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FAQ Sheet

Layer 2 vs. Layer 3

Accedian Networks EtherNID and MetroNID products support both IP & Ethernet - layer active SLA performance monitoring, whereas Cisco IP SLA only monitors at Layer 3. Layer 2 testing is required to assess the performance of Ethernet services. Performance at Layer 2 cannot be extrapolated from Layer 3 measurements, just as you cannot assess download speed on a cable modem by checking RF performance on the coax. The Accedian Networks Performance Assurance Agent (PAA) offers the capability to concurrently and independently measure QoS performance metrics at the IP & Ethernet layers, providing a complete view into network performance and the true customer experience. When delivering Ethernet using VPLS1 / L2PT2 over a routed (IP / MPLS) network, performance of both can be monitored at the same time.

Standard vs. Proprietary Protocols

Both the EtherNID and MetroNID support the standard Layer 2 Y.1731 SLA PM measurement protocol. This allows these units to interoperate with other equipment, including any network element conforming to the Y.1731 standard. The PAA is also based on Y.1731, leveraging the available vendor-specific extensions to enable advanced functionality including multicast testing with integrated IGMP session performance measurement.

Hardware vs. Software-Based

The EtherNID & MetroNID units advanced, hardwarebased packet processing engine provides up to 3 orders of magnitude more accuracy, precision and multi-flow measurement capacity than those conducted by Ciscos IP SLA - implemented in software running on the same network processor responsible for switching, routing, aggregation and other critical networking functions. As a software implementation using a shared network processor, IP SLA measurement accuracy, precision and availability suffer under high-traffic load conditions precisely the time when performance monitoring is most important. In addition, IP SLA measurements come from the router instead of an independent device, making it impossible for measurements to accurately account for egress side impairments due to the router itself. By using a dedicated, all-hardware architecture, up to 100 concurrent PAA sessions can be maintained by any EtherNID or MetroNID unit without introducing delay into live network traffic. Hardware-based time stamping applied directly on the wire provides microsecond vs. millisecond measurement precision and accuracy.

Test Setup Simplicity

Simplifying real-world use, the PAAs Layer 2 performance monitoring works directly within the customer VLAN without any IP level conflict or special test configuration. IP SLA requires that the operator assign an IP address in the customers VLAN (within their private address space) to enable testing. Assuming the customer permits this, it also means coordinating the configuration of each monitored endpoint with their IT department to ensure a conflict-free address is assigned.

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Virtual Private LAN Service Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol, Cisco Proprietary

2009 Accedian Networks, Inc.



FAQ Sheet

One-Way vs. Two Way Measurements

Cisco's IP SLA can only measure round-trip latency, whereas the PAA can accurately measure both one-way delay and jitter at Layer 2 or 3. With asynchronous networks, traffic loading and directional application requirements, one-way measurements are increasingly specified in SLAs, and are invaluable for problem isolation and performance optimization. A patent-pending synchronization technique allows remote NIDs to sync their clocks and perform these measurements without requiring any external timing signal or GPS. This results in consistent, microsecond-level precision and accuracy compared to variable, millisecond-level results from IP SLA.

Carrier-Grade to the Core

Adding an EtherNID or MetroNID unit to your network is a fail-safe choice. Designed and built from the ground-up as a premium, in-line network element ensures reliability is never impacted, only assured.

Measurement Frequency & Efficiency

In addition to unrivalled precision, accuracy, and multi-flow monitoring density, the EtherNID & MetroNID units provide traffic statistics and PM metrics on a per-second basis. This highly granular measurement interval exposes micro-bursting, transient packet-loss and other SLA-violating occurrences instead of burying them in multi-minute averages. Measurement results can be retrieved from EtherNID & MetroNID units using a number of methods, including a highlyefficient, encrypted binary format pushed over TCP (to ensure they are received). This technique results in significantly less network overhead and telemetry bandwidth usage (200 bytes / minute / unit) than the SNMP-polling used by IP SLA, while providing significantly greater monitoring scalability.

Unconditionally certified to MEF 9 & 14 standards these units offer the full functionality required to provision, police & deliver Carrier Ethernet Virtual Circuits (EVCs). The units are also certified to NEBS Level 3, delivering performance & noninterference with other carrier-grade elements. Temperature hardening allows installation in outdoor cabinets and harsh environments. With no moving parts or fans to fail and consuming only several watts, EtherNID & MetroNID units feature a 52 year Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) when evaluated by the Telcordia Reliability Prediction Procedure.

Cisco's IP SLA is specific only to Cisco routers. There is no interoperability with other vendors equipment. Accedian Networks EtherNID & MetroNID units (NIDs) loopback functionality can be controlled by a number of test and measurement solutions including most Ethernet / IP handheld test sets and JDSUs QT-600 monitoring probes.

A failover bypass circuit ensures links never go down if a power outage occurs. Ensuring thats a remote possibility, the units feature 3 way redundant power with instantaneous switching between twin 48VDC and AC-powered feeds. Link redundancy is provided by 1+1 protected uplinks (optical or copper pairs) with ultra fastfailover, LAG & LACP support.

Accedian Networks 4878 Levy St, suite 202 St-Laurent, QC, Canada, H4R 2P1 +1 (514) 331-6181, 1 (866) 685-8181

Accedian Networks Packet Performance Assurance solutions enable carrier-grade, packet-based wireless backhaul, business services & multi-carrier applications over wireless & wireline networks. 2009 Accedian Networks, Inc. Version: Apr 09

Accedian, EtherNID, MetroNID, SLA-meter, Performance Assurance Agent, PAA, Multi-SLA, Ether-PRO, EtherSHELF, Ethernet Service Assurance Platform (ESAP), Plug & Go, Vision EMS, EVC-Builder, Packet Performance Assurance, Delivering Service Performance with Assurance and Map-out the Health of your Network are trademarks of Accedian Networks Inc.