VeriWave has developed a range of wireless performance tests that mix different types and amounts of Wi-Fi traffic on corporate and municipal networks.

The tests, dubbed Wi-MIX, are like scripts that simulate traffic on VeriWave's WaveTest line of traffic generation and performance analysis devices. The idea is to create a convincingly realistic mix of Wi-Fi traffic types, including voice, data and telemetry, and volumes.

The core VeriWave software tracks, measures and reports on how the wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure performs in response. "Our customers want to test their [actual] network infrastructure in the presence of traffic mixes that will happen in real life," says Eran Karoly, vice president of marketing of VeriWave.

A WiMIX test scenario for a typical office, for example, can generate wireless traffic for VoIP calls, emails, Web browsing, a CRM or database application. For a warehouse, the scenario would simulate traffic from active RFID scanners, and tablet PCs. The percentage of each traffic type can be adjusted to see how the network performs, and what optimal performance is for various types under various conditions. The scenarios were designed based on talks with VeriWave customers, according to Karoly.

VeriWave can look at measures such as the total intended load, the offered load and the achieved load; sort out the different percentages of each traffic type that meets a specific service-level agreement for performance; measure HTTP or FTP transfer times; and measure video and voice quality. Users can adjust these measures to see how they affect overall performance, for example, by raising or lowering the quality score for voice calls.

"If a customer wants the network to support 200 voice users at the same time, each with a MOS score [a common measure of voice quality] of 4.2, we'd report whether and how many did or did not meet that score," Karoly says.

The tests can be run in wireless lab settings but also on production networks. The test traffic can even be combined with traffic from live users who are actually using the network. The software also can be run at VeriWave's San Jose WaveLabs test site.

The WiMIX software will be released by the end of July.

In May, VeriWave released a document outlining 1,000 different tests for enterprise WLAN managers to verify their equipment purchase decisions.