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Agilent Technologies Introduces Industry’s First Dual-Purpose 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel SAN Tester and Protocol Analyzer


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the industry’s only dual-purpose SAN tester and protocol analyzer for 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel (FC). Combining realistic network stimulus of the SAN tester application with sophisticated protocol analysis and troubleshooting capabilities allows engineers to speed up the design and development of next-generation storage devices.

Fibre Channel is the dominant technology used in the storage industry, and 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel is the interface for all next-generation storage devices. The new Agilent 8 Gb/s 1736 module with the de facto industry-standard SAN tester application helps storage equipment manufactures conduct realistic tests on their device under test (DUT) early in the development and qualification cycle. This helps ensure the DUT meets the stringent requirements of the data-storage industry. The same 1736 module can also be used as a protocol analyzer, which helps users quickly identify protocol or performance issues. These capabilities shorten test time and foster the development of next-generation Fibre Channel products.

“The introduction of the dual-purpose 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel module is a key part of Agilent’s strategy for the storage market,” said David Churchill, vice president of Agilent’s Network and Digital Solutions Business Unit. “With the new module, Agilent now provides a complete spectrum of Fibre Channel test tools -- from physical-layer compliance tests tools to upper-layer performance, scalability test and debugging tools. Agilent is the only company able to provide test expertise for all aspects of development, which is highly valued by our customers.”

The new 8 Gb/s module supports full line rate 8 Gb/s as well as 4 Gb/s, 2 Gb/s and 1 Gb/s, allowing users to fully test all supported Fibre Channel line rates with a single module. New capabilities of the SAN tester application include additional error-injection features and a sophisticated flow-control stress test that validates ASIC designs early on and increases the test coverage. The 8 Gb/s protocol analyzer includes Easy Flow and a context-sensitive display to help better visualize the protocol interactions; Agilent’s unique dual-channel trigger sequencer to help them get to the root cause of problems faster; and post-processing capabilities that help users quickly identify protocol or performance issues.

“Product quality is very important to us,” said Laura Mikrut, senior director of switch testing at QLogic Corp. “We are dedicated to ensuring that all of our products meet the highest quality and performance. The Agilent 173x Series Fibre Channel Test Solution has been our test solution of choice at 4 Gb/s. We plan to use the new Agilent 8 Gb/s modules in our development and validation to ensure that we exceed market and customer expectations with our new 8 Gb/s introduction.”

Consistent with the Agilent System Protocol Test architecture, the 8 Gb/s module is scalable up to 64 ports. It is also backward-compatible with the previous three generations of modules (1 Gb/s, 2 Gb/s and 4 Gb/s modules). The System Protocol Test platform is multi-protocol and supports cross-correlation with other technologies, such as PCI Express generation 1.0 and PCI Express 2.0 (PCI-E). This allows a system-level view with a single protocol trace display, cross-triggering, and correlated timestamp and markers that are essential for engineers developing next-generation storage controllers, HBAs and storage ICs.


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