Specifications - Ixia | Deliver On

IxNetwork: Specifications

Quick Links

IxNetwork 7 introduces Ixia’s next-generation protocol framework that brings multi-protocol visibility to a new level. It offers an industry-first high-level summary of port- and protocol-state and the ability to drill down to and control any port, all from a single, visual interface (see diagram).

  • Fast and efficient configuration of network emulation
  • Improved scaling and efficiency
  • Flexible protocol stacking to emulate realistic use cases
  • Easier use-model with visual representative of test topology and protocol states
  • Granular per session control and drill-down view
  • Per session learned info and per session failure info for improved diagnostic
  • Improved traffic generation flexibility with tagged protocol elements
  • Real-world Traffic Mix with AppLibrary

As networks converge into a single network infrastructure that is used to carry voice, video, data, and wireless traffic, it is critical to use leading-edge test systems to assess functionality, scale, and performance. IxNetwork provides wire-rate traffic generation with service modeling that builds realistic, dynamically-controllable data-plane traffic. IxNetwork offers the industry’s best test solution for functional and performance testing by using comprehensive emulation for routing, switching, multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), IP multicast, broadband access, authentication, carrier Ethernet, and data center bridging (DCB) protocols. IxNetwork scales to handle the most powerful devices and largest networks.

IxNetwork offers the customization and flexibility to meet the wide range of requirements necessary for testing complex network topologies with thousands of network devices. It emulates millions of routes and reachable hosts and can customize millions of traffic flows to stress data plane performance. Powerful graphical user interface (GUI) wizards and grid controls allow simplified creation of sophisticated traffic flows. Its enhanced real-time analysis and statistics are capable of reporting comprehensive protocol status and detailed per-flow traffic performance metrics.

Multi-protocol visibility with port drill-down and control
Multi-protocol visibility with protocol drill-down and control

Key Features

  • Easy-to-use protocol and traffic wizards emulate complex networks with the widest selection of layer 2 (L2) and L3 protocols and traffic profiles
  • Dynamic traffic support, with the ability to change rate and frame size on the fly, and dynamically-updated MPLS and PPP traffic without stopping and restarting
  • Advanced measurements, including four latency modes, delay variation (jitter), inter-arrival time, sequence checking, misdirected packets, packet loss duration, and Rx rates
  • Streamlined workflow that exposes all configuration options in context-sensitive ribbons and contains an overview summary of ports, protocols, and traffic with detailed views
  • Collaborative resource management with Resource Manager – divide and conquer large, complex test topologies, compare resource versions and configuration changes, merge resources with easy-to-use wizards
  • Statistics viewer providing summary-level, group-level, and per-flow statistics with sophisticated results filtering and sorting powered by Flow Detective™, enabling real-time analysis
  • Virtual server and cloud testing through virtual test ports
  • Quickly and easily record interactions with IxNetwork and save these recordings as tests for later use with Macro Recorder
  • Multi-field ingress tracking to track flows based on multiple user-defined fields
  • Multi-egress tracking provides a unique ingress/egress results view that compares sent traffic with received traffic, so as to accurately verify what DUT packet field modifications; QoS remarking is easily verified
  • Ability to add custom formulas in any statistics view
  • Powerful reporting with one-click report generation, data analysis, custom report and template builds, customizable charts and graphs, in PDF or HTML formats
  • QuickTests for industry-standard test methodologies, including RFCs 2544, 2889, and 3918, and ITU-T Y.1564
  • Easy one-click TCL, HLTAPI, or HLPAPI automation using ScriptGen, with complete API support – providing complete automation of IxNetwork functions

Advanced Traffic Wizard
Advanced Traffic Wizard

IxNetwork on IxVM

IxNetwork builds large-scale emulated network and complex traffic topologies using real-world routing and switching. IxNetwork's large library of L2-3 protocols allows advanced testing of multicast scenarios using IGMP, convergence testing for measuring outage duration during live migration, and LACP.


IxNetwork emulates a wide variety of protocols using Ixia's CPU-based test port. Each test port supports an independent multi-core CPU running protocol emulations under a Linux operating system. Using the IxNetwork test application, each Ixia test port is capable of emulating thousands of routers or bridges with millions of reachable networks and hosts. Users can easily scale the size of emulated topologies by adding additional test ports. Combined with line-rate traffic generation and QoS measurement capabilities, the CPU-based load modules verify advertised topologies and networks for reachability and QoS performance.

Protocol Configuration Wizard
Figure Protocol Configuration Wizard

Supported Protocols[1]






RFC 1058, RFC 2453


RFC 2328, RFC 2740


ISO/IEC 10589


Cisco proprietary


RFC 1771, RFC 2545



RFC 3209, RFC 4974, RFC 5151


RFC 4875


RFC 3036




Labeled BGP

RFC 3107


RFC 3916, RFC 4385, RFC 4447

L3 MPLS VPN, 6VPE, RT-Constraint

RFC 2547bis, RFC 4364, RFC 4684

Inter-AS VPN Options A, B, C

RFC 2547bis


RFC 5654
RFC 5860
RFC 5921
RFC 5586
RFC 6371
RFC 6378
RFC 6426
RFC 6428
RFC 6478


  • RFC 4379: detecting MPLS data plane failures
  • RFC 5884: bidirectional forwarding detection (BFD) for MPLS label switched paths (LSPs)
  • RFC 5085: pseudowire virtual circuit connectivity verification (VCCV), a control channel for pseudowires
  • RFC 5885: BFD for the pseudowire VCC

Multicast VPN: GRE, mLDP, RSVP-TE P2MP

  • Draft-Rosen/RFC 6037
  • RFC 6514


  • draft-ietf-l2vpn-evpn-04
  • draft-ietf-l2vpn-pbb-evpn-06



RFC 4798

BGP auto-discovery with LDP FEC 129 support

RFC 4447


RFC 4762



RFC 4761




IP Multicast


RFC 1112, RFC 2236, RFC 3376


RFC 2710, RFC 3810


RFC 2362, RFC 4601

Multicast VPN, VPNv6

  • IETF draft-rosen-l3vpn-mvpn
  • draft-ietf-l3vpn-2547bis-mcast-07.txt (RSVP-TE P2MP Support)
  • draft-ietf-l3vpn-2547bis-mcast-bgp-05.txt (A-D route 1,3,4,5,7)



IEEE 802.1D/802.1W


IEEE 802.1s


Cisco proprietary

Link Aggregation (LACP)

IEEE 802.3ad


IEEE 802.1AB

Carrier Ethernet

Link OAM

IEEE 802.3ah-2004 Clause 57


IEEE 802.1ag-2007

Service OAM

ITU-T Y.1731-2006


Nortel Standard/IEEE 802.1Qay


ITU-T G.8264/Y.1364 SyncE


IEEE 1588-2008 (version 2)

G.8265.1 Telecom Profile


MEF 16






RFC 1331, RFC 2516, RFC 4241

DHCPv4 Client/Server DHCPv6 Client/Server

RFC 2131

RFC 3315, RFC 3363


RFC 3817

Radius attributes for L2TP

RFC 2865

IPv6 Autoconfiguration (SLAAC)

RFC 4862


IGMP - RFC 1112, RFC 2236, RFC 3376

MLD - RFC 2710, RFC 3810


IETF draft-ietf-mboned-auto-multicast-12



IEEE 802.1x


Cisco and HP implementations

Cisco NAC

Cisco proprietary

Data Center

Priority flow control

IEEE 802.1Qbb


T11 FC-BB-5


CIN 1.0/Pre-CEE, IEEE Baseline 1.01/ CEE, IEEE 802.1Qaz


Cisco proprietary






IEEE 802.1aq


802.1Qbg draft 2.1


ONF v1.0/v1.3.1





IxNetwork supports sophisticated traffic generation that is tightly integrated with the control-plane protocols.

  • Basic Traffic Wizard, Advanced Traffic Wizard, and Quick Flow groups support simple to complex traffic creation
  • Generate up to 4 million trackable flows
  • Configure up to 16,000 unique Flow Groups – each supporting a unique transmit profile
  • Up to 4,096 hardware streams per port
  • Learn and bind up to 4 million MPLS labels
  • Change frame rate and frame size on the fly
  • Update MPLS and PPP traffic dynamically, without having to stop and restart traffic

Multi-Field Ingress Tracking
Multi-Field ingress tracking

Traffic Wizard Features

Traffic Types

IPv4, IPv6, MPLS multi-labels, Ethernet, VLAN, provider bridges (Q-in-Q), provider backbone bridges (MAC-in-MAC), frame relay, ATM, PPP, HDLC, L2 MPLS VPN (including FR and ATM to Ethernet PWE3 Internetworking), L3 MPLS VPN, VPLS, 6PE, 6VPE, multicast, multicast VPN

Source/Destination Ports Mapping

One-to-one, many-to-many, fully meshed

Routes Mapping between Peer Ports

One-to-one, fully meshed

Flow Grouping

Build flow groups based on packet content (e.g., QoS or VLAN ID)

Traffic Profile

Frame size

Fixed, increment, random, IMIX, custom IMIX, Quad Gaussian distribution, auto


percent line rate, packets/sec, L2 bit rate (bps, Bps, KBps, MBps)

Payload pattern

Increment byte/word, decrement byte/word, random, custom


TOS, DSCP, IPv6 traffic classes, 802.1p, MPLS EXP


Traffic supports gratuitous ARP - auto Re-ARP on cable re-connect

Dynamic Fields

MPLS and PPP - update corresponding traffic packets on the fly when control plane information changes

Packet Error Injection


Per-Flow Traffic Tracking

Single or multi-field tracking of any field including: QoS (TOS/DSCP), VLAN, source MAC address, destination MAC address, source IP address, destination IP address, MPLS label, MPLS flow descriptor, streams, Src/Dst IP pair, Src/Dst MAC pair, custom packet tracking

Real-Time Flow Filtering and Flow Detective

Real-time filtering of flows based on tracking settings with user defined criteria. Single out best/worst performing flows based on Rx count, min/max/average latency, timestamp, real-time packet loss using sequence, identify dead flows

Packet Editor

Edit packet header fields and payload

Header field value editing

Increment, decrement, list, user defined, default, link/unlink with other header fields

Add tracking

Track user defined traffic flows

Payload editing

Increment byte/word, decrement byte/word, repeat, fixed, user defined

Custom editing

Add or insert additional layers of protocols

Traffic Measurements


Track Tx frames, Rx expected frames, Rx frames, Rx bytes frame delta loss %

Rate Tx frame rate, Rx frame rate, Rx rate (bps, Bps, Kbps, Mbps)
Latency Store and forward, cut-through, MEF frame delay, forwarding delay
Delay Variation (Jitter) Delay variation measurement (jitter) minimum, average, maximum
Inter-Arrival Time Inter-arrival minimum, average, maximum
Sequence Small error, big error, reverse error, last sequence number, duplicate frames, sequence gaps
Time Stamps First and last timestamp per flow
TrueView™ Convergence Control plane and data plane integrated time stamping for calculating convergence measurements
Packet Loss Duration Estimated time without received packets calculated by frames delta at the expected Rx rate
Misdirected Packets Per-port based count of packets not expected on a Rx port
Late Packets Per-flow count of packets that arrived late; user-defined threshold for late packets
Re-Ordered Packets Per-flow count of packets that were received out of order
Duplicate Packets Per-flow count of duplicate packets that were received
In-Order Packets Per-flow count of packets that were received in order

IxNetwork AppLibrary

Feature Specification
Application Simulations 300+, and growing monthly
Application Simulations per port 50
Ports Supported 128
Traffic over Protocol Emulations Yes
Supported Load Modules
  • NGY-NP2-01
  • NGY-NP4-01
  • NGY-NP8-01
  • LSM10GXM2NG-01
  • LSM10GXM4NG-01
  • LSM10GXM8NG-01
  • LSM1000XMVDC16-01
  • LSM1000XMVDC4-01
  • LSM1000XMVDC16NG

Test Results

The IxNetwork statistics viewer is a powerful tool for viewing and analyzing real-time results and generating test reports.

  • Aggregate statistics are displayed hierarchically, with the ability to drill-down to group-level and flow-level statistics.
  • Different modes to view traffic statistics – Instantaneous, Cumulative, or both
  • CSV files can be used to capture a single results view or, at the global level, to capture all results in real-time. An integrated CSV viewer is provided to view large-result files.

Statistic views
Statistic views


Global Protocol Port-level protocol counters
Port Port mode, speed, frame and data rate, OAM statistics, misdirected
Tx-Rx Frame Rate Tx-Rx frame rate graph
Port CPU Port CPU utilization and statistics
Data Plane Port Port-based frame counts and rate excluding control-plane traffic
Traffic Item Statistics provide an aggregate of all the flows in the Traffic Item
User Defined User-defined view is used for drill-down to user-defined tracking options
Flow Statistics Flow-level measurements
Flow Detective Filtering and sorting based results

Streamlined Workflow

The new GUI greatly reduces clutter by organizing actions into context-sensitive ribbons. It only shows you enabled protocols in the configuration tree, as opposed to everything that is supported by the application. The configuration options exposed in the GUI are context sensitive, and you only see the options based on the element in the navigation tree you are on.

Streamlined Workflow
Streamlined workflow

Resource Manager

Often expertise for different protocols lies within different members of a testing team. A common pain-point for our customers was the lack of a collaboration tool to aid them in incrementally building configurations. With the Resource Manager, users can now piece-meal their configurations together. The Resource Manager allows users to save different pieces of their configurations, like protocols and traffic elements, and then build a configuration by re-using saved elements in their current configuration.

Resource Manager
Resource Manager

It also allows users to clearly see changes made to their resources/configurations by using a “diff” functionality within the application. Using the Resource Manager is a powerful way to collaborate and quickly build expertise with a team.


Building a test-results report requires test data. IxReporter 2.0 introduces a new database, referred to in the application as an “object model.” The object model is populated by a testing application (like IxNetwork) with the test configuration parameters and the test results. All of these “objects” can be included in a report, usually in a table or chart. With this powerful concept, tables and charts can be created which combine statistics and configuration information as well as have multiple protocols.



IxNetwork provides powerful GUI-based automation with the Test Composer and QuickTests. It also has a robust feature set for GUI-to-script and API-based automation.

  • Test Composer provides a GUI-based solution to automate test actions.
  • QuickTests provides standards-based test methodologies, as well as a custom mode for user-defined performance tests.
  • ScriptGen provides an easy, one-click GUI-to-script automation solution, as well as a GUI to watch running tests.
  • IxNetwork provides a full-featured API for automated testing.

IxNetwork's automation is simplicity at its best. Test scenarios are set up using IxNetwork’s step-by-step GUI, and then a single button-press generates a TCL test script. Scripts may be modified and combined in any fashion. When the script is run, the IxNetwork GUI watches the execution – providing real-time statistics and state information.

Automation Options

Request Easy-to-Use IxNetwork

"I just need a test that
can stress my DUT"


Configurable, packaged tests

"I just want to capture
what I'm doing in the GUI"

Macro Recorder

Click-thru test automation

"I need to build tests, but I need help with the scripting"


Test development environment

"I need control, but I don’t want to learn the Tcl API"


GUI driven configuration

"I need low-level control
of the test tool"


Total access to the configuration

Automation Features

Feature Test Requirement Detail
QuickTests Scalability
  • Easy-to-use, configurable, pre-packaged tests
  • Benchmark network performance with RFC-based test methodologies
  • Generate detailed reports of results
Macro Recorder Functionality
  • "Click-thru automation" means no more scripting
  • Rapid capture of manual test cases
  • Capture steps that cause a failure for reproducibility
Composer and Tweakables Regression
  • Detailed control over test execution without Tcl expertise
  • Complete access to the Tcl API with easy UI
  • Edit "Macro Recorded" steps for customization of GUI captured events
Tcl API Functionality and regression
  • For Tcl scripting experts
  • One-click GUI to Tcl script conversion available (Scriptgen)
  • Complete access to and control over test configuration

Macro Recorder

With Macro Recorder in IxNetwork 6.00, users can quickly and easily record their interactions with IxNetwork and save these recordings as tests for later use. A user simply turns on the recorder just before they begin the series of steps and interact with the GUI just as they normally do. When done, they stop recording. Macro Recorder captures the GUI interactions during the process and can replay the steps over and over again – saving a lot of time.

Macro Recorder
Macro Recorder

The user can choose to capture the time in between GUI clicks during the recording so that the pace of the commands is the same when the scenario replays. The user can also choose to take a snapshot of the configuration they are using so that the scenario always starts from the exact same condition as was originally configured.


An important requirement of network device characterization is measuring throughput, latency, frame loss, and back-to-back rates as defined in RFC 2544. Automated tests use the traffic flows set up by the traffic wizard to perform tests, varying rates and sizes as necessary. QuickTest features include:

  • End-to-end wizards for easy step-by-step configuration of test input and parameters
  • Ability to run background traffic to load the DUT
  • Integration with the ViperCore traffic and statistics engine
  • Ability to run RFC test methodologies over routed topologies
  • Ability to run strict RFC tests or allow users to customize any configured traffic property after the wizard runs

QuickTest end-to-end wizards

QuickTest end-to-end wizards

QuickTest Features

Test Types Tests
RFC 2544 Tests Throughput and latency, frame loss, back-to-back
RFC 2889 Tests Address Cache, Address Rate, Broadcast Rate, Congestion Control, Frame Error Filtering, Fully Meshed, Many to One, One to Many, Partially Meshed
RFC 3918 Tests Aggregated Multicast Throughput, Burdened Group Join Delay, Burdened Multicast Latency, Forwarding Latency, Group Join/Leave delay, Mixed Class throughput, Multicast Group Capacity, Multicast Group Pattern Verification, Scaled Group Forwarding
IEEE 1588v2 (PTP) Best Master Selection, Transparent Clock Correction Factor Error, Slave Scalability
ITU-T Y.1564 Service Activation Service Configuration, Service Performance
Asymmetric Data Performance Throughput/Latency, Frame Loss
IPTV Channel Zapping
Converged Data Center FCoE Max No Drop Throughput, FCoE Max No Pause Throughput, Cloud Performance
Control Plane Tests Session setup rate, session capacity
Custom Tests Continuous run, fixed duration run, incremental, throughput (binary search)

Built-In Data Capture and Analysis

Internet protocols are complex – multi-protocol emulations even more so. IxNetwork includes a built-in tool that captures control-plane traffic along with line-rate data-plane traffic, merging both into a single capture file. The optional Analyzer module is a sophisticated network analyzer, with the ability to display protocol ladder diagrams. IxNetwork allows you to trigger and filter control and data plane packet captures based on user-defined packet field.


[1] Not all IxNetwork protocols are supported on IxVM.