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Spirent Communications, a leading provider of network, devices and services testing solutions, today announced that it has partnered with Net Optics to implement a pioneering live demonstration, which will be featured at Net Optics’ booth #523 during VMworld 2013, August 24-27. The demonstration uses Spirent Avalanche Virtual, which measures traffic and stress attack burst patterns, and quality of experience (QoE) of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), along with Phantom™ Virtualization Tap to emphasize the critical importance of visibility for securing mission-critical business applications in NFV environments.

Net Optics, Inc., the leading provider of Total Application and Network Visibility solutions, developed the Phantom Virtualization Tap, which exposes normally hidden inter-Virtual Machine (VM) traffic to virtual or physical traffic monitoring tools, delivering 100 percent visibility. Avalanche Virtual provides easy-to-use test methodologies to characterize performance of virtual appliances and impact on end-to-end QoE when these virtualized technologies are deployed. Avalanche Virtual also provides empirical data that measures user perception, as well as additional criteria to show conclusively that QoE remains unaffected.

As service and application attacks proliferate and grow in severity, businesses have been challenged to neutralize them before they wreak havoc. However, the very process of capturing malicious traffic and defending the network can compromise customer QoE, resulting in loss of customers and revenue. This joint demonstration showcases an enterprise-ready security monitoring architecture that maintains ‘on-the-fly’ user QoE in a production network, even under extremely heavy attack bursts on complex Web application traffic.

“This joint implementation offers the best of both worlds—effective defense against severe cyber-attacks plus an excellent quality of customer experience,” said Dennis Carpio, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Net Optics. “And the ability to thwart destructive intrusions without any impact on application traffic is key to both network security and customer retention.”

NFV turns firewalls, load balancers and other “high touch” network appliances into VMs that can be dynamically instantiated and chained in a virtual network topology. The challenge is that traditional traffic measurement and analysis tools have no visibility into inter-Virtual Machine (VM) traffic and therefore, it is difficult to characterize performance and scale of virtual appliances and virtual switches. It is precisely this essential visibility that the Phantom Virtualization Tap provides. Using virtual test tools to measure the impact of performance and scale—particularly when changes are made to virtual switches and virtual appliances—offers invaluable insight and helps to ensure the highest quality of experience for the users of these networks.

“The ability to baseline the performance and scale of virtual switches and NFV virtual appliances is a critical starting point for those building equipment for these networks and the entities which operate them,” said Angus Robertson, senior director, Networks & Applications Group, at Spirent Communications. “Avalanche Virtual and Spirent TestCenter Virtual solutions continue to play a significant role in validation of virtualization infrastructure—including testing performance and scale of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Virtual Switches.”

During the demonstration, Spirent will load both attack and valid traffic precisely replicating a production network. Unleashing “real world” attack traffic, which occurs in bursts, allows for valid measurement of QoE and proves that the solution works under the loading patterns of both HTML application and attached traffic. The Phantom Virtualization Tap, installed at the kernel level for non-intrusive VM monitoring, will tap all traffic smoothly and efficiently, mirroring inter-VM network packets and forwarding traffic on to the physical network instrumentation layer for 100 percent network visibility. Completely tool agnostic, the Tap enables network packets to be sent to any existing tool, securing the physical infrastructure. The Tap’s ability to converge data from both virtual and physical infrastructure is vital to securing the entire network

To learn more about Spirent Avalanche Virtual and NFV testing stop by Spirent booth #2330 during VMWorld 2013, August 25-27 or visit: http://www.spirent.com/Products/Avalanche/Avalanche_Virtual.

About Net Optics

Net Optics is the leading provider of Total Application and Network Visibility solutions that deliver real-time network intelligence for peak performance in network monitoring and security. As a result, businesses achieve the scalable end-to-end visibility they need to optimize network performance of physical, virtual and private cloud environments, and remote branch offices. More than 7,500 enterprises, service providers and government organizations—including 85 percent of the Fortune 100—trust Net Optics’ comprehensive plug and play family of application-aware NPM, Network Packet Broker, Virtual/Cloud and Visibility Management System (VMS) solutions to deliver immediate results and quick time to value through an easy-to-use interface. Net Optics maintains a global presence through leading OEM partner and reseller networks.

About Spirent Communications plc

Spirent Communications plc. (LSE: SPT), a global leader in test & measurement, offers an extensive portfolio of solutions to test data centers, cloud computing and virtualized environments, high speed Ethernet networks and services, 3G/4G wireless networks and devices, network and application security, and positioning technologies. For more information visit http://www.spirent.com/about-us/News_Room/About_Spirent_Communications_plc.aspx.

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