Agilent Technologies offers comprehensive test platform for large-scale, Fibre Channel SANs

Platform represents Agilent's first entry into fabric performance test market

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 1, 2002

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced a comprehensive test platform designed to enable the realistic characterization of fabric performance in Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs). Agilent's new 1730 series SAN test system is an off-the-shelf, high-port-density test platform that provides the controlled environment necessary for efficiently testing complex SANs before deployment, and represents Agilent's first entry into the fabric performance test market.

Previously, SAN test solutions were typically developed in-house, using real servers, storage equipment and internally developed software. With the increasing scale of SAN infrastructures, Fibre Channel SAN equipment manufacturers and SAN solution integrators needed a way to perform interoperability and scalability testing that is less resource-intensive and physically challenging. The Agilent 1730 SAN test system enables Fibre Channel traffic generation at wire speeds of 1 Gbs or 2 Gbs, with allowances for any combination of data, error, link, fabric control and fabric server traffic.

Engineers can use the test system's powerful parametric control to set a number of variables that simulate specific traffic conditions in the target SAN under test. These variables include port behavior, frame level parameters, specific error types, interframe gap size, traffic topology, buffer-to-buffer credit and burst mode traffic.

Agilent's SAN test system allows engineers to monitor "live" measurement results while a test is running and to observe how the fabric handles various traffic conditions and recovers from unexpected disruptions, such as a link down at multiple ports. Engineers can also change traffic loads while the test is running, which provides insight into network performance. Customized test suites can be developed using TCL/CK scripting language, and all SAN test system features and capabilities are accessible through APIs (application program interfaces).

"We are leveraging Agilent's success and leadership in network performance test and the Fibre Channel industry to provide the most comprehensive test solution for the growing SAN market," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Validation Operation.

The Agilent SAN test system consists of:

  • a Windows(r) 2000-based PC, with a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) that drives protocols and applications running on the test cards;
  • a highly compact, four-slot, 2U high chassis that can house up to 16 ports of Fibre Channel 1 and 2 Gb/s cards. Multiple chassis can be easily linked to create a high port density test platform; and
  • high-density, scalable Fibre Channel SAN test cards that are equipped with their own CPU, enabling real-time traffic generation and powerful measurement capabilities. Each card also features distributed processing power to allow synchronized performance measurements across multiple chassis.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent 1730 series of 1 and 2 Gb/s, 4-port Fibre Channel SAN test cards are available now, with prices starting at $24,000.

More information on Agilent SAN test system is available at A photo is available at press/index.cgi?PSP_NEXT=ShowPR&Release:release_id=64.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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Janet Smith, Agilent
+1 970 679 5397