IxVM: Validating Virtualized Assets and Environments

IxVM
Ixia's virtualization test solution accelerates time-to-market, improves confidence and maximizes ROI by providing the only unified product portfolio with the flexibility and breadth of applications required to assess the impact of server and network virtualization across the Data Center.

Cloud computing is creating a new paradigm of user experience with the online applications users employ. Users expect immediate access to a wide range of media-rich applications and services, instantly, from any location. Virtualization makes more efficient and flexible use of data center resources, but in doing so, it also increases the workload and complexity of server architecture and network infrastructure, and puts new and significant demands on both resources.

Integrating virtualization within a host and across the servers within a data center is key to creating a functional and adaptable cloud network, and requires careful planning and thorough testing to ensure functionality, performance, security, and reliability of applications and devices.

Network functions virtualization (NFV) is another trend that is driven by multiple service providers around the world. To accelerate the deployment of new network services, reduce capital and operating expenses by leveraging cost effective COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) hardware, and make more efficient use of network resources, service providers are looking at integrating NFV in their network. NFV is a paradigm shift in networking to move network functions like switching, routing, firewall, BRAS, and many other devices from hardware appliances to running on virtualized x86 based server platforms.

Integrating NFV within a network is key to increasing competitiveness in a very dynamic market, where service providers are constantly trying to satisfy their customers’ needs. Just like in the case of server virtualization, a successful NFV deployment requires thorough testing and end-to-end network validation to deliver on the touted advantages.

IxVM
IxVM Test Scenario

Ixia's IxVM product family is specifically designed to test virtualized assets and environments while leveraging trusted tools that have been used for testing hardware-based network equipment for over a decade. IxVM virtual ports provide a software-based version of a traditional Ixia hardware port that can be deployed in a virtualized environment. Virtual ports support Ixia software applications and can be combined with hardware ports to thoroughly test all aspects of virtualized servers or network devices, and the impact of virtualization on the broader data center performance.

Key Features

  • Test the most critical components of virtual switches, including functionality, conformance to standards, and performance
  • Compare how different hypervisors, virtual appliances, and configurations impact server performance
  • Validate functionality of application-ware devices such as virtual firewalls, ADCs, storage servers, and other application servers
  • Validate CNA throughput and I/O performance
  • Measure intra-server and inter-server virtual machine (VM) traffic exchange performance
  • Validate critical functionality including VLAN, IGMP, policy enforcement, and security
  • Assess how VM mobility impacts application reliability and performance
  • Evaluate performance from different server suppliers
  • Accelerate time to market by conducting functional test early in the development lifecycle
  • Compare performance of different blade servers, hypervisors, virtual switches, and appliances using Ixia's test wizards, industry-leading automation, and performance benchmarking test suites
  • Improve confidence by testing in the context of the intended data center deployment and isolate performance issues:
    • IxVM cards can be deployed as complete virtual appliance or directly on bare metal hardware to test using customized VMs and applications and specific operating environments
    • Unified data center solution emulates real-world end-to-end data center conditions so you can assess the overall impact of data center virtualization, including how VM scale and mobility affects application performance
    • Multi-level statistics correlate measurements from the virtual infrastructure with measurements from physical and virtual NICs (on both sides of the hypervisors) so you can quickly identify and address sources of errors and performance degradation
  • Maximize return on your test investment using a scalable, unified test platform for complete device and data center characterization
  • Compatible with Ixia hardware ports and streams
  • Flexible floating licensing allows IxVM cards to be dynamically used anywhere in the lab
  • Automatic asset discovery facilitates testing across both private and public cloud infrastructure

IxNetwork

IxNetwork is designed to test network infrastructure, capacity, scalability, and convergence using scaled protocol emulation. IxNetwork running over IxVM provides a flexible deployment of Ixia traffic generator and protocol emulation to perform wide-scale functional testing of L2/3 devices.

Using virtual load modules, IxNetwork running over IxVM offers the unique ability to benchmark the performance of virtualized servers by simulating data center traffic between VMs, for data center/cloud computing environments. Also, IxNetwork running over IxVM enables the ability to deploy virtual test ports inside virtualized network devices, for end-to-end testing of NFV implementations.

IxLoad

IxLoad performs L4-7 application testing for a wide variety of virtualized application architectures.

Using virtual load modules, IxLoad running over IxVM allows complete functional and performance testing of virtualized servers and 10GE converged network adapters (CNAs) for data center/cloud computing environments. Also, IxLoad running over IxVM has enables the ability to test virtual firewalls, virtual deep packet inspection (DPI) devices, virtual load balancers, or other virtualized network devices, for functional and performance testing of NFV implementations.

RackSim

Ixia RackSim emulates a virtualized data center environment with all of its complexities. A single RackSim appliance can simulate a rack full of servers/hosts with various hypervisor flavors. The emulated hypervisors can be setup to host simulated virtual machines with all VM events, in addition to generating traffic from the simulated VM.

Using RackSim, a user can verify the functionality of the data center assets, test-drive massive configurations involving virtualized assets, and model a variety of environments.

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