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What We Do

InterWorking Labs helps developers and engineers understand how well a device or app will perform under adverse network conditions, not just perfect conditions.  The developer can then improve the embedded system or network application to optimize its performance.  Performance can range from  user perceived response time to robustness in the face of pathological packets.  Can your device or app withstand the vagaries of the Internet?

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Industry Leadership

Prominent members of the Internet Engineering Task Force, and other notable networking experts serve on our Advisory Board to provide advice and review of our products.

Management Team

Chris Wellens, President » CEO

Ms. Wellens founded InterWorking Labs in 1993 as a spinoff from the Interop Company, where she was the Director of Technology Marketing. In this capacity she provided leadership for the 5,000 node "InteropNet" as well as technology showcases. Prior to Interop Ms. Wellens held management positions in marketing and engineering for Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), with specific responsibilities for networking and operating systems and the integration of third-party products to the Sun environment.

Chris was an instructor in Software Product Marketing at UC Berkeley Extension. Chris has served on the Board of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and YumaWorks. She earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.S. from the University of Southern California.

Karl Auerbach, CTO

Mr. Auerbach founded both Epilogue Technology Corporation (SNMP engines) and Empirical Tools and Technologies, Inc. (network diagnostic tools). Prior to InterWorking Labs, Karl was at Precept Software (acquired by Cisco) where he architected and implemented IP/TV, a pioneering product for the distribution of entertainment grade video over the internet. Karl was a senior researcher in the Advanced Internet Architecture group at Cisco Systems; is the co-founder of the Boston Working Group; and has served on the Board of Directors of the Open Voting Consortium.

Karl was named a Yuen Fellow of Law and Technology at CalTech and the Loyola of Los Angeles Law School and is a member of the Intellectual Property Section of the California State Bar. He received the 2002 Norbert Wiener Award from the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). Karl earned a B.S. from UC Berkeley and a J.D. cum laude from Loyola Law School.


InterWorking Labs was co-founded by Marshall Rose and Chris Wellens who met while serving on the Interop Program Committee. Chris was the Director of Technology for Interop and Marshall was a Working Group Chair in the IETF for the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

It was 1992 and both Chris and Marshall were concerned with the poor quality of SNMP implementations. Marshall agreed to create a set of tests if Chris would organize a group of developers into an interoperability test summit. Chris did so by establishing InterWorking Labs in 1993 and producing the first SNMP interoperability test summit in January of 1994.

A shocking number of implementations failed the majority of the tests and there were only 50 tests! From those beginnings, SilverCreek, the authoritative SNMP Test Suite (or SNMP tester) was created. Today, InterWorking Labs offers tests for a number of protocols -- SNMP, TCP, IPv4, IPv6, UDP, ICMP, SIP, TLS, and more, covering protocol conformance, compliance, stress testing, robustness/vulnerability testing, negative, inopportune, and interoperability testing. Beyond protocol testing, InterWorking Labs provides products to emulate adverse network conditions in the lab, including bandwidth limited environments, misconfigured routers, and a wide variety of anomalies.

The HOTI Project

InterWorking Labs is the producer for the HOTI Project (pronounced "hottie"). HOTI, or the History of the Internet, is a film project that tells the story of how the Internet evolved. Instead of a feature length, commercial film, HOTI is a collection of five minute videos with each video capturing one important idea. Most five minute segments contain an interview with a key individual who made a technical contribution to the evolution of the Internet.

The goal of the HOTI project is to help people understand that today's Internet evolved from the combined contributions of about 200 people. It was not the work of just one person. In addition, significant funding for the early Internet originated from the Department of Defense; the Internet was not developed by an entrepreneur with venture capital funding.

The HOTI project is expected to take ten years to produce with a completion date in 2022.