Daniel Munteanu
Technical Product Manager
Blog

The Power Behind the New Simplified PerfectStorm Architecture

November 3, 2016 by Daniel Munteanu
NativeIxOS

“Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

Ever since we released PerfectStorm, Ixia`s unified application and security test platform, we have been in close touch with our customers to explore areas where we could further improve this solution. One of the challenges that came to us was to simply the management controller architecture and as a consequence we immediately accepted the challenge and embarked on the quest to simplify it and finally elevate the user experience.

One OS to Rule Them All

The first and most important step was to implement all the PerfectStorm architecture elements to run either natively or through containers within the base operating system. This includes IxOS (with its related components) and BreakingPoint. No more virtual machine (VM) isolations, no more mixed operating system flavors. Naturally, we named this new architecture: Native IxOS.

PerfectStorm-PerfectStormOne

Same PerfectStorm hardware, with a lighter, faster, and more secure architecture

Based solely on this optimized redesign, a number of productivity and operational gains emerged, like:

  • Single management IP—all applications (IxNetwork, IxLoad, BreakingPoint) can control and drive the system using a single IP address
  • System performance improvements—all applications (IxNetwork, IxLoad, BreakingPoint) saw important improvements in time taken to run automated regressions
  • Faster system boot-up time—for improved user productivity
  • Higher scale for large BreakingPoint security test environments—complex tests can now be executed over a fully populated chassis
  • Improved system security—by moving from the previous VM-based architecture (running Windows and Linux) to the new Native IxOS (Linux-based) operation

3

In addition to above inherent benefits, we have also been working hard to introduce a new set of supporting features with the Native IxOS:

  • New IxServer WebUI—HTML5 UI for chassis management functionalities
  • New chassis CLI—a new command line interface (CLI) replaces the previous FlixOS admin screen and also adds new options and functionalities for IxOS-related operations
  • Multi-versioning support for IxOS—users can have multiple versions installed on the system and easily switch between them
  • New Backup/Restore mechanism for BreakingPoint—highly optimized Backup and Restore mechanism to export and import user data in a more reliable, faster, and flexible manner

Which systems can benefit from the new architecture?

The new native IxOS architecture is already available on newly shipped PerfectStorm ONE appliances as well as on the XGS2-HSL and XGS12-HSL chassis.

Upgrade deployed systems

To speed up the adoption rate and to allow customers faster access to the new architecture, there is a software option to field-convert customer-deployed systems to the native IxOS architecture: while XGS2-HS and XGS12-HS chassis can optionally be converted to Native IxOS, PerfectStorm ONE appliances must be converted to native IxOS in order to run IxOS 8.13 (for IxLoad 8.13 EA or BreakingPoint 8.13 releases).

Before staring the conversion for an XGS2-HS or XGS12-HS chassis, it is important to make sure that all the load modules within the chassis support Native IxOS. With 8.13EA release, the following load modules are supported: PerfectStorm, Xcellon-Multis, and Novus.

For exhaustive details, including the conversion process procedure, please download and read the "Converting XGS and PSOne to Native IxOS (PDF)” document available on the IxOS Downloads And Update site (a valid Ixia account is needed).

Conclusion

In our effort to continually improve our products, the new Native IxOS architecture is an important milestone that introduces productivity and operational gains. We look forward to your feedback.