Using ByteBlower Port groups
Posted by Pieter Vandercammen, Last modified by Craig Godbold on 29 November 2023 11:14 AM


Port groups have been added to the ByteBlower GUI in version 2.8. They were added with DOCSIS 3.1 in mind, but you'll notice that they're also very useful with WiFi and other network configurations. This is a short article which won't reveal every possible use-case. The goal is to explain how you create a Port Group, and why you want one. Next we'll make a simple scenario and review its results.

The goal of a port group

When creating a test scenario for a particular high-bandwidth CMTS or access point, you'll often notice that you're repeating yourself. A single CPE/LAN interface isn't sufficient to fully load the modem or Access Point. An example is found on the figure below. To solve it, one would add several LAN interfaces and create several flows to them. The end-result is often much duplication and elaborate bookkeeping to find out how much bandwidth is transmitted. With the Port Groups this becomes much more easy: you can immediately create network traffic to a group of ByteBlower Ports.

How to use them

Creating a new Port Group starts in the Port view. You'll need to configure the individual ByteBlower Ports and dock each to the right interfaces. This hasn't changed. In the figure below we've created 4 Lan ports and docked from trunk-1-20 up till trunk-1-23.  A WAN port is docked to a 10 Gbit/s nontrunk interface. In our scenario, we'll send traffic from this WAN port to all LAN ports. To create the Port Group, we've selected the LAN ports and pick the Group action in the right-click menu.

The result is shown below. For ease of working we've renamed the group to LAN. If you expand the group, you'll find its members. The Group itself has no options, but you are still able to change the config of each member.

From here on, creating your testing scenario is very familiar. Next step is creating a Frame and adding it to a FrameBlasting template.  As shown in the first figure, we'll configure the speed of this template to 3 Gbit/s and use it for our Flow. As you'll see below, this Flow will transmit from the WAN port to the LAN group.
  • The WAN port will send out at a rate of 3 Gbit/s.
  • In total 3 Gbit/s is received by the LAN group. 
Behind the scenes, the transmitted data is evenly divided across all members of the group.

This flow is used in the scenario of the attached report.  A couple points stand out.
  • In IPv4 ByteBlower Ports section, you'll find the the group and its members again. There's a first table with the sole ungrouped ByteBlower Port. Below that, you'll find the listing of the LAN port group.

  • All following sections show the combined results.
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Comments (2)
Sjors Crombeen
25 June 2018 09:49 AM
What happens if a port in a certain group is not connected / not available? Will the test still run?
Pieter Vandercammen
03 July 2018 02:35 PM
The ByteBlower ports need a valid config (docking, DHCP/static ip config) to start the testrun.

Once started, the test will continue when a ByteBlower Port in the group doesn't manage to initialize fully (e.g. because it receive no DHCP offer).

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