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The Building Automation and Control network (BACnet) allows the communication of control systems for applications such as heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) control, lighting control, access control, and fire detection systems and their associated equipment.  Using the BACnet protocol, the control devices exchange information with other devices. BACnet/IP allows the BACnet protocol to operate over UDP on IP networks.

Before deploying a BACnet/IP network, engineers want to learn how a BACnet-enabled control unit will perform in real-world BACnet/IP production networks.  By capturing and changing network flows, the Maxwell Pro network emulator can induce the conditions that cause network congestion, slow links, time outs, and many other adverse network conditions.  The BACnet/IP engineer can then see the effects on the control units and the network to find and fix bugs, solve network problems, and learn the limits of device and application performance.


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Simple Setup and Operation

Attach the Maxwell Pro network emulator at any point in the BACnet/IP network without any special configuration. Point and click to introduce bandwidth limited conditions or network impairments. Then observe the behavior on applications and devices.   Quickly and efficiently determine how well a BACnet control system will operate in the unfavorable conditions that occur on real-world networks.

Emulate a real-world BACnet/IP network in your Lab

  • For testing, validation, and troubleshooting, Maxwell Pro helps test and replicate bugs in new releases and at customer sites by replicating a BACnet/IP production network
  • For demonstrations, tradeshows, training, and learning, Maxwell Pro emulates a real-world BACnet/IP network so that engineers can understand how to correlate network behavior with the cause of the behavior to learn how BACnet/IP works and how a product performs
  • Use Maxwell Pro for all network technologies and applications, including VoIP, video, conferencing, SANs, wireless, mobile, VPN, and many more...

Point and Click -- Instant Results

  • Scenario driven user interface – select the situation to emulate
  • Graphical, command line, or script-driven interface for maximum flexibility
  • Highly accurate and realistic network traffic emulations via multiple flows
  • Saves testing time by permitting changes on the fly without reloading or restarting
  • Enhances regression testing by saving and reloading config files and logging data
  • Fully programmable and customizable using C or C++
  • Quick and easy setup -- less than fifteen minutes

Understand Performance Limitations

Maxwell Pro helps the BACnet/IP implementor by emulating a BACnet/IP network in the lab. Maxwell Pro can introduce standard packet impairments (e.g. drops, delays, duplicates) to the flow of traffic and the user can observe the effects on multiple BACnet/IP devices.

The BACnet/IP implementor can confidently articulate the performance limits of the product and make recommendations to customers about the minimum requirements for their network.

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BACnet/IP Stack/Engine Testing

BACnet/IP, like any other network protocol, depends on a software "stack" operating properly to drive the protocol and applications that use it. Most stacks and applications work under perfect conditions. Unfortunately, stacks, applications, and devices operating at real-world customer networks are rarely perfect.

Applications and stacks encounter:

  • Periodic link failures
  • Routers suffering from periodic congestion
  • Routers that are misconfigured
  • DNS name resolution delay
  • Temporarily unavailable nodes (servers, routes)
Even worse, anti-social hackers create unusual or hostile packets and malicious protocol changes to wreak havoc on the network devices.

The Solution: Maxwell Pro

Maxwell Pro creates these real-world network anomalies to help you find and fix the problem in your lab, prior to deployment. Since Maxwell Pro is programmable, you can create even more test cases and scenarios to fully test the BACnet/IP virtual circuit mechanism and various protocol impairments.

BACnet/IP traffic can be filtered and segregated from other network traffic and protocol or packet impairments can be applied to just the BACnet/IP traffic; all other traffic will flow through unimpeded.

For the latest BACnet news and publications, visit BACnet.org.


Want to learn more about Maxwell Pro and BACnet/IP?