BreakingPoint Systems' new BPS-1000 is an all-in-one network-stressing appliance. It can capture and reuse live traffic or blast packets to stress test routers, switches, and applications servers. It can also perform security tests of firewalls, IPSs/IDSs, and other security systems by launching a wide range of attacks.
BreakingPoint says its appliance can support millions of simultaneous TCP sessions and generate 500,000 TCP requests every second. It's an impressive amount of testing firepower. The BPS-1000 targets service providers, large corporations, VARs, integrators, and network equipment manufacturers.
Ixia and Spirent build competitive devices and have much more experience in the field. But BreakingPoint claims to do more in a single device. Ixia focuses on conformance tests for IPSec and 802.1x protocols and also has a security testing product. Spirent has similar capability to BreakingPoint Systems, but requires you to buy more than a single device if you want to do security testing and add realistic background traffic.
While our tests showed impressive results, the device comes from a startup with no track record. On the other hand, its founders and principals have a history of developing successful new products, including TippingPoint, which was acquired by 3Com.