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Circuit Activation Testing

Circuit activation testing as the words suggest takes place when a new circuit is installed to verify that you are getting what you ordered and that it is in full working order before you accept it from your supplier.

But what sort of things does it check?

Typically, it will cover Service Level Agreement (SLA) parameters like:

  • CIR/EIR (Committed Information Rate / Excess Information Rate)
  • Packet Loss Ratio
  • Delay (Latency)
  • Delay Variation (Jitter)
  • Availability

How does knowing that help?

The above results will help answer the following questions you may have:

  • Am I able to send traffic at the data rate I expect and what will happen should there be any bursts of data?
  • How much data if any is being retransmitted?
  • What if any compensation action you need to take in connected equipment?
  • Are you going to have issues with your voice or video services?
  • Over time how much have you been able to use the link, clearly not something that is a direct result of the activation test but it is the bench mark from where you start measuring.

How is this set up?

Ethernet Demarcation Devicess (EDD's) deployed on each circuit make this a simple task using the Y.1564 profile test below for testing against a pre-defined 'Committed Information Rate' (or 'CIR'), typically part of an SLA definition.

Testing against the SLA in this way produces results much faster, typically the test sequence involves traffic generation increasing over a minimal number of increments up to the CIR, for a given packet size. Provided that the CIR is met, the test proceeds to record characteristics similar to those of the RFC2544 test. The Y.1564 test supports an EMIX (Ethernet Mix) of different packet sizes in order to provide a full qualification of the Network service.

Circuit Activation Test Report
Example: Circuit Activation Test Report

Y.1564 test procedures are 'agnostic' to packet type and addressing. Consequently, by using a tester capable of supporting both Ethernet MAC addressing and IP addressing, then these tests can be conducted across either Layer-2 or layer-3 infrastructures.

Once a test has run, the instigating EDD stores the test result as a report file, which can be automatically uploaded by File Transfer to a Network Management Platform, for incorporation directly into a Carrier’s Birth Certificate report for the service. It is alternatively possible to upload of the report to a Management Console (sent as a simple ‘flat’ text file for maximum flexibility). The whole CAT process is illustrated below, showing a combination of MetroCONNECT FCM9003 and FCM9005 EDD units.

Circuit Activation Testing
Simple step by step through the ease by which the Metrodata EDD allows Circuit Activation Testing

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