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Calient and Spirent team for all-optical test lab automation

Optical switch specialist Calient announced that Spirent Communications has completed integration of its S Series optical circuit switch with Spirent’s Velocity test bed orchestration software.

Spirent has developed a software driver that allows Velocity to control Calient’s S320 and S160 optical circuit switches to provide Layer-1 optical topology reconfiguration in network equipment test labs. This allows network test laboratories to build a fully automated “fibre-once” laboratory infrastructure.

The combined product offering is aimed at network test labs working with 40Gb/s and faster networking equipment. Now labs can build the test lab connectivity infrastructure they require using S Series switches, and then manage and control topology and testing of the connected equipment using Spirent’s Velocity software.

The product combination will dramatically reduce cabling errors and speed up equipment testing, the companies claim. The ability to reconfigure the lab’s fibre infrastructure will also enhance the capabilities of the Velocity lab automation software – by allowing product developers from anywhere in the world to remotely set up test configurations at centralised lab facilities.

Spirent’s Velocity software schedules, orchestrates, manages and monitors testing of physical and virtual network equipment and software. Velocity is a Lab-as-a-Service (LaaS) test orchestration platform that enables testers to create and execute complex test scenarios. It also features a multi-user reservation system to allow departments across the world to collaborate and schedule tests while avoiding resource conflicts.

“This integration gives our customers a new option for testing their very latest network equipment in a way that fits with industry trends calling for dramatically higher test lab productivity,” said Wesley Hand, director of automation products and solutions at Spirent Communications. “Working with Calient extends our solution to support optical topology reconfiguration for 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s networks, allowing Velocity to scale in perfect sync with customer needs.”

Calient’s S Series optical circuit switches include the S320 and S160, both of which are used to create any-to-any, layer-one network connections that can be reconfigured on demand and have virtually zero latency. The S320 is a 320-port switch with each port being transparent to protocol and bit rate and thus easily supporting data speeds at 100Gb/s and beyond on each port. The S160 is a 160-port version of the switch with the same capabilities.

“Network equipment manufacturers are rapidly evolving their product lines to support 100Gb/s rates and new software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) initiatives which means a lot of investment in the ability to test these new products,” said Daniel Tardent, vice president of marketing and product management for Calient. “The functionality of Spirent’s Velocity platform combined with our unique MEMS-based all optical switching is a powerful solution for effective testing of the next generation of networking equipment.”


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