IWL Quarterly Update: Fall 2015

Posted by Lisa Patel /

Testing the Quality of TCP/IP Inside a Satellite Network

Our newest client, VT iDirect transforms the way the world gets and stays connected. As a global leader in IP-based satellite communications, VT iDirect provides technology and solutions to enable service providers and partners optimize their networks.

VT iDirect has to optimize a satellite network infrastructure to support voice, video, and data anywhere in the world. Remember all that network traffic is going 22,200 miles up and 22,200 miles back down again to reach the destination device. That’s a large amount of delay for voice traffic! So VT iDirect has the dual challenge of optimizing its satellite network, but at the same time maintaining fidelity with IETF RFCs.

So how can you optimize and engineer a network and test that same network to ensure compliance with the IETF TCP and IP RFCs? IWL offers its Maxwell Pro TCP/IP Test Suite for testing devices, not networks.

The solution: Start with a Raspberry Pi running Linux as the “Device Under Test” and run the TCP/IP tests over a known “good” network link between it and the Maxwell Pro. This establishes a benchmark set of results. Then place the VT iDirect communications network between the Raspberry Pi and the Maxwell Pro and run the tests again to establish a set of results to compare with the benchmark results. By comparing the TCP/IP test results on its network against the benchmark network, VT iDirect can pinpoint flaws, variations, and anomalies that might result from their network equipment. This gives VT iDirect maximum control over their network and a deep understanding of the effects on TCP/IP conformance and compliance.

Would you like to learn more about testing satellite network equipment? Contact us!

Will Your Clients use SNMP Over TLS 1.2?

Should IWL develop a version of its SilverCreek SNMP Test Suite to work with TLS1.2?

With the security incidents surrounding SSL (POODLE, Heartbleed), most product suppliers have moved to the more secure TLS (Transport Layer Security), specifically, TLS 1.2.

The SNMP architecture now supports Transport Layer Security. Specifically, RFC 6353 “Transport Layer Security (TLS) Transport Model for the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)”. This RFC specifies a transport model for: Transport Layer Security protocol – meaning the sending of messages over TLS/TCP or Datagram Transport Layer Security –meaning the sending of messages over DTLS/UDP.

  • Would you like to see IWL verify that the SilverCreek SNMP Test Suite will operating over TLS/TCP?

  • Is this a nice-to-have or must-have?

  • Do you require deeper testing of the SNMP-TLS-TM-MIB?

Note to make SilverCreek work over TLS, we will first need to add SNMP over TCP support into SilverCreek. Currently, SilverCreek only supports SNMP over UDP. Since this work is a major engineering project, we need to understand how many of our customers really need SNMP over TLS over TCP

Please send a note to info@iwl.com with your comments.

New SilverCreek Release

SilverCreek Release 2015, build 150810 full production release became available on 10 August 2015.

Highlights include:

  • SilverCreek now ships with the TclTk8.6.4 release. Customers can use many new features offered by tcltk8.6. Tcltk 8.4 is still supported.
  • SilverCreek now provides a new option ‘Test | Disable SET tests in Protocol testsuites’ to skip all automated protocol tests that checks SNMP set operations. This is useful if the DUT does not support SET at all.
  • Tests in the SilverCreek protocol test suites now validate AutonomousType values and additionally check if hrStorageType, hrDeviceType, and hrFSType objects contain valid values registered in HOST-RESOURCES-MIB.
  • SilverCreek test result file now includes the ‘test purpose’ field defined in testset.tcl file, which is often used as a short description of what the test does.
  • SilverCreek now supports transforming XML formatted result files into HTML files with embedded CSS. Customers can easily email out the generated HTML files and also display them in a browser.

In addition to these highlights, there were several enhancements and critical bug fixes. Please upgrade to the latest release as soon as possible.

For more information on how to upgrade to the latest version of SilverCreek please email: info@iwl.com. If you are using an older version of SilverCreek and want information on how to renew support, please email: sales@iwl.com.

Recreate the DARPA Robotics Finals Network in Your Lab

By now, everyone knows that South Korea’s Teat KAIST won the DARPA Robotics Finals. A distinguishing feature of the competition was the move away from remote controlled robots towards robot autonomy. When a human operator can see what the robot sees (via networked images) and manipulate the robots hands and arms (via networked based commands), the industry is not moving forward to new applications like first responder situations where the robot must have more autonomy as the network communications may fail. Thus, future competitions will focus on robot autonomy while still permitting robots limited communication with headquarters or their home base.

How can you design a real-world network that prohibits remote control but simultaneously recognizes that some limited communication must occur between the robot and home base?

This blog article describes how the network traffic was partitioned into flows with intermittent traffic drops of increasing duration and bandwidth limited traffic.

Featured New Clients:

Cohere Technologies

Cohere Technologies is an innovative startup that develops wireless technology to address the ongoing increase in wireless bandwidth demand.

DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks provides best-of breed high-performance storage solutions for end-to-end data management from data creation, to persistent storage, to active archives and the cloud.

Inspeed Networks

Inspeed Networks Early startup providing application network performance for high quality video conferencing and real-time apps.


Snapchat is a video and picture sharing application

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