Test & Measurement

Test system validates 400 gigabit Ethernet equipment

17th February 2021
Mick Elliott

The new AresONE-S 400GE test system from Keysight Technologies enables network equipment manufacturers and data centre operators to validate complex, mixed 400 gigabit Ethernet (GE) and lower-speed networks and devices.

Data centre operators have widely deployed mature 100GE non-return-to-zero (NRZ)-based technologies.

However, higher Ethernet speeds, such as 400GE, create new mixed signaling and forward error correction (FEC) implementations in data center networks, as well as multi-rate speed environments.

The transition from NRZ to pulse amplitude modulation level-4 (PAM4) requires testing of both types of encoding.

Keysight's AresONE-S test system provides 6.4 Tbps load and stress traffic to detect and debug data transmission errors at multiple Ethernet speeds.

Further, AresONE-S allows multiple systems to be synchronised together to test 25.6 Tbps networking devices and equipment using a single test system.

Keysight's AresONE-S also provides:

  • An ultra-high-density, 2 rack unit (RU) fixed chassis to deliver optimal rack space footprint.
  • The IxNetwork software application, a Layer 2 and 3 protocol emulation platform that runs end-to-end tests with an extensive list of networking protocols and data plane traffic to test network infrastructure performance.
  • A single test platform for all seven 400GE PAM4 and 100GE NRZ speeds: 400/200/100/50GE PAM4 and 100/50/40/25/10GE NRZ to test all speeds and FEC methods to future-proof investments.

"Data centre operators are dealing with complex environments containing multiple signaling technologies and Ethernet speeds that continue to evolve," said Ram Periakaruppan, vice president and general manager, Keysight's Network Test and Security Solutions group. "AresONE-S doubles the port density of any other 400GE test platform and delivers the flexibility our customers need to verify their networks and network equipment, while scaling to meet future requirements."

AresONE-S fixed chassis is available in two options, the AresONE-S-400GE QSFP-DD High-Density 16-Port Test System and AresONE-S-400GE QSFP-DD High-Density 8-Port Test System.

Customers can start lower-port-count testing by purchasing 4 ports in the 8-port chassis, or 8-ports in the 16-port chassis. Keysight's "pay-as-you-grow" model enables customers to add ports and software options in the field to support future test requirements.

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