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Ethernet compliance-testing house moves to U.S.

Posted: 12 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ethernet equipment? iometrix?

Robert Mandeville, a longtime test guru, has formed a company in Silicon Valley named Iometrix Inc. that will provide compliance-testing and certification services to developers of first-mile Ethernet equipment. Mandeville established the company after he moved his Ethernet testing operations from Europe to the United States.

Iometrix is a natural outgrowth of European Network Laboratories, which Mandeville founded in Paris in 1991 with the goal of testing the performance of Ethernet boxes. While ENL was a success in Europe, it caught even more attention in the United States, where more than 90 percent of its customers were based. That large U.S. contingent convinced Mandeville to move his operation to South San Francisco and rename it Iometrix.

"The move made a huge amount of sense," he said.

It also gave Mandeville a chance to rethink the company's testing services. According to Mandeville, much of the Ethernet testing performed by ENL focused on compliance to an RFC specification defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force. But with Ethernet finding a home in the access and metro markets, equipment vendors and carriers are looking to test for compliance at the service level, he said.

Moreover, carriers and vendors are concerned with more than RFC compliance, Mandeville said. "Now that we have services, we need to have a different test in our hands," he added.

With that shift in mind, Iometrix is developing platforms that will allow designers to perform tests for services defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum and the Ethernet in the First Mile Alliance, or EFMA.

On the metro front, Iometrix will support compliance testing for the MEF1 specification, which defines an Ethernet services model, Mandeville said. The company is also looking to build compliance-testing suites for the Metro.

Ethernet Forum's upcoming traffic management specification, he said. On the first-mile Ethernet front, Mandeville said that Iometrix will offer compliance-testing services evaluating copper and fiber systems. It will also test for compliance to EFMA's operation, administration and maintenance specifications.

Iometrix's initial focus will be on compliance testing, Mandeville said. However, the company may form partnerships with other test labs to support interoperability testing, he said.

- Robert Keenan

EE Times

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