Portable Traffic Generator from NextComputing Offers Cost-Effective Load Testing for High-Speed Enterprise Networks

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Turnkey solution based on open-source packet generator software on display at DoDIIS 2011 Worldwide Conference

NextComputing, a leading provider of portable and small footprint servers and network appliances, announces the Continuum traffic generator. Able to transmit packet streams at line rates up to 25Gb/s, Continuum is ideal for IT administrators, network engineers, and field technicians who need to troubleshoot or stress test high-speed enterprise networks.

The demand for high-speed traffic generators is pervasive in a number of markets, but IT professionals must choose from a limited pool of vendors with a high cost of entry or develop their own solutions using free, open-source tools running on commodity hardware. Offerings from the established vendors are reliable, but are completely proprietary and lack the flexibility to tailor the product for a particular environment or to run other tools. And while “roll your own” solutions may save money up front, the cost of an administrator’s set up time and long-term support can add up quickly.

NextComputing offers a new approach to the problem of load testing and troubleshooting Ethernet networks without breaking the bank. Continuum combines off-the-shelf hardware with reliable intelligent network adapters and pre-configured, open-source software to create a solution that is at once reliable, flexible, and cost-effective. Packaged in a convenient, portable, all-in-one chassis with integrated monitor, the system is simple to set up and operate and can be transported anywhere testing must be conducted.

Continuum includes Ostinato, an open-source packet/traffic generator application capable of generating multiple packet streams of any size, in a wide range of formats to simulate different types of network loads like VoIP or intrusions.

Although Ostinato is capable of producing any theoretical data rate, traditional network interface cards (NICs) cannot produce line-rate traffic due to limitations in the design. To provide the high-speed, line-rate traffic generation capabilities of Continuum, NextComputing has partnered with Napatech, a leader in intelligent network adapters. Napatech’s 1G (Gigabit), 10G, and 40G Ethernet adapters extend the power of Ostinato into the realm of modern high-speed networks, allowing administrators to gain a clearer picture of how their network responds to today’s high-bandwidth traffic.

Features of Continuum include:

o Small, portable footprint with integrated display.
o Flexible port configurations with up to (16) Gigabit Ethernet ports (RJ-45 or SFP SR/LR interface), (8) 10G Ethernet ports (SFP+ SR/LR interface) or (4) 40G Ethernet ports (QSFP+ interface)
o Multiple PCI Express slots for other functions such as storage adapters or other NICs
o Support for the most common protocols, such as:

  • Ethernet/802.3/LLC SNAP
  • VLAN (with QinQ)
  • ARP, IPv4, IPv6, IP-in-IP: IP Tunneling (6over4, 4over6, 4over4, 6over6)
  • Any text based protocol (HTTP, SIP, RTSP, NNTP, etc.)

o Modification of any field of any protocol
o Stacking of protocols in any arbitrary order
o Creating and configuring multiple streams with different stream rates, bursts, and number of packets per stream
o Open-source CentOS 5.5 Linux and open-standards, modular platform.
o Optional custom development, API toolkit, and other application integration services
o Includes convenient soft case for ease of transport including space for varied accessories
o 1 year warranty and technical support with options for 2 and 3 year service/support
o Optional telescoping handle case and hard case
o Optional ruggedized chassis for harsh environments
o Rackmount option coming soon

NextComputing will be giving live demonstrations of Continuum in booth 956 at the DoDIIS 2011 Worldwide Conference, May 2-4 at the Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. To schedule a demo, email sales(at)nextcomputing(dot)com.

About NextComputing

Based in Nashua, NH, NextComputing is a unique technology company specializing in extreme-performance portables and dense streaming rackmount computers. Its open-standards, modular systems are used throughout many industries for a range of professional applications including real-time 3D visualization, high-throughput data streaming, and high-end application demonstration. Visit http://www.nextcomputing.com for more information.

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Aaron Sherman
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