Network Emulation

Test. Improve. Repeat.

Simplify your performance verification with a network emulator

A network emulator simplifies network performance verification by eliminating the cost and manual labor involved in acquiring and connecting extensive amounts of networking gear. The primary use case for network emulators is in networks supporting time-sensitive data and/or require high resilience. Typical network impairments include latency, jitter, packet loss, link breakage, and packet mis-ordering.

Enhancing wireless fronthaul networks

Wireless fronthaul networks connect remote radio heads (RRHs) and centralized baseband units (BBUs). In modern 5G ORAN architectures, the BBU is often split into a Distribution Unit (DU) that handles real time L1 and L2 communication with the Radio Unit (RU), and a Central Unit (CU) that handles the higher layer communication with the backhaul network. As the RUs, DUs and CUs can be located tens of kilometers apart, latency can be a challenge.

A network emulator makes it easy to test and optimize network equipment to ensure proper performance over the required distances before deployment in the field. The main types of impairment used during these tests are latency and jitter.

Improving data center architectures

Cloud-based applications and services are transforming how computing resources are utilized. In addition to increased demand for bandwidth, data-intensive new services like AI require support for dynamic workload allocation, low latency, and high-bandwidth, lossless memory transfer. Data center operators must be prepared for this dynamic environment and continuously optimize their networks for peak performance. Therefore, it is crucial to test network performance under various impairments.

With a network emulator, networking equipment can be thoroughly tested for its handling of a wide range of network impairments, including latency, jitter, link flaps, and packet mis-ordering, before real traffic is introduced onto the network.

Verify resilience in critical infrastructures

Critical infrastructures, such as government networks and other mission-critical systems, require high levels of resilience to ensure continuous operation and reliable communication.

By emulating hardware impairments like latency, jitter, link flap, and packet mis-ordering with a network emulator, engineers can simulate real-world conditions and assess the network’s ability to withstand disruptions. This allows them to identify potential points of failure, optimize network configurations, and ensure minimal packet loss or mis-ordering.

Network emulation with E100 Chimera

“The perfect cable”

E100 Chimera is a compact, scalable network impairment testing solution with proven high accuracy and performance. Eliminating the need for purchasing large amounts of cables of different lengths and manually connecting and disconnecting them, the E100 Chimera can be thought of as “the perfect cable.”

But E100 Chimera is much more than that. Multiple impairments can be applied simultaneously with unrestricted concurrent testing on several ports at the same time. Testing can be fully automated with CLI scripting (i.g. Tcl, Telnet, Bash, Python), XOA scripting (Python) or XOA REST APIs.

Pairing E100 Chimera with our traffic generators lets test engineers use one GUI to both generate and impair traffic i.e., a complete test environment to be controlled via a single user interface.

E100 Chimera enables you to test the influence of various impairments in wireless fronthaul O-RAN system, datacenter networks and resilience testing in critical infrastructure. The figure below depicts two examples of common test set-ups using Ethernet Traffic Generators and Analyzers to insert and analyze traffic flows and E100 Chimera to impair the flows in different ways.

E100 Chimera provides the flexibility, scalability, and automation needed from an impairment testing solution at a price-point below equivalent solutions on the market without compromising on performance, port-speed, or capabilities.

Leading global OEMs, System Integrations and service providers trust E100 Chimera to provide the assurance they and their customers need to deliver reliable performance.

Xena’s test solutions for Network Emulation

Broad range of test modules

Xena offers a selection of test modules enabling you to test all Ethernet speeds from 10Mbps to 800Gbps.

Our range includes specialised versions adapted for specific industries such as the E100q Chimera. This test module can be used to emulate network impairments such as jitter and latency to perform though testing of time critical data transfers.

Easy-to-use software

Xena’s test solutions include feature-rich software for generating Ethernet traffic and analyzing the result. The primary tool is XenaManager.

There are also test suites for running standard tests such as RFC2544, RFC2889, RFC3918 and Y.1564, and specialized AN/LT tests along with a comprehensive range of powerful scripting and test automation options such as Xena OpenAutomation (XOA), an open-source test automation framework featuring a Python API that runs on any OS.

Robust chassis choices

Choose between the robust scalable 4U XenaBay with space for up to 12 test modules, or the small, easy-to-transport 1U XenaCompact with just one test module.

Exceptional value

All our solutions include the Xena Value Pack which consists of 3 years’ SW updates, 3 years’ HW warranty, free online/email support for the lifetime of the product and free product training.

Together with our low port-pricing, this represents significant savings on the TCO of your Ethernet traffic generation and analysis solutions.

White papers

… about Network Emulation