Optical/IP Networks

Spirent Gets Interactive

CHICAGO – Supercomm 2004 – Spirent Communications waded into the welter of Supercomm test-and-measurement announcements with a router tester product upgrade that has made at least one test lab happy (see Spirent Unveils Interactive Tester).

TRT Interactive (the new snazzy name for TRT version 4) has been given an overhaul so it can simultaneously test multiple routers, protocols (IPv4 and IPv6), and services. But it's the time-saving features and interactive capability -- which allow test labs to halt a test, change the configuration, and then continue the test -- that have grabbed the attention of test engineers.

"The interactive mode allows us to change test configuration parameters while the test is under way," says David Newman, president of lab facility Network Test, which has already used the product. "Previously we mostly tested in static configurations, where the routing information did not change over time. In production networks, routing information changes constantly, so the interactive feature makes it much easier to model these changes".

He's also impressed with the time-saving capabilities. "For large-scale test configurations it takes a really long time to download the test information before actually running the test. In the past, it was not uncommon to spend minutes or even hours downloading a configuration that took just 60 seconds to run."

A lot of time is also saved when a test is stopped to tweak the configuration. "When we stop and start parts of the test, we don't have to then download the whole configuration again every time we want to rerun a test. That's a major contribution to reducing overall test time."

Spirent's VP of technical strategy, Mark Fishburn, is adamant that it allows test labs to "set up tests in minutes," instead of the days or even weeks that it took previously.

The TRT Interactive release was just one of a slew of announcements from Spirent at Supercomm (see Spirent Launches SmartSight OSS, Spirent Upgrades VOIP/POTS Tester, and Spirent In Test Frenzy). And it wasn't the only company with test news to tell the world. Other leading announcements include:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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