February 26, 2013
Ixia Puts Diameter, Lync and Wi-Fi to the Test
By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC
Carrier-class Wi-Fi, Diameter, and Microsoft Lync are all hot topics in the networking world today, and this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona test company Ixia (News - Alert) is addressing all of the above.
Joe Zeto, senior manager of market development at Ixia, notes that Wi-Fi is the connectivity of choice for many devices used in the healthcare space. Although the well being of patients sometimes hinges on the performance of these connected devices, the Wi-Fi networks linking them in are not as reliable as they should be. That means these devices could fail to work as needed due to Wi-Fi connectivity problems, he explains, and he adds that it could in turn put patients, healthcare providers, and medical device providers in jeopardy.
To address that, Ixia has expanded its Wi-Fi access point and controller test solution to also test endpoints such as medical devices, printers, scanners, smartphones and tablets, he says. The solution allows interested parties to see whether connectivity problems are being caused by the phone or patient care device, or other factors.
Ixia’s test solution also can simulate a device so device manufacturers, service providers and/or users can see how devices work in different environments. That’s important, Zeto notes, considering that different devices may behave very differently in various network scenarios. For example, he says, two of the top tablets in the market perform vastly different depending on their location relative to an access point. By understanding how specific endpoints work at various distances and respond to other network parameters, those selecting such devices can make more informed decisions on which endpoints are the most appropriate for the application at hand, Zeto says.
Ixia this week also is unveiling an enhancement to its flagship product, IxLoad, to test all Diameter-type devices involved in the control plane/signaling plane. As a result of this new software plug-in, the IxLoad now can test a host of devices, including Diameter routing agents, policy servers, HLRs, online offline billing solutions, and the like. F5 Networks (News - Alert) uses the product to test its DRA.
On a separate front, Microsoft last week announced it has selected Ixia as a partner for qualifying Lync over Wi-Fi. Zeto explains that there are tremendous issues with running real-time communications over Wi-Fi, so Microsoft (News - Alert) now feels the need to qualify Wi-Fi access points to ensure they work well for Lync. So Microsoft has tapped Ixia to provide lab testing services for Wi-Fi access point vendors and to share the results with those vendors and Microsoft. Ixia’s service will run Wi-Fi access points through a battery of more than 100 tests, says Zeto.
Edited by Brooke Neuman