Ready for VoIP: Network Management Architectures: Ameritec

Ameritec Corporation, headquartered in Covina, Calif., is a privately held firm
engaged in the design, manufacture and sales of telecommunications test equipment. The
firm was founded in 1980, and specializes in call generation, transmission testing, and
quality of service monitoring.

Ameritec is an ISO 9001:2000 registered company, with its products used by network
equipment manufacturers, service providers, and enterprise companies throughout the
world-addressing the testing requirements for analog POTS, T1, E1, DS3, OC3/STM-1, MGCP,
and SIP circuits.

Ameritec’s test equipment products fall into four general categories:

  • call generation tools
  • local loop testing
  • quality of service (QoS) network monitoring
  • video analysis

The firm’s VoIP network management products are centered in the call generation
and network monitoring areas, covering traffic simulation, network stress testing, and
performance monitoring tasks.

Ameritec’s primary solutions for traffic simulation and network stress testing are its
Allegro and Fortissimo products. Allegro is a network load generator that
simulates subscribers placing calls into the network. The unit gives the user flexibility
to serve a wide range of applications associated with switch and network testing, and is
ideally suited to allow the user to develop a test environment with the ability to
analyze highly complex calls scenarios and interactive applications under load in a
dedicated lab environment.

These products allow a developer to create complex call scenarios that can verify new
software feature loads or be used for regression testing. Each Allegro is controlled via
a PC workstation over a 10/100 MB Ethernet port and utilizes a graphical user interface
(GUI) that is intuitive and easy to use.

Three models are available:

  • the Allegro ALG-A, which simulates 2-wire analog loop/ground start
    subscribers
  • the Allegro ALG-D, which simulates digital T1/E1, Signaling System 7 (SS7),
    and ISDN Primary Rate Interface (PRI) subscribers
  • the Allegro ALG-IP, which simulates Session Initiation Protocol/Media Gateway
    Control Protocol (SIP/MGCP) subscribers (see Figure 1).

The Fortissimo products are high volume network traffic devices used to
determine how network elements react under extreme call load. The units are designed to
test highly complex call scenarios and interactive applications under high call loads, on
hundreds of lines simultaneously.

Fortissimo is designed to place calls to or receive calls from other Allegro,
Fortissimo or AM3-QoS units to provide a complete test system of call generation and QoS
measurements.

A number of Fortissimo models are available, including-

  • the Fortissimo NLG-A, an analog network lode generator that simulates 100
    loop start telephony subscribers
  • the Fortissimo NLG-IP, which simulates 192 simultaneous SIP subscribers
  • the Fortissimo NLG-M13 which provides 28 T1 or 21 E1 circuits

Each Fortissimo is also controlled via a PC workstation via an Ethernet port.

Supporting performance and QoS monitoring functions is Ameritec’s

GoldenWatch allows service providers to measure and define metrics of service based on
a number of parameters including time of day performance, call volume, call path, and so
on. The GoldenWatch program resides on a computer at a central site.

The second part of the system is the

Alarms are reported by the responder once a QoS threshold value is exceeded, or a
specified number of incomplete calls has been reached.

The number of AM3-QoS+ units calling as well as their associated calling intervals can
be defined by the user so that comprehensive data can be accumulated to determine QoS and
call completion statistics throughout the network.

Statistics compiled for each AM3-QoS include: round trip delays, dropped packets,
circuit noise levels, receive levels, signal-to-noise ratios, originated calls attempted
and completed, call setup failures, MOS, PESQ and PSQM scores values, call duration, call
completion rates, and others.

Further details on the Ameritec architecture and products can be found at www.ameritec.com. Our next
tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

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