Meantime the communications division of the leading US oscilloscope maker has launched a strategy to address all test and monitoring aspects of both local and wide area networking from a single source. Tektronix says that it will achieve this ambition by the end of the year with its infant TC-2000 monitor, launched last April and […]
Meantime the communications division of the leading US oscilloscope maker has launched a strategy to address all test and monitoring aspects of both local and wide area networking from a single source. Tektronix says that it will achieve this ambition by the end of the year with its infant TC-2000 monitor, launched last April and based on an MS-DOS micro. This will be able to monitor four different domains: data processing, local are network protocol analysis; dataline analysis in analogue telephone networks, and Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN is the present sticking point although the facility will be provided by the year-end ready for British Telecom, the product’s first – and as yet, only – customer. Les Brunton, consultant for the communications products division claimed that provision has been made to test the ISDN signalling system, leaving only the coding element to be completed. Other gaps remain in the strategy. TC-2000 does not yet offer the testing facilities for Token Ring that are available for Ethernet, although Tektronix points out that IBM has drawn a blank here as well. Customers want to be able to analyse traffic flows between nodes on the network and to simulate these loads and configurations and token ring technology poses a particular problem. The ring treats the analyser as an active device instead of allowing it to be a passive observer Brunton explains. He expects to have found and implemented a solution by the first quarter of next year. Brunton attributes such setbacks to the fact that network testing and monitoring is a lagging technology that must adapt to the standards implemented by the suppliers. These are frequently diverse such as the Deutsche Bundespost’s use of twin-axial connectors into its digital network opposed to the majority use of co-ax. More important, the nature of the technology makes it difficult to judge the appropriate timing for an entry into the market, ISDN being the obvious example. British Telecom is the first phone operator to sign up for the ISDN software for TC 2000 but Tektronix has been working closely with the Bundespost; it is wary of putting an esimate on the total revenue to be milked from this sector.