports (10G BASE-SR, -LR -ER full-duplex SFP)
  • Two Electrical/Optical 10/100/1000 Mbps ports (10/100/1000M Base-T Electrical OR 1G Base-X Optical SFP)
  • Touchscreen Handheld PacketExpert™ 10G available for field testing
  • Simultaneous traffic generation/reception at 100% 10G wirespeed
  • Jumbo frames up to 16000 bytes supported
  • Simultaneous wirespeed BERT on both 10G optical ports
  • Smart Loopback
  • RFC 2544 - Throughput, Latency, Frame Loss and Back to Back tests
  • Ability to define Ethernet, IP and UDP header fields
  • IP and UDP header checksum validation
  • Easy to use and intuitive GUI provides easy way of configuring tests and viewing results

Brief Description of Functional Capabilities

Wirespeed BERT Testing

PacketExpert™ 10G supports wirespeed BERT up to 10Gbps simultaneously over Framed Ethernet (Layer2), Stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q), Stacked MPLS (Layer 2.5), IP and UDP. It can generate and receive various BER Traffic Patterns, including various PRBS patterns, Bit Error Insertion, and FCS Error Insertion.

The screen below shows the PacketExpert™ 10G GUI running ‘All Port' BER test on Port#2 and Port#3 10G optical ports.

Wirespeed BERT Testing

RFC 2544 Testing 

PacketExpert™ 10G supports RFC 2544 tests up to 10Gbps. RFC 2544 tests include Throughput, Latency, Frame Loss, and Back-to-Back performance tests in accordance with RFC 2544 specifications.  RFC 2544 tests can be performed between the two 10G ports – Port2 and Port3, with the Device Under Test (DUT) connected in between these two ports. The scenario is depicted in the below screenshot.

RFC 2544 Testing

Loopback Testing 

PacketExpert™ 10G supports Loopback capability on all ports. The Loopback can be layer wise Loopback as well as Smart Loopback.  In Smart Loopback method PacketExpert™ 10G analyses incoming traffic, automatically detects and swaps the Source and Destination Addresses and sends back the traffic on the same port. The screen below shows the process.

Loopback Testing

Other Important Functionalities for Testing 10G Networks are:

Wirespeed Record and Playback

Wirespeed Record application supports capturing traffic on both the 10G ports at full line rate simultaneously (10 Gbps * 2), without disturbing the link. Internal 8GB of DDR3 memory allows capturing up to 8GB of traffic (from both ports) at full wirespeed (10 Gbps). The captured traffic can be transferred to the host PC for offline analysis.  Capture formats supported are PCAP, NGPCAP (popular wireshark formats), DAT (GL proprietary Raw format), HDL (GL proprietary PacketScan™ format).

Continuous capture can be achieved by "Wirespeed filters" to filter out traffic of interest, and continuously record to file on the hard disk.  The limit of capture in this case is only the hard disk space. Up to 32 filters (16 per port) can be defined.  Each filter is 40 bytes in length, and can be defined from any offset within the packet. Wirespeed Record supports all the features of high-end taps.

Wirespeed Playback allows playback of canned traffic files (in PCAP/NGPCAP/DAT/HDL formats) over one/both ports at full 10Gbps rate, allowing real world conditions to be recreated in lab. User can view the Wirespeed Record and Playbackweb page for more information.

IP Link Simulation and Impairment Emulation (IPLinkSim™)

IPLinkSim™applicationcan be used to test performance of applications that uses Ethernet /IP based transport such as Web Services, Email, FTP, Database access, Enterprise Networks, Storage, Cloud Services, VoIP Services, Audio/Video Streaming and so on. It offers an efficient and economical way to emulate terrestrial, wireless, Internet, satellite, or private network links.

IPLinkSim™can simulateall network impairment conditions of real world networks such as network latency, network delay variation (jitter), bandwidth, congestion, packet loss, packet FCS errors, packet bit errors and others. The link impairments can be applied independently to both directions. It can be used to cost effectively emulate a backbone 10G bidirectional link with impairments. User can view the IPLinkSim™ web page for more information.

Y.1564 Testing

ExpertSAM™ application is used to validate Ethernet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as per ITU-T Y.1564 standard. It supports the two key Y.1564 subtests, the Service Configuration Test (SCT) and the Service Performance Test (SPT).

SLA parameters measured include the Throughput, Frame Transfer Delay (FTD), Frame Delay Variations (FDV), and Frame Loss Ratio (FLR) service acceptance criteria to validate the network path under test. Up to 16 streams can be tested up to full wirespeed (10 Gbps). User can view the ExpertSAM™ web page for more information.


PacketExpert™ 10G includes report generation option to generate consolidated reports in CSV and PDF file formats. The following sample CSV and PDF reports generated for ‘All Ports BERT' test includes Interface, BERT Statistics, Tx/Rx Statistics, Tx/Rx Configuration details for each of the 10G ports.

Sample Report

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