Michail C
Principal Software Engineer at Ixia

Testing Cloud and Mobile Data Connectivity with IxChariot 9.0

May 27, 2015 by Mihail Constantinescu

As the business-critical infrastructure of most organizations, networks today must handle the complexity of multiple domains like cloud and mobile, and content that traverses firewall-protected segments. Ixia’s IxChariot 9.0 is the right performance test solution to help IT groups who are challenged daily to quickly discover and resolve bottlenecks that occur at any point in the network.

IxChariot is a highly versatile product that is used for testing network performance in various scenarios. For instance, you can install the IxChariot endpoint on devices ranging from high-end servers, desktops, and laptops – to smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras, and use the endpoint to generate traffic to and from the device and measure its performance, in a lab environment.

Another common use case is to install the IxChariot endpoints at the edges of a network and evaluate either the network itself, or a device under test (DUT) in the middle. Due to limited support for firewall traversal until IxChariot 9.0, these scenarios were usually restricted to lab or enterprise environments, where full connectivity between the endpoints was assured.

With our latest IxChariot version 9.0, Ixia significantly enhanced the support for firewall and NAT traversal, opening exciting opportunities for testing new scenarios. It is now possible to host the IxChariot endpoints in enterprise, cloud, or public networks (essentially anywhere), and use them to test the network connection between them. The only limitation of IxChariot 9.0 is the lack of support for testing the connection between separate enterprise (private) networks, which are connected only through the Internet, not through an internal VPN.

Validate Performance of Cloud Migration

An interesting application is to test a future migration to a cloud system, by hosting some endpoints in the internal enterprise network, others in the cloud system, and by running IxChariot test traffic between them.

Validate Performance of Mobile Data Connectivity

Another interesting scenario is to test the mobile data connection of devices such as smartphones and tablets, or even laptops with 3G/LTE dongles. Unlike the Wi-Fi interface, which can be perfectly tested with any version of IxChariot in a lab environment, the mobile data IP address is protected by various firewall layers inside the carrier networks, and testing it has been out of reach for IxChariot, until version 9.0. With the new version, this is finally possible.

To test the mobile data connections with IxChariot 9.0, install an endpoint on the target device and a second one in a cloud or public network. Additionally, the IxChariot 9.0 server must be hosted in a cloud or public network. Both endpoints must be configured to connect to the Registration Server located on the same machine as the IxChariot 9.0 server. Once this configuration is complete, you can use the web interface of IxChariot 9.0 to run various tests on the mobile data connection. The range of available tests includes TCP, UDP, RTP, and VoIP traffic, with unlimited or configurable data rates. The reported statistics include Throughput, One-Way Delay, Jitter, Loss Rate, and MOS Score. Even better, IxChariot 9.0 is capable of sending bidirectional test traffic, thus testing both the inbound and outbound directions of the mobile data connection.

With its enhanced firewall traversal support, IxChariot 9.0 brings life to many testing scenarios that were not possible before, and testing cloud migrations and mobile data connectivity are just two of the interesting examples.

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