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Do You QQ? Another Lesson in Testing with Real Application Traffic

December 4, 2008 by Ixia Blog Team

We threw out a bit of a Twitter pop quiz a week ago asking folks what the third most used Instant Messaging (IM) service is in the world. This wasn't simply a trivial pursuit, we were working on support for the QQ IM application and I was astonished, not only by their mascot (seen to your right) but also the numbers. It is estimated that there are 320 million active users of QQ, 160 million of these users in China. These numbers are probably dated at this point and Dennis believes QQ might be the number one IM service at this point.

In all likelyhood I will never use QQ as my IM platform since it certainly is a regionally focused application. However, I might have network equipment that will need to work with the QQ protocol and at this point you simply can't argue that IM is not an important business communication tool (go ahead, try me). Again let me turn to Dennis because I thought what he said to me and what was covered in the news release was important:

“The popularity of the QQ application is another example of why the ability to test network equipment with a diverse set of global applications is critically important. Looking at QQ simply as another IM application is dangerous since it leverages multi-character sets, unique fonts, adware classification and has large resource usage needs. Unique applications such as QQ cause performance and stability problems for network devices. Now add to those challenges an enormous and rapidly growing global user base and it should be apparent why you must start testing your network equipment with QQ.”

I would add that QQ is one of the largest examples of a regional application protocol that you must concern yourself with when testing network devices, but there are others. We hear about them consistently from our global team, but I'm interested in hearing from all of you. What is the next QQ IM? What is the next regionally-based application protocol that all global companies must be aware of and in many cases use in testing network devices?