May 9, 2008

Toys for Geeks

One of the best things about working in a test lab like NSS is that we get play with all the latest, coolest stuff. Well, cool if you are a geek at heart, that is. It might not be an Aston Martin or a Playstation 4 but the new BP10K from BreakingPoint Systems does at least have white "go faster" stripes on the British racing green front panel....
And go faster it does. NSS has spent almost a year evaluating this equipment for use in its labs, and has been using it in earnest for the last few months. This has been a considerable commitment by NSS, given that our extensive methodologies consist of literally hundreds of different performance tests, and moving them to a new platform is no mean feat.

BreakingPoint has made this possible with a software architecture and GUI design that abstracts as much of the physical layer of the test rig from the logical requirements of the test. As just one example, converting an existing test between in-line layer 2 to routed layer 3 is the work of only a couple of mouse clicks - no need to go through hundreds of test scripts altering IP addresses and default gateways. And there are lots of new cool bells and whistles which will allow us to create incredibly complex tests.

But software isn't cool, is it guys? It's the hardware that gets us excited. And the BP10K can generate complex multi-protocol real-world traffic at line speeds - and that means at 20Gbps (40Gbps full duplex), with 7.5 million concurrent connections and rates of up to 750,000 connections per second from a single appliance with four fiber 10Gbps ports. And you can incorporate multiple appliances in a single test to scale up to hundreds of Gigabits.

In our lab, we have mixed 'n' matched BP10K's and the 2Gbps (4Gbps full duplex) BP1000's to provide us with a total of 60Gbps of traffic generation capability over both 10Gbps fiber and 1Gbps copper interfaces, and this will allow us to standardize on the BPS kit for our Layer 4-7 testing going forward.

All it needs now is a twin exhaust and flashy alloy wheels and we are all set...

-Bob Walder, CTO/Founder