Validation Testing

Test. Improve. Repeat.

Manufacturers do validation testing to verify that a product’s functionality and performance matches its specifications.

Xena is ideal for validation testing of Ethernet products thanks to its scalability, versatility and ease of use when defining a multitude of different test scenarios.

Ethernet validation test requirements depend on the Device Under Test (DUT) and the application. For a switch, validation Ethernet lab-testing will typically includes the following:

Functional testing:

Physical Layer testing with BER, FEC, Auto.Negotiation and Link Training at different port speeds and configurations.

Traffic Generation testing with unicast, multicast and broadcast frames, MAC address learning, shaper and policer, mirroring, redundancy and failover, VLAN capability verification testing with untagged, tagged and double-tagged frames and testing with different VLAN priorities.

Performance test:

Traffic Generation for testing:

  • Throughput: the maximum data rate that can be transferred through the DUT without loss
  • Latency: the time it takes to transfer data through the DUT (also known as Frame Transfer Delay)
  • Frame loss: data frames lost during the transfer of data through the DUT
  • Jitter: the variation in packet delay (also known as Frame Delay Variation)
Stress testing:
  • Testing with high traffic load
  • Testing with different frame sizes (including undersized and oversized frames)
  • Testing with different interframe gap settings
Quality of Service (QoS):
  • Layer 2/3 traffic types
  • Arbitration and scheduler
  • Full-duplex flow control (IEEE 802.3X) and half-duplex backpressure, symmetric and asymmetric
  • Hierarchical QoS scheduling

In most cases, all tests should follow the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) RFC 2544 Benchmarking Methodology for Network Interconnect Devices. This framework specifies throughput, latency and frame loss testing. Most Ethernet testers also include jitter testing in their RFC 2544 test suite. Layer 2 switches are also a commonly used component in Automotive Ethernet. Testing these involves following the IETF RFC 2889 Benchmarking Methodology for LAN Switching Devices. RFC 2889 is a methodology for benchmarking switching devices, forwarding performance, congestion control, latency, and address handling and filtering. Following RFC 2889 and RFC 2544 in tandem provides a solid testing foundation for switch Ethernet testing.

In this form of validation testing, Xena generates and analyses Ethernet traffic through the DUT to verify it performs as functionality. Other features like industry-leading automation options make Xena ideal for validation testing.

Xena’s solutions for validation testing

Broad range of test modules

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

Our range includes the latest Ethernet technology with 112G-based SerDes and PAM-4 in our Z800 Freya product line. For testing and debugging AN/LT protocols we offer our dedicated Z800 Freya Compact ANLT Test Appliance.

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 Paper

… about Validation testing



A Chinese switch manufacturer urgently needed a traffic generation and analysis solution to test the stability and performance of different switches in an EMC test environment. The challenge, however, was that their Devices Under Test (DUTs) were located in different labs in different buildings, and on different floors.