Healthy VoIP Nets - Part XLVIII - Network Management Architectures: Shenick Network Systems

By Mark A. Miller | Oct 21, 2008 | Print this Page
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Shenick Network Systems, Ltd., headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a provider of IP communications test and performance monitoring systems, enabling converged IP network service providers to test and monitor the complete service delivery life cycle from the laboratory to live service deployment.

Shenick is named after an island situated off the east coast of Ireland, about ten miles north of Dublin. The castle situated on Shenick Island, known as a Martello Tower, was built in the early 19th century during the Napoleonic era. The purpose of the tower was to warn of an invasion from the sea. The Martello towers are situated all along the east coastline of Ireland and within line of sight of each other. The early warning system at the time involved lighting a fire on the top of the castle to signal other towers along the coastal defense line.

The modern day Shenick Network Systems no longer lights signal fires to warn of approaching network threats, but instead develops products that address next-generation converged network and application performance issues for IPTV, Video on Demand (VoD), Triple Play, IMS, Peer to Peer (P2P), Metro Ethernet, IPv4/IPv6 hybrid, and other network deployments.

Shenick commenced operations in 2000 in Dublin, and has since expanded into a Silicon Valley office in Burlingame, California, and other offices in Germany and Singapore.

The company was recognized in September 2008 with a Global Technology Innovation Award from Frost and Sullivan for their deep packet inspection test equipment, and their technology for Internet-based application traffic control, shaping, and network management.

Shenick has developed two key network management solutions that support converged networks. The diversifEye system is a per-flow converged IP network test system that is offered to network equipment manufacturers, service providers, large enterprises, and governments that need to assess network performance, quality of service and quality of experience. The servicEye system is designed to support IP Television (IPTV) deployments, providing end-to-end passive and active monitoring capabilities that can scale to thousands of IPTV channels.

The diversifEye system consists of a fully integrated, highly scalable software and hardware platform. The standard software package supports both voice and video media analysis, including VoIP, VoD, and multicast IPTV. The software suite has the capabilities to test at OSI Layers 2 through 7, including applications that are enabled for either IPv4 or IPv6.

The system is shipped with a complete range of software modules and sample test cases covering all application scenarios, and also includes a GUI client that offers full automation and batch testing functions through a scripting interface. Three different hardware platforms are available, all designed on a 19 inch rack mountable chassis, that support stateful traffic emulation from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps rates. Applications for the system include:

  • VoIP: emulating real multimedia SIP/RTP calls with voice and video streams, with emulation support for both the client side (User Agent Client, or UAC), and the server server side (User Agent Server, or UAS). The system can determine loss, delay, and jitter along with mean opinion score, active PESQ and passive R-factor testing (see Figure 1).
  • IMS: Emulate SIP-based access scenarios and data over mobile applications, and emulate multiple IP services and applications across a variety of network access points (xDSL, Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS), FTTx, etc.).
  • Traffic Management: test traffic shaping, policing and service management systems with high performance, per-application, flow emulation. In addition, determine the cause and effect of peer-to-peer traffic on sensitive IPTV and VoIP applications.
  • IPTV and VoD: determine QoE in real time on multicast IPTV streams and peripheral services; streaming performance analysis for Video On Demand, both stand alone and in the presence of VoIP and other Data Applications; plus conduct video quality analysis.
  • Application Server: emulate and conduct analysis of QoS and QoE for millions of ‘internet users in a box’, and concurrently generate mixed application flows such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, streaming, multicast, etc.
  • Security: Determine limitations under normal operation and/or attack conditions. Concurrently generate both regular traffic, (e.g. a typical IP application mix of HTTP, FTP, VoIP, email, streaming, multicast video, and P2P) and attack traffic (e.g DDoS, Virus, Worms, and Spam) to determine effects on network performance.

In addition, diversifEye allows users to easily generate fully automated reports and statistics, offering both real time and offline processing of results both during testing and post analysis. Users have the ability to generate reports in a number of formats in both graphical and tabular formats (see Figure 2).

Further details on the Shenick architecture and products can be found at http://www.shenick.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2008 DigiNet Corporation ®, All Rights Reserved


Author's Biography
Mark A. Miller, P.E., is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.