Creating an Application Mix to Model the Production Network

Video and P2P Rule!

The traffic making up today’s networks is in a rapid state of flux. Just last week Sandvine, in their Spring 2011 Global Phenomena Report, noted that real-time entertainment continues to increase, and within North America represents almost 50% of peak fixed access traffic (much of this of course is due to Netflix). P2P traffic also continues to carve out a sizeable piece of the pie at around 20%. The rest is a mix of voice, business apps, games, Facebook and chat.

What’s interesting though is that the relative amount of traffic that isn’t application-level is tiny – all the stuff that makes networks run like DNS, ICMP, BGP and so on.

You Can’t Use Fake Traffic to Test a Real Network

So when it comes to testing and validating the capabilities of your application-aware networks and devices, it’s primarily the apps that you need to be recreating. Hitting the network with L2-L4 infrastructure protocols isn’t going to cut it, and neither will sending HTTP traffic with synthetic payloads of a bunch of Os and 1s. Both are a far cry from the real deal, and as we like to say, “You can’t use fake traffic to test a real network".

Recreating a Mix of Apps at Scale to Test Your Network

At Spirent (formerly Mu) we recently launched Spirent (formerly Mu) Studio 6 which for the first time allows you to immediately and accurately recreate multiple types of applications – including Web, enterprise and mobile apps – at scale, to determine how they impact the network. So all the ready-to-run tests available on the Spirent (formerly Mu) TestCloud store can now be used as-is to reconstruct the application mix of the network.

So for example, say you want to recreate the following mix of applications as follows:

  • 50% Video (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
  • 20% P2P (BitTorrent, Gnutella)
  • 15% Social media (Facebook, Twitter)
  • 10% Games (Mafia Wars, Angry Birds)
  • 5% Business Apps (Oracle, SQL Server, Mail)

All you need to do is drag and drop these “Tracks over to the Scale player, choose the percentage distribution of the Tracks and the number of concurrencies to run", and you’re on your way. It’s as simple as that. As one of customers recently commented “Mu has turned testing into a game!"

Spirent (formerly Mu) Studio 6 allows you to recreate a mix of web, enterprise and mobile applications to understand the impact of millions of users on your network.


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