Two announcements from the test and measurement (T&M) arena from the past few weeks caught our attention. First, JDSU said it has incorporated IPv6 capabilities into its HST-3000 field tester.
This device isn’t part of the more familiar (to a cable audience) DSAM family, but IPv6 is making its way into cable. After all, IPv6 part of DOCIS 3.0 – and it was CT‘s January issue cover story.
What JDSU did in this case was enable the HST-3000 to test IPv6 connectivity, throughout, latency and packet jitter, as well as verify stateless or stateful address auto-configuration, IPv6 ping, traffic generation and other IPv6 (and IPv4) traffic reporting capabilities.
Testing and measurement is the flip side of converged networks and services proliferation. "The HST is primarily for telecom, but technologies are sometimes shared," said a JDSU spokesperson.
Indeed, cable networks are carrying more and more GigE traffic, and current visibility into what happening within those fat – though fast – pipes is not perfectly clear.
The software upgradeable HST-3000, which was introduced at Light Reading‘s Ethernet Expo last month and is being shown at the AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu this week, is an access network device; but to the extent that MSOs push Ethernet from their metro area networks to the home, or more likely first, to the business premises, they’re going to need this kind of T&M functionality as well. Sunrise update A more familiar class of data services testers to cable technicians is the cable modem network analyzer. That would include the CM2000 handheld cable modem network analyzer from Sunrise Telecom, which also announced its introduction last month.
The hyper competitive environment drove development of the device, said Rob Ennis, VP Product Marketing, Broadband Group. "Customers want as many functions as possible. The challenge is how many to put in at what price point," he said.
The CM2000, which uses DOCSIS 2.0 specs, enables upstream and downstream testing for mean opinion score (MOS), latency, R-factor, jitter, lost packets and VoIP QoS, according to the company. The device is operational in speeds exceeding 30 Mbps.
Ennis said that the device operates at two levels. It provides data on signal level, error rates, signal-to-noise ratio and other physical layer metrics. The CM2000 then moves up a layer and validates QoS and other higher-level functions.
The CM2000’s use of Windows CE makes it easier for the device to integrate with Windows-based diagnostic and back office applications that techs can access remotely, Ennis said. Along with the 6.5-inch VGA monitor, Windows CE also enables field workers to access Web sites and perform other tasks without switching to a PC or even returning to the shop.
The ability to access applications deep in the back office also is particularly useful for workforce management-related applications, said Bob Heinz, Sunrise’s VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. Techs can be routed to their next jobs, for instance, with far more efficiency. This functionality generally requires a laptop in the field.
The goal is to extend the product to DOCSIS 3.0 (which presumably would include IPv6), but the company’s plans in this area are not yet finalized. – Carl Weinschenk and Jonathan Tombes