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Application Mixes Add New Levels of Realism to IxChariot 8 Network Testing

August 1, 2014 by Ixia Blog Team

IxChariot is a well-known tool for running performance tests that model real-world protocols while using synthetic payloads to debug networks and network devices. IxChariot has always had the capability to run real-world applications scenarios; however, this capability was limited with due to the small library of prebuilt application scripts as well as some technical limitations.

The newly released IxChariot 8 solves many of these limitations as it now comes with a large collection (100 today, which will grow in the future) of real-world, modern application scripts, such as MySQL, Oracle, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and Netflix.

How Application Mixes Add Realism to Network Assessments

First, application mixes simulate modern real-word scenarios to stress networks components. These apps will contain complex combinations of SEND/RECEIVE operations that go beyond simple performance scripts found in previous generation of IxChariot.

Second, in the production environment, networks contain devices like NAT, firewalls, WAN optimization, controllers, and other content-aware devices. In the past, problems could occur while running IxChariot tests over these devices due to blocked packets caused by misaligned source, non-standard destination ports, or synthetic payloads. To solve the traversal of some of these devices, the tester would need to either alter the payload or use randomly-generated destination ports to correlate connections. But if all of these devices were installed in the network, the traversal was not possible for pure application packets.

IxChariot 8 resolves all these technical issues and adds additional realism of application mixes. Users can now run tests using the Application Mix function and IxChariot ensures that the generated traffic will traverse these network devices.

To use the Application Mix feature in IxChariot 8, simply:

  • Select the option “Add Application Mix”
  • Define the endpoints to run the traffic between by clicking on the icons showing “Src” and “Dst”
  • Specify the objective type : “Throughput” or “No. of Users”

The difference between the two objective types:

  • “No. of Users” objective - each simulated user will run a single application from the start to the end of the test. Based on the specified percentage of each application in the mix, the system will simulate a number of users running that application.
  • “Throughput” objective - each simulated user will run a script with the combination of all the applications and guarantee the application distribution throughout the test duration.
  • Set the number of users to simulate by editing the “Total No. of Users”
  • Select the apps needed for this mix by using the “Add Application”
  • For each app, set the distribution in the mix as a percentage
  • Start test

Additional Resources

IxChariot Solution Brief