Cisco IPSLA has been a very popular tool for network pre-deployment assessment and network monitoring for over a decade now. It has been widely deployed by Cisco customers across all industry verticals.
In an earlier blog, the Medianet team introduced you to a new type of IPSLA probe called the Video Operation (VO) probe. This probe is also referred to as the Built-In Traffic Simulator (BITS). The main functionality of this probe is to generate traffic that mimics real media flows. The intention is to stress the network and do a pre-deployment assessment of the network.
IPSLA VO is a Cisco IOS® functionality. So basically any router or switch running Cisco IOS® can be potentially used to generate IPSLA VO synthetic traffic streams without needing to buy and deploy dedicated hardware probes.
IPSLA VO is currently supported on both router and switch platforms. Router platforms include the ISR 1900 series, 2900 series and 3900 series. The switch platforms include the Catalyst 3K series and the 4K series. For a complete listing of the supported hardware, refer to the Medianet Datasheet.
Some differences exist in how IPSLA VO needs to be configured and the functionalities it offers across these platforms. Such differences are described in detail in the IPSLA Video Operation Across Platforms white paper.The white paper goes in depth into several areas, including the basic requirements (both hardware and software), as well as how to harness the power of IPSLA VO across various router and switch platforms.
Another feature that has to be highlighted for IPSLA VO is the support for traffic profiles. A profile is basically a description of the traffic characteristics of a media flow. IPSLA VO supports both in-built as well as custom generated profiles. Built-in profiles are typeset in Cisco IOS®. Custom profiles can be generated either using Cisco IOS® CLI or using a custom profile generation tool.
To support custom profiles, we have provided a free tool that can be used to generate custom profiles. This tool is also available in the Medianet Knowledge Base (under the “Design” tab). This tool takes a packet capture as the input and outputs a profile file which can then be loaded to the switch to generate synthetic traffic similar to it.
Questions /queries/comments on the white paper or the tool can be asked here.