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's BPS-1000 appliance combines the features of several network test devices into one box. It can capture and reuse live network traffic, execute security attacks, and generate application traffic based on common protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and more.
Aimed at test equipment manufacturers, service providers, and large enterprise customers, the BPS-1000 takes on Spirent and Ixia. The product aims to differentiate itself through ease of use and a (relatively) low starting price. It has a strong focus on security testing.
The BPS-1000 shines in its ease of setup and use. It offers powerful tests for a variety of needs with built-in intelligence to help you make the best use of the tests. At present, it's best suited for security testing. If you run a predominately Cisco or Juniper network, Spirent and Ixia have a wider range of tests specifically designed for these platforms.
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.