802.11 equipment tester VeriWave has added the ability to check performance of stateful TCP/IP behavior on a WLAN with its latest update to its WaveTest product.
“TCP/IP content was always there,” says Eran Karoly, vice president of marketing for the company. “The difference is between simple content and stateful TCP/IP behavior — there’s a higher level of difficulty in sustaining TCP/IP for hundreds of clients, which is what we’re adding.”
WaveTest is a traffic generator and performance analyzer. This new addition will allow product vendors, IT people and others to test traffic higher on the OSI stack — in this case, Layer 4, the transport layer, which provides for transport of data between end users on the network. “It’s nothing new in wired switching,” says Karoly. “In wireless LAN, that is only emerging now: application-aware switching. We decided it was something we needed to add.”
A staple of testing LAN throughput, both wired and wireless, is the range of products like Ixia’s IxChariot or the open-source iPerf, but Karoly says that with the new capabilities of WaveTest, testers won’t need them. “Our tests show if you switch laptops, or even just change the wireless driver between runs with those products, you’ll get different results,” he says. “You don’t want that. You want to test the access, not the laptop… now you have the ability to eliminate the different NIC drivers, ignore the horsepower of the device (a laptop), and have a line-rate test device which gives you the performance truly being tested.”
VeriWave’s WaveTest — which sells for several thousand dollars at minimum — isn’t big with the IT world, but is with vendors, and Karoly says there’s been huge acceptance of the product by service providers. He says one carrier is using WaveTest to inspect performance of 11 different vendors before they deploy their network of WLAN equipment.