- Application Performance
- Cyber Range Deployment
- Data Center Performance
- Load Balancer Testing
- Low Latency Networks
- Mobile Network Security
- Mobility Performance
- Network Performance
- Network Security
- Network Visibility
- Product R&D
Delivering Applications with Confidence
Driven by the explosion of media-rich applications, network equipment manufacturers, service providers, and enterprises must achieve high performance and quality of experience (QoE) by fine-tuning their network infrastructures and services.
Application delivery infrastructures must be equipped to sustain large numbers of concurrent sessions, connections, transactions, and tunnels and have the elasticity to meet peak usage. Network deployments often run smoothly with legitimate traffic, but break down when subjected to attacks or stresses from malicious traffic. Technology and service complexity and the sheer load on the network have created a “perfect storm” for test engineers.
So how can test engineers deliver their applications with confidence? Since engineers often have limited time and CapEx resources to test the complex scenarios of today’s networks, they need a robust, yet easy-to-use application simulation and testing system to verify new service offerings. In light of today’s “hyper-active” environment, there are several critical components to look for when evaluating application test systems. Look for test systems that include support for your current and future applications, realistic simulation of users, extreme scalability, simple user interface, prepackaged test bundles, and uncompromised security testing.
The breadth to test new technologies. It’s not good enough that a test system works with your IP services. Look for systems that keep current with the new technologies that you’ll be supporting next year. This is a good indication that the test system vendor is investing in its technology and that the system is on the leading-edge. Testing always has to come before you launch a new service, so your test system needs to be out ahead of the market. If you’re looking to roll out VoLTE next year or over the top (OTT) video services, your test system had better support it now.
Advanced subscriber modeling capabilities to create realistic scenarios. Rather than building a lab full of expensive equipment to replicate a network, most NEMs and network operators use a test system to simulate a fully-functional network, including applications and services. It is critical that the application traffic generated by your test system emulate the real-world scenarios that will traverse your network once a service is up and running. A thorough test system will give you the ability to accurately-model specific user profiles, such as a business user, shopping user, or iPhone user, performing specific activities such as:
- Facebook logins or wall posts
- User think times
- Video-quality bitrate throttling
- Cookie jars
- Mixed browser emulation
- Device emulation with command or transaction modeling
Extreme scalability. Not only must your test system generate a realistic traffic mix, but it must be able to generate that traffic in the maximum quantity that your network will likely experience. For most of today’s networks, that’s an unprecedented amount of bandwidth-hungry traffic. Look for concurrency (IPs, sessions, connections, transactions, tunnels, users; peak rates (connections, transactions, tunnels, calls per second); and throughput (clear text and encrypted). Also look for high throughput performance numbers for:
- IPv4 and IPv6 HTTP and SSL
- Millions of user sessions and connections rates
- 10GE line-rate video and voice
- IPsec throughput, tunnel rate, and capacity
Simple user interface (UI). A test system UI should not look like it came from the 1990’s. Microsoft has led the way in system UI ease-of-use and your test system should be making great strides in capturing that look and feel. A familiar ribbon based menu system will launch most frequently-used capabilities to a single click. In addition, advanced capabilities are exposed progressively, allowing for easy ramp-up for new users. In this way, test engineers will be able to focus on testing your applications, rather than learning the complexities of the test user interface.
Tools to increase test engineer productivity. A powerful, customizable test environment empowers your test engineers to produce more thorough tests faster. Does the test system have prepackaged test bundles that speed and automate the process of testing? Look for a rich suite of pre-built quick tests based on industry standards and user requirements. You’ll be able to construct the simulated application configuration settings based on a few high-level user-defined parameters, or take advantage of fully customized user settings that represent the real-world network to be simulated. The test system should let you easily customize the packaged tests, as well as add custom tests to the test library for reuse.
Test results should be collected and presented with a flexible set of functions, including real-time graphs presenting test execution progress, formatted reports for detailed post-test analysis, and detailed test execution logs.
Security without compromise. Security infrastructure can be a choke point in consolidated data centers, and inaccurate countermeasures cause service disruption. The test system must ensure performance of legitimate traffic without tradeoffs on security effectiveness and accuracy. Be sure security testing measures the detection accuracy (limiting false positives) to limit service disruptions and ensures up-to-date attack/threat immunity by testing against the latest exploits and vulnerabilities.
At Interop, Las Vegas, Ixia launched a major update to its IxLoad multiplay service and application delivery test system. IxLoad emulates data, voice, and video subscribers and their associated protocols for ultra-high performance testing. Unique and advanced subscriber modeling capabilities create realistic scenarios to validate subscriber quality of experience (QoE).
In addition, IxLoad tests perimeter security devices such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, unified threat management systems, and VPN gateways with a mix of real enterprise application/encrypted traffic and live malware, application/network DDoS attacks, and client/server vulnerabilities. It employs a large attack database with ongoing updates for penetration testing with the latest exploits to hammer both perimeter and virtual security boundaries.
For more information:
IxLoad web portal: http://ixload.ixiacom.com/