10GE Testing AppNote

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Spirent TestCenter Application Note #1

10-Gigabit Ethernet TestingApril 2006

P/N 71-000689 REV A

Spirent Communications, Inc.26750 Agoura Road Calabasas, CA 91302 USA

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Copyright 2006 Spirent Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All of the company names and/or brand names and/or product names referred to in this document, in particular, the name Spirent and its logo device, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Spirent plc and its subsidiaries, pending registration in accordance with relevant national laws. All other registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of Spirent Communications. The information in this document is believed to be accurate and reliable, however, Spirent Communications assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in the document.

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10-Gigabit Ethernet TestingThe development of high throughput and low latency 10-Gigabit network switches and routers is challenging. Network equipment manufacturers of switches and routers with 10-Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces are challenged to provide switch fabrics that have high availability 10 Gigabits-per-second line rate forwarding that meets the requirements of converged, multiservice networks that demand low latency performance. This application note introduces Spirent Communications new test tool platform, Spirent TestCenter, how it addresses the critical aspects of 10-Gigabit Ethernet performance testing, and the network protocols that affect 10-Gigabit Ethernet layer 2 and layer 3 switch performance. Spirent TestCenter is uniquely suited to assist network equipment manufacturers to meet the challenges of successfully delivering 10GbE network devices.

In this document... Overview of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Devices . . . . 4 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Interfaces for Enterprise Networks . . . . 5 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Two Rates in One . . . . 6 New Applications and Protocols for 10-Gigabit Ethernet . . . . 8 Scalable 10GbE Networks Create Test Challenges . . . . 12 10-Gigabit Ethernet Test Considerations 10GbE is not Gigabit Ethernet . . . . 12 Traditional Switch Testing and 10GbE Considerations . . . . 13 Test Setup for 10GbE using the RFCs . . . . 14 Line Rate Testing for 10-Gigabit Ethernet Switches and Routers . . . . 14 Key Considerations for 10GbE Tests . . . . 17 Conclusion . . . . 18 Spirent TestCenter Products for 10GbE Switch and Router Testing . . . . 19

Spirent Communications Application Note

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10-Gigabit Ethernet Testing Overview of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Devices

Overview of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network DevicesThe deployment of 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports in network switching and routing equipment is increasing rapidly. Most major network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) offer layer 2 switches, layer 3 aware switches, and layer 3 routers. These network devices have various combinations of copper 10/100/1000Mbps and fiber Gigabit Ethernet (GE) combined with 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports. 10GbE is becoming a prevalent interface on network servers, firewalls, and appliances. Typically, the switch configurations that are equipped with 10GbE network interfaces are:

Fixed, managed switches these switches have a fixed number of copper or fiber GE ports with two or four 10GbEports. Thye cannot be expanded with additional ports. They can be stacked (interlinked) to form a larger network. Modular switches/ routers these are switches with a chassis that have individual blades for GE and 10GbE. The blades are removable, and the user can expand or change the port type and rate mix as required. These switches have the ability to connect directly to GE and 10GbE servers, 10GbE storage area networks, network attached storage, network appliances such as firewalls, and intrusion detection/ protection devices running GE links. Data center switches These are fixed multiple port, data center switches, some with up to 24 ports of 10GbE that are used in machine room applications in main distribution facilities in large networks that aggregate multiple 10GbE links into a single switch for distribution to different devices for multiple applications. These switches are used to run high performance applications in parallel. Network appliances Today, there are 10GbE intrusion detection devices, and upperlayer application switches that provide multiple-gigabit throughput over 10GbE.

There is a large variety of switch and router products that offer between 12 and 48 ports of Gigabit-rate capable ports combined with two or four ports of 10GbE. These switches are used in workgroup and stackable switch applications in small to medium sized Local Area Networks (LAN) that may have up to 2,000 thousand users (host clients) on the network. In larger LANs, multiple stacks of interlinked switches are connected with a 10GbE backbone or trunk line. In some networks, 10GbE backbones are used to interconnect two or more campus networks within 40 kilometers of each other, and even up to 80 kilometers with special 10GbE optical transport interfaces. These are the kinds of LAN switches that most of us are familiar with and have seen as new product introductions since early in 2003.

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| Spirent Communications Application Note

10-Gigabit Ethernet Testing 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Interfaces for Enterprise Networks

10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Interfaces for Enterprise NetworksThe target applications for Enterprise network equipment that deploys 10GbE optical and copper network interfaces are determined by the IEEE803.2ae and IEEE802.3ak standards. Typical applications of 10GbE interfaces are shown in Table 1. Included in Table 1 are the fundamental interface specifications. Many of these interface specifications are found in product literature for network equipment and are relevant to where the link is deployed. The 10-Gigabit Ethernet story does not end in the LAN with the LAN layer 2 protocol. The IEEE802.3ae standard has defined a Wide Area Network