I traveled to Spirent’s offices in San Jose, CA on Thursday morning October 11, 2012 for Networking Field Day 4. The Networking Field Day delegates and myself met with a number of Spirent’s product managers and specialists.
I have no personal experience with Spirent although I’ve heard of the name from time to time. It was interesting to learn that they are trying to break into the enterprise space. As an enterprise customer I’m always looking for better tools to QA and benchmark the network. It’s unfortunate that management doesn’t usually value these tools until after some ugly event, only then do the budgets become available for these tools.
I’m going to outline the different presentations that we heard and perhaps make a few points here and there if I have anything useful to say. I’ll include a short blurb from Spirent in italics to help define/describe each product or solution. Thankfully since the sessions were recorded you can watch for yourself and make your own informed opinion.
Here’s my disclaimer; I’m not endorsing any of the solutions presented below. I’m merely passing on the information along with a few comments of my own. If you have any personal opinions about the solutions below why not share them with us in the comments?
Spirent Axon proactively validates the performance and functionality of networks, devices and services throughout the entire network lifecycle, from planning, deploying and beyond. It can emulate hundreds of thousands of users with Web, call center, database, mail, and other applications talking to real servers to determine response times, throughput and other critical performance metrics.
Spirent is turning their attention toward the enterprise market with the upcoming announcement of Axon. Axon will be avialable in a 1U form factor using off the self hardware although the NICs will have FPGAs to allow for precision timing. I believe Axon will run in a virtual environment although my notes are somewhat vague on that point. Axon will be able to simulate SIP based IP calls to certify the ability of any network to carry Voice over IP traffic. The solution will even output a MOS (Mean Opinion Score) which can be used to determine a networks ability to carry VoIP traffic.
Somewhere in the discussion/presentation Blitz came up. I read that Spirent acquired Blitz.io in April 2012 to help fill out Spirent’s cloud offerings.
Advanced Security Testing in The Age of Cyber War
- Avalanche provides complete multi 10Gbps security, attack and performance testing, enabling users to test network security systems at line rate speeds to simulate daily business traffic and understand the impact of network faults and attacks
- Spirent Studio Security is a testing solution purpose-built for validating security capabilities via fuzz testing, DDOS replication, vulnerability assessment and security capability verification
- Professional Services – Enterprise OnDEMAND On-Site Performance Testing detects and mitigates problems before you launch a new network security solution
- Support Services ensure that system technology is always current and operating at maximum performance
Spirent has automated penetration testing on an industrial scale. I love the quote, “torture the target”.
Tech Field Day Video
Spirent iTest® can help organizations effectively address these challenges. iTest enables testers, developers, and automation teams to automate testing practices at several key levels: process, asset sharing, and communication. So your team as well as others can directly contribute to your test automation initiative and maximize productivity throughout the workflow.
iTest enables QA organizations to achieve quality objectives and meet release dates without requiring late nights or sacrificing test coverage. A powerful testing tool, iTest automates critical testing processes to accelerate system and device testing throughout the QA organization.
iTest is applicable for a full range of testing scenarios, from a single device to a complex system incorporating hundreds of devices as well as test equipment and software systems. From the simplest router to the most advanced 4G technology, iTest automates testing without the need for scripting.
The iTest Lab Optimizer is essentially an automation tool for the test lab. It can call out and configure Layer 1 switches (smart patch panel) on the fly to build the topology you current need in the lab. Here’s another quote that was memorable, “automation is often an after thought Spirent trying to change the focus”.