Virtualized Testing: Overview
The success of cloud computing and the online applications it enables has brought about a new paradigm of user experience and expectations. Users now expect immediate access to a wide range of media-rich applications and services, instantly, from any location. Virtualization, along with convergence of LAN and SAN traffic, make more efficient and flexible use of data center resources, but in doing so, they also increase the workload and complexity of server architecture and network infrastructure, and put new and significant demands on both resources.
Using virtualization within a host and across a data center is key to creating a functional and adaptable cloud service, and requires careful planning and thorough testing to ensure functionality, performance, security, and reliability of applications and devices.
Ixia's IxVM solution tests the end-to-end virtual infrastructure as well as individual applications and devices
Network or virtual appliance vendors, virtualized data center managers, and IT managers who need to test devices, networks, and services need to know:
Network equipment manufacturer (NEM) and virtual appliance vendors
- What is the true performance of my virtualized host when running standard Internet applications?
- What is the latency and throughput of my virtual switch implementation?
- Are hypervisor-level security mechanisms working correctly?
Virtualized data center manager
- Do I have enough computing power and network capacity to handle demand?
- Can I quickly expand computing resources to meet surges?
- Can my server accommodate a high number of virtual machines (VMs) all handling large workloads?
Enterprise IT manager
- Is my virtual application protected from other applications running on the same host?
- How many virtual desktops can I run on one server?
- What happens during VM migration?
- What level of storage and network I/O performance am I getting?
- Is my data secure in the private cloud and public cloud?
Ixia's IxVM product family is specifically designed to test virtualized assets and environments. It leverages trusted tools that test engineers have used for testing hardware-based network equipment for over a decade. IxVM virtual ports provide a software-based version of Ixia’s traditional hardware ports that are deployed in a virtualized environment. Virtual ports support Ixia software applications and can be combined with hardware ports to thoroughly test all aspects of the virtualized server and the impact of virtualization on the broader data center performance.
IxVM ports, running on VMs beside virtualized applications, provide the ability to individually test all software components of a distributed application. For example, the functionality and performance of web servers, virtual load balancers, virtual routers, and virtual security appliances can be individually tested or in combination.
Ixia's IxVM is used to:
- Test the performance of virtualized applications and network elements
- Test the most critical components of the virtual switch, including functionality, conformance to standards, and performance
- Compare how different hypervisors, virtual appliances, and configurations impact server performance
- Quantify the throughput and I/O performance of converged network adapters (CNAs)
- Measure intra-server and inter-server VM traffic exchange performance
- Validate critical functionality including VLAN, IGMP, policy enforcement, and security
- Assess how VM mobility impacts application reliability and performance
- Evaluate the performance of different servers from different suppliers
With Ixia's IxVM and virtual ports, you can:
- Accelerate time to market by conducting functional tests early in the development lifecycle
- Compare performance of different blade servers, hypervisors, virtual switches, appliances, and virtualized applications using Ixia's test wizards and industry-leading automation
- Isolate problem hotspots prior to deployment by emulating your intended data center:
- You can deploy IxVM ports as complete Ixia virtual appliances or directly on bare-metal hardware
- 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
- Maximize return on your test investment using a scalable, unified test platform for complete device and data center characterization
- Install directly on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS systems - no custom appliances required
- Deploy over popular VMware and KVM/Qemu hypervisors
- Use with Ixia hardware ports and streams
- Dynamically deploy IxVM cards anywhere in the lab with flexible floating licensing
- Use automatic asset discovery to easily manage IxVM test beds with hundreds of ports