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Posts Tagged "data center testing"

The demands for increased bandwidth in the data center are driving the creation of a new generation of data center switch platforms. These platforms, whether they are top-of-rack (ToR) or aggregation switches, are designed to support hundreds of gigabits/sec per slot—even terabits. 

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As Nemertes Research, voke’s ITO (Infrastructure Test Optimization), and Gartner research notes, and numerous other sources observe, implementation of IT initiatives such as data center network design, consolidation, and virtualization represent significant infrastructure and budget commitments that carry considerable risk.

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A diverse array of component devices and applications in a unified architecture may cause network failure.

While individual devices and applications may work as planned, the complexity of an entire network, however, with configurations and associated firmware out of synch, can create a critical potential vulnerability that must be tested for defects that can bring down your network.

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Simply put, the network failure threshold is the point at which your network breaks under real-world applications and user bandwidth. So is it better to know that before or after you launch your IT initiative?

To put it another way, from Nemertes Research’s perspective (from their classic issue paper Strategic IT Initiatives need Strategic Testing): “Without proper testing, such strategic initiative can fail with serious unforeseen consequences, including significant hard dollar and opportunity costs.” They also observed the gains expected from an IT initiative can be minimized or erased if the testing is not implemented before an initiative goes live.

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As is the case with all marketing collateral, a company puts the best face on the product they want you to buy. In network equipment, part of that includes stating the capabilities of device, backed up by testing against particular requirements. While the device will likely perform exactly as described in the environment established by the vendor, how it performs in your network with your devices and your requirements is an entirely different proposition. “Results may vary.” Indeed.

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The crucial nature of testing the success of any data center initiative is widely recognized, but all testing is not created equal. Proper testing is required and is a critical element of ensuring this success. The set of industry best-practices described below were identified and defined after numerous data center testing engagements, across lines of business and around the globe, by Spirent’s team of Professional Services engineers.

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In our last blog “Preparing Yourself for a Malware Epidemic,” we discussed the various types of malware and how they spread. In this blog, we’ll discuss some questions that every network manager should ask when testing their own network for malware.

As technology improves, malware attacks are becoming more destructive and harder to detect, costing you valuable time and resources. This means you need to be more vigilant and more prepared for an attack than ever before.

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Malicious software, better known as “malware,” describes a broad category of hostile software that is used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. In this three-part blog series, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of malware. We’ll cover some of the topics found within our in-depth white paper “How Strong is Your Malware Testing?” and give you more details about how you can better prepare for a malware attack.

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Will the new high-speed, high-port density switching fabrics perform at the level required to deliver high-bandwidth, low latency content? Not long ago we were debating whether there was a market for 40G and 100G Ethernet. Now we can't get it fast enough. At the Technology Exploration Forum in Santa Clara, CA in September, 2009, Facebook engineer Donn Lee said that the Facebook network would require a 64 Tbps data center aggregation layer by the end of 2010. Unfortunately, the technology didn&rs...

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