Ixia, a company that provides testing tools for network equipment vendors, has just introduced the IxNetwork v6.00 test application, which includes a new, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), productivity tools, and automated test suites. The company said it is expanding from network equipment makers to directly serve enterprise data centers and service providers, such as wireless phone carriers, which have an increasing need to test their networks before putting them into production. Ixia demonstrated IxNetwork v 6.0o at the Interop IT Conference and Expo 2011 being held this week in Las Vegas.
Previously, it was sufficient for network testing to be done only by network equipment vendors, such as Cisco Systems or Juniper Networks, but now, service providers and other enterprise data centers find that their networks are handling vastly more traffic and have become more complicated with virtualization, cloud computing and increasing demands for compliance with regulations regarding uptime, latency and security, said Kelly Malloy, an Ixia spokeswoman.
Testing had previously been done on network levels 2 and 3, but has now expanded to levels 4 through 7, Malloy said, down to the application layer. Data centers are going through a "significant transformation," added Tara Van Unen, market development manager for Ixia.
"It's one of the most significant reasons why enterprises are starting to pay a little more attention and diligence to doing pre-deployment testing, because they are having to upgrade their entire network infrastructure," Van Unen said.
Because enterprises and service providers may be new to network testing, IxNetwork v6.00 is designed for ease-of-use, she said. The GUI is designed for click-through automation to configure testing scenarios and pre-packaged performance benchmarking tests for various devices in the data center.