Tools and procedure for Network testing

Mel Beckman mel at
Thu Aug 26 14:17:11 UTC 2021

I’ve used Ixia on high-confidence projects where we had to prove capacity of an as-built network. Such testing isn’t cheap, but it’s sometimes the only way to get the job done.

Although you can buy Ixia gear and use it in a lab environment, that kind of testing has limited application, because you often can’t fully replicate real world external circumstances.

 For a Bay-area airport deployment of several hundred access points, I specified and used Ixia’s Wireless testing platform to verify that we could stream Netflix to several thousand mobile devices simultaneously. The Ixia rigs were made mobile on carts, and each could simulate several hundred simultaneous users. We hired this entire job using Ixia’s own engineers, and it cost about $10K per day for their engineering labor and renting equipment, over several days.

We had to do this simulation in the as-built network ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the busiest traffic day at any airport, as part of the proof-of-capacity deliverable. There was no way to prove capacity in a lab environment, due to the many unpredictable variables, such as access point placement, Wi-Fi interferers, and back bone congestion. Another variable was the Internet uplink, which consisted of two 5 Gbps BGP links to two different providers. Even with this equipment, it was impossible to test the entire airport terminal in one go. We did it separate test for the gate areas, and baggage claim, the highest measured device demand locations based on the previous Wi-Fi deployment.

This was the only way to prove the network would not fail in the heat of battle. I have to hand it to Ixia: their people were efficient and professional, and knew what they were doing. There was no way that we as network integrators would gain enough expertise to do this testing in such short order.

-mel via cell

> On Aug 26, 2021, at 6:08 AM, Joe Yabuki <joeyabukiyin at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I just wanted to know how you do your network testing when validating a new design/technology in your Network, especially to ensure that it will meet your SLA requirements for example that a voice call will not be dropped in case of a network element failure ?
> Do you test with IXIA, multiping, launch somes VM using ping with -i option, Windows ping by setting the timeout interval, or may be directly from the Network device (routers...),
> Many thanks,
> Joe

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